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Related stories
South West tour notes
Dante Sonata: an echo of the heart
Kit Holder on Small Worlds
Small Worlds: Helen Fownes-Davies' costume designs
Frederick Ashton
The history of Elite Syncopations

What's on

South-West tour spring 2008

Everyman Theatre
29 - 30 April 2008
The Lighthouse
2 - 3 May 2008
Northcott Theatre
6 - 7 May 2008
Hall for Cornwall
9 - 10 May 2008

Click here for a full diary of performances and links for how to book.

Full performance diary

Click here for performance listings.

Kit Holder on Small Worlds

ARCHIVE: An interview with Kit Holder from the premiere of Small Worlds in 2007. Small Worlds appears on Birmingham Royal Ballet's 2008 tour of the South West. Click here for further details.

'About six or seven years ago, I went to an exhibition of Kandinsky's watercolours at the Royal Academy, and I got really into it', recalls Kit Holder, BRB dancer and choreogrpaher of Small Worlds. 'The thing that surprised me was the fact that something thatís supposed to be abstract was so much more involving and inspiring than something like the Mona Lisa, and I got so much more into that side of art.

'Kandinsky was striving to remove the explicit representation in art', Kit explains. 'He believed that you could portray something on a much more expressive level by capturing the essence in a more abstract way, rather than literally depicting it with a portrait. So for this yearís choreographic project, I'm exploring the idea that the dance is taking place inside a Kandinsky painting, and Iím taking a lot of the themes and ideals of the artist into the way that I'm working'.

So how will these ideals translate into a dance work?

'Kandinsky wanted to allow the viewer to take different emotions or ideas from his painting using colours and shapes in the images,' the dancer expands, 'and I'd like to do the same Ė expressing pleasure, for example, without using a big smile or a happy port de bras.

'The idea is that I'm exploring the different moods that can be present in one picture - different people can take different feelings from the same image, so I'm creating three parts showing how different ideas can be put across with just subtle changes. Colour is really important, so I'll be working closely with the lighting designers, and with our costume designer Helen Fownes-Davies, who did a lot of additional work on the Ballet Hoo! project.

It is clear that Kit has developed a lot since he last created a work for Birmingham Royal Ballet, as part of the 2005 choreographic project, The Planets. Looking back, he remembers, 'That was a massive learning curve, but it was nice to be able to present a new work to an audience, and for everyone to see how much support the audience gave us in return'.

'I did a pas de deux in London off the back off that, in a programme at the Linbury Theatre, for The Royal Ballet's 75th anniversary. That was the first thing outside Birmingham that I'd done, and I was solely in charge of it. But this next piece I'm doing, I'm really excited about, because it's for us.'

This time around Kit will also have the additional benefit of seeing his work performed in different venues, as it tours the North West [The ballet formed part of the 2007 spring tour].

'It'll be nice to have the chance to let the performances run for a little bit, rather than just a short run, and to have a few different casts as well. But at the same time it'll be nerve-racking, as I hate watching my own work! Maybe I'll get better at that, although I've always found the premieres hideous and David Bintley's said it never gets any better!'

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