DANCING TO A SNAPPY, WARM AND ENGAGING RHYTHM - MARCH 30 - 1.08PM
Dame Darcey Bussell - Sheldonian Theatre - 12 noon
So at the time of writing this it’s 11.32am, the venue is the Sheldonian, and the speaker, Dame Darcey Bussell, who isn’t due to appear until midday, will doubtless be delighted to learn that almost every seat is full. Indeed, at this rate, by the time she arrives - 12 noon - it’ll doubtless have spilled out into the Weston Library across the street.
So why are so many here? Well, mainly I suppose because of three words - ‘Strictly Coming Dancing’ but of course it’d be a crime to overlook her huge cultural impact over the three decades before Saturday night’s TV ratings ‘first’ heralded her a star.
Yes, I could go through her extraordinary CV but frankly you’ll know it already; what you might not know however is that -
* she’s become ‘godmother’ to a cruise ship (doesn’t every young ballerina dream of such an honour?)
* Mary Berry’s spaniel is named after her
* So too is a rose
* And there’s a whole series of ‘Magic Ballerina’ books which bear her name
So today, not too surprisingly, she was here to talk about her new book ‘Evolved’ - a pictorial celebration of her career including rare and previously unseen photographs snapped by the likes of Lord Snowden, Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz (and very glossy it looks too, especially if coupled with a coffee table).
Interviewed by BBC journalist Nick Higham, who was the BBC’s first ever media correspondent, she was warm, engaging, astonishingly open, and very, very funny.
Best quote or quotes? “Dancers have their egos beaten out of them” which one hopes was purely metaphorical and “I wish I’d lost my temper more” which one assumes was rather more literal…
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