Dance for All (DFA) will host a talk by renowned dancer and ballet teacher Dudley Tomlinson on Saturday, 9 June from 11:00 to 12:00 at the DFA studios in Athlone, Cape Town. There will also be a short performance by DFA’s InSPIRAtions Youth Company.
Tomlinson’s talk about his life will touch on his early childhood at Shingwedzi in the Kruger National Park and will focus mainly on his journey with dance, which started at the age of seven with ballet lessons in the small Karoo town of Somerset East, progressing into a career with the Royal Ballet in London. He rounded off his journey with an illustrious teaching career at what was then the UCT Ballet School in Rosebank in Cape Town, now known as the UCT School of Dance.
By the time Tomlinson and his mother moved to Cape Town when he was 15, he’d had a good grounding of ballet lessons with Ina de Wet. After an interview with Dulcie Howes, he began to take lessons at the UCT Ballet School and joined the UCT Ballet Company. He matriculated two years later and became a full-time student at the Ballet School. After completing the Teachers’ Course in two years, Tomlinson enrolled at the Royal Ballet School in London and was offered a contract with the Royal Ballet three months later. Following an injury, which necessitated two operations on his leg, he taught at the Royal Ballet School for some months and, in 1964, Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet, sent him to Turkey as Ballet Master to The Turkish National Ballet Company. After three years he returned to the Royal Ballet Touring Company as Assistant Ballet Master. The touring did not appeal to him, so he returned to UCT where he taught for the next 30 years.
During his career, Tomlinson was instrumental in training many dancers who have made a name for themselves in the world of ballet, including DFA’s CEO Philip Boyd, his CAPAB Ballet dance partner Nicolette Loxton, DFA teacher/choreographer Christopher Kindo, Johan Jooste, Daniel Rajna, Mark Hoskins, Mervyn Williams, Leanne Voysey, Catinka van Vlaanderen and Mandy Stober. He also taught Augustus van Heerden, principal dancer and then Ballet Master of New York’s Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as Laveen Naidu, now Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School. Tomlinson was especially known for his fine training of male dancers, a subject he will highlight in his talk.
Tomlinson retired in 1998 and has since then been teaching pilates, gyrotonic and gyrokineses at his studios in Wynberg, Cape Town.
This presentation is the second free event of 2012 for signed-up members of the Friends of DFA, a group of individuals who make a regular monthly or annual donation to DFA. However, anyone is welcome to attend and the entry fee of R50 may be paid at the door. There will be an opportunity to sign up to become a Friend of DFA on Saturday, 9 June at the event at 10 Aden Ave, Athlone, or sign up via the form on www.danceforall.co.za
For further information, please call 021 697 5509.