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Opening the doors to one of the world's most revered art forms, Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers Tom Rogers and Tyrone Singleton explore the world of ballet and beyond as they question the unanswered, delve into backstage life and discuss the pressures and pleasures of what they do.
All views expressed are those of the participants.
Tamara Rojo, acclaimed dancer and director of English National Ballet, joins Tom and Ty for this episode. After Tom finally pronounces her name right, Tamara discusses her work on the DCMS taskforce that is dealing with the covid-19 crisis and the responsibility she feels towards the dance world in making sure its voice is heard. Tamara's relentless dedication and work ethic is revealed as she discusses the honesty and meritocracy of ballet. As a director Tamara has been determinedly pushing the boundaries of classical ballet and the guys ask for her thoughts on how ballet can stay relevant in the modern age. On a lighter note, both Tom and Ty were keen to know who Tamara blames when the casting comes out...
Luke Jennings shot to notoriety as the author and creator of Killing Eve, but what you may not know is that Luke was a highly respected dance critic for 13 years. After securing a much-coveted interview with Rudolph Nureyev his career took off. Throughout this episode Luke and the guys discuss the art of storytelling and how language, writing and dance are inextricably linked. British ballet's ability to tell a story is also up for debate before Killing Eve and its evolution becomes our focus. In true psychopathic assassin Villanelle-style Tom and Ty end the episode as beautiful corpses...
Tom and Ty talk to one of the world's most celebrated female football players, England and Man City captain Steph Houghton. Steph reveals the transformation within the women's game, from packed lunches and paying to play to being at one of the world's most elite football clubs. Misconceptions about who we are and what we do is up for discussion, as well as ballet dancing footballers and team banter.. As the guys discuss leadership on the pitch and in the changing rooms it is clear to see why Steph is such a well-respected leader in her profession.
In this latest episode Tom and Ty talk to former Royal Ballet star and crossbencher in the House of Lords Baroness Deborah Bull. Besides discussing the choreography of dancing through social distancing, the trio tackle the bigger issues facing the cultural sector within the UK. It is fair to say that the Baroness handles these topics in the kind of eloquent and articulate manner that the boys can only dream of! This episode will certainly leave you with food for thought and content in the knowledge that the arts has champions like Baroness Deborah Bull fighting their corner at the highest levels of British governance.
For this episode it's Tom's turn to reunite with an old school mate. Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet Steven McRae. Having recently undergone his fourth surgery in 18 months we discover the drive and dedication that took him to the top of the ballet world is still there as he recovers. We also step away from the injury upheaval to talk studying, the power of dance, and the pros and cons of life on social media. Tom and Steven also share a moment of reflection upon their graduation from the Royal Ballet Upper School.
In this episode Tom and Ty are joined by Karolina Kuras one of the world's most renowned dance photographers. Karolina's warmth and passion for her craft is evident throughout this episode as they discuss the need to be authentic to your artistic vision in an industry dominated by images of 'the perfect arabesque' (probably photoshopped). Karolina and Ty gain far too much enjoyment for Tom’s inability to use Instagram.
Whilst the photographers in this trio, Karolina and Ty again, tell us how you know you've got 'the shot'.
We talk to Ty's old schoolmate Drew McConie, now a highly successful choreographer and Olivier Award winner. Having made his name in the theatre world, we talk to Drew as he makes his first steps into the world of ballet with Northern ballet's Merlin. Drew and Ty also take time to reminisce about sneaking out of school to visit the Opera House and Drew learns about the pitfalls of "Ballet faff".
Tom and Ty talk... lockdown. As a quarter of the global population comes to terms with the idea of lockdown, Tom and Ty are joined by Victoria Marr and Daria Stanciulescu to talk about the challenges and unexpected pleasures of lockdown in their own households. Think ballet in the corridor, amateur hairdressing and multi-purpose living spaces... with a sprinkling of chaos from the addition of two small boys!
We head north to Sale Sharks to explore life playing for one of the UK’s best rugby clubs. We discover the perilous world of the rugby social (all with the coaches blessing of course) whilst Matt reveals how it feels to be run over by a human bus. Expect team bonding, brutal training and cauliflower ears.
Tom & Ty chat with acclaimed musician Andy Burrows about the intricacies of live performance and the responsibilities of being on stage. Tom explains how it feels when things go wrong whilst Andy reveals his first love and how he still keeps that fresh... We’re talking about the drums of course!
As the first British dancer to join the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Xander Parish is living proof that hard work and determination really pay back in dividends. Think courage, desire and a love for what he does. Xander tells us the story of his leap of faith, arriving at the airport on a tourist visa and discuss his journey to Principal and his award of OBE for UK/Russia cultural relations.
A former colleague and rising star of The Royal Ballet (Romeo in the film Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words), William Bracewell opens up about the trials and tribulations of moving to a new company. We discuss the impact that injuries can have on a dancer, both professionally and personally. We also unveil two new and exciting subjects, the 'four-minute makeup challenge' and 'Tinder for dogs'.
We visit Purnell’s restaurant in the heart of Birmingham to meet the 'Yummy Brummie' himself, Glynn Purnell, who has held a Michelin star for over ten years. We explore the similarities between the life of an elite dancer and that of a chef working at the very top of his industry.
Along the way Glynn reveals his new-found love of ballet as well as his inclusion in the mafia...
How can dance, and ballet in particular, be more diverse? This is a big question! To help us better understand this issue we sat down with Cassa Pancho OBE, Artistic Director of Ballet Black.
Throughout the episode we discuss where ballet has been. Where it is now and where it needs to go to become a truly diverse and inclusive art form.
Tom and Ty sat down with the BalletBoyz, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt to discuss their latest venture into the world of dance film Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words and explore what it took to create this 'audacious first in contemporary film making'.