The photograph shows Dan holding a copy of Studio Series Intuitions Vol. 3: he’s the person in the picture on the front, and is currently the new face of all the Intuitions CDs produced by the RAD. I had no idea this was going to happen – I just suggested that they redesigned, and the next thing I know is, there’s my best mate Dan on the front. Spooky: we were on tour in Brazil back in 1992/3, just after Dan joined ENB; we had one day in Sao Paolo to look around, and Dan and I spent most of it looking round a market and talking. We’ve been friends ever since, and music has played an enormous part in that, so it’s amazingly appropriate that they should have chosen that image.
Dan’s a talented musician, and one of that formidable year at the Royal Ballet School that included Christopher Hampson, Chistopher Wheeldon, David Fielding and Daniel himself. Like the rest of them, he studied Dalcroze eurhythmics with the extraordinary Karin Greenhead (who may one day be seen as one of the great facilitators of late 20th century choreography) and – as I’ve discovered in our collaborations – can beat me hands down at rhythmic complexity. In one incident, when we were collaborating on a project for the Royal College of Art, Dan conducted me effortlessly & expressively in a polyrhythmic piece of our own making where I couldn’t count or keep time to save my life.
We’ve done loads of things together, including some fantastic music for Little Magic Train. We share a fascination with weird musical instruments, and have quite a collection between us. He’s also the inspiration behind Dan the Man, a piece written for an assessment exercise for the Benesh Institute, which came about because I saw Dan mark a grand battement exercise, and gave one of the funniest audio-visual aids to classic march music that I’ve ever seen. I was very proud to be involved as a musician on Dan’s film Men in Tights. We collaborated on a piece called And Finally… which was shown at the Linbury Theatre in 2003. More than any of all this, he’s been a constant friend. There’s such a thing, I believe, as a talent for friendship, and he has it in spades.
Did I mention, by the way, that I had just beaten Dan at bowling when the picture above was taken?