|Damien Johnson in the Linbury, bar after the show 14 Feb 2015|
Author Jane Lambert
(c) 2015 Jane Lambert: all rights reserved
One of the most exciting dancers on the British stage right now is Damien Johnson of Ballet Black. Just now he is at home in the United States having spent a short spell in Bermuda but he will be back in London at the end of September to perform in Ballet Black's Triple Bill at the Millfield Arts Centre in Edmonton. He will also dance with the company in Newcastle, Leeds, Glasgow, Doncaster, Exeter, Watford, Harlow and Lichfield.
David Murley reviewed the production in Ballet Black in the Barbican on 22 March 2016 and I reviewed it when it came to The Lowry on 19 June 2016 in Ballet Black made my Manchester Day 20 June 2016. In my humble opinion it is the best show that I have ever seen the company do but with works by Christopher Hampson, Christopher Marney and Arthur Pita how could it be otherwise. At Ballet Black's First Friends' Event I was lucky enough to watch Marney work with Johnson and Isabela Coracy as well as Jacob Wye and Sayaka Ichikawa. To watch a genius (not my word but Sir Matthew Bourne's when tweeting about Marney but an opinion that I heartily share) at work with four of the most talented dancers I know was a rare delight.
I am prompted to write about Johnson again because he has just posted the following message on Facebook
"Hey everyone, check out my website... Someone special made it for me 💚😘"I did his bidding. I visited his website at http://damienjohnsonballet.com/ and I am very impressed. The website summarizes his history. I had no idea that he had worked with Dance Theatre of Harlem. I loved that company when they visited London in the early 1970s and I wish they would return. There are some great photos of him as well as a video of a rehearsal at The Barbican. Johnson teachers and there is a contact form for those who wish to engage him.
I am sure my readers will join me in wishing him a very pleasant holiday in the United States and a safe journey back to the UK. I shall be in the audience at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds and the Cast in Doncaster.