When I met Woytek Lowkski in the late 80s/early 90s there wasn’t a ballet star around that didn’t adore and revere him. Fluent in English, Polish, Russian, French (and Italian?), a graduate of the Vaganova Academy, dancer with Béjart , and an enthusiastic connoisseur of all kinds of culture from opera to The Golden Girls, he was intelligent, kind, funny, learned, sensitive – you name it, he had it. Like many central Europeans I’ve known, he had an integrity and honour that saw straight through pretension and dishonesty, and respected talent and hard work. I didn’t realise at the time that the world wasn’t full of Woyteks – I thought every ballet company had one. It was only when he died, far too young, in 1995, that I realised how fortunate I had been to work with him so closely.
As a dance musician, hardly a day goes past when I don’t call on the wisdom & inspiration of some of the fantastic people I’ve known & worked with in the last 20 years in the dance world. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing web-tributes/appreciations of some of these people for ages, as a way of both giving thanks, and also redressing the epistemological balance. So here it is, my Advent 2005 calendar of dance inspirations.
They’re in no particular order, some will be 2 lines long, others 200. I’m sure it won’t be a definitive list, and of course, it’s a very personal one.