“Georgina Parkinson: A Dancer in Her Time / Making the Blueprint” is from the Document(s) series, a library of commentary on people and issues in the dance field. This repository of essays includes interviews by writers and thinkers on dance, as well as “dance discursions,” which offer opportunities for reflection on the field of dance commissioned by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
For the dancer, learning a role is more than simply memorizing a series of steps, particularly in the realm of ballet where dances are frequently restaged long after the choreographer has died. Individual coaching and mentoring is essential to the interpretation of a role. Ballet répétiteurs work one-on-one with dance artists to articulate and find the essence of a character or particular portrayal that becomes distinctive to their physicality. This article, along with “Patricia Ruanne: A Conversation with a Ballet Répétiteur” and “Julie Lincoln, Répétiteur: Inhabiting the Bodies of Others,” offers a glimpse into the life of an influential woman who inhabited this role.
From the article:
“A former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London, Parkinson was steeped in a particular ballet legacy that shaped her identity as a performer. Her mature artistry was cultivated within a specific lineage commonly referred to as the ‘Royal’ style. Moreover, Parkinson came of age and flourished as a dancer as part of a generation, circa 1955–75, that marked a golden era in British ballet history. Yet the traditions that raised her did not limit her as she entered her second career as a coach and regisseur. To the contrary, they gave her a solid foundation from which to embrace change wholeheartedly.”