Henry St. Clair is the Artistic Director of Crystal Ballet, a digitally minded ballet company in London creating new works developed specifically for downloadable film. A former classical ballet dancer with years of live stage performance, it seems somehow contrary that Henry has joined forces with Managing Director, Mark Handford to use a modern medium for the company’s premier Genesis that appeals to a new and digitally minded audience. Yet, his gregarious enthusiasm, and artistic determination for his company and for the art, leave no one doubting that Crystal Ballet will soon be appearing regularly on portable devices and television screens across the globe. Standing on the frontline of the digital dance revolution, Henry’s story is sure to inspire us.
Henry’s journey begins in England. Born in Colchester, Henry was an avid fan of classical ballet from a very young age, and it was clear that this was to be his focus in life. After two years at the Legat School of Ballet in Kent, Henry joined The Royal Ballet Lower School in 1987 and then the Upper School in 1992. On graduation in 1995, he joined English National Ballet, performing a wide variety of roles. Henry later joined Theater Hof in Germany as Principal Dancer, dancing many of the major classical roles. In 2004, Henry joined The Royal Ballet Company, subsequently moving on to qualify as a physiotherapist, and more recently to gain a degree in Economics.
Favorite Quote: “From my brother: Every silver lining has a cloud. In other words you’ve got to strive for something and try really hard….but be wary of the pitfalls”
For the most part, with a few exceptions, ballet films have featured live performances filmed from an audience or side-stage vantage point, often with a live audience in attendance. The goal of these productions was primarily to capture and archive great dancers, choreography and performances. The quality of these productions often
vary and often feel “distant’. This is the first time ever that a collection of dance pieces have been created and filmed specifically for download to personal portable devices with the viewer in mind. Using strategic lighting and camera work, Genesis has the feel that you are not only part of the audience but a part of the performance as well. Watching each piece, we were as enthralled by the staging and moved by the stunning choreography.
Crystal Ballet’s first work, Genesis, unites some of the brightest stars of British ballet in a performance created by Olivier and Evening Standard award-winning choreographer Kim Brandstrup, and former Royal Ballet dancer Ernst Meisner. Featuring Sarah Lamb, Alina Cojocaru, and Steven McRae from The Royal Ballet, Esteban Berlanga, Daria Klimentová, Vadim Muntagirov, and Erina Takahashi from English National Ballet, and Johan Kobborg of Danish Royal Ballet, Genesis has been created especially for some of the most feted and talented dancers of our generation.
The appeal of Crystal Ballet is dual-layered. First, it provides ballet audiences around the globe with the opportunity to experience the artistry of dancers currently located in London. No more waiting for the company to tour to a city near you. Second, a night at the ballet featuring some of the world’s great dancers can cost $100, more or less. To download Genesis costs just over $20 to watch a quality, made-for-film production on your device, as many times as your heart desires, wherever you are. Ballet, has now become more accessible to a wide range of new audiences, raising the overall awareness and appreciation of the art itself.
Click Here to Order & Download Genesis
(Prices are quote in British pounds, converted by Paypal)
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