interview: Gary Harris
The new artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet tells Sally Christian for Dance Gazette (RAD) about his varied and sometimes painful career.
Gary Harris has worked all over the world as dancer, teacher, notator, repetiteur and designer. In September 2001, he became the artistic director with the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB). When we met in mid-November 2001, he had just finished the set and costume design for a work choreographed by Christopher Hampson. Set to Poulenc’s Double Piano Concerto, this will be staged in Manchester and London as part of the English National Ballet season.
For a man who has achieved so much, Gary Harris is unassuming. He is relaxed, very friendly and happy to answer any questions. He talks energetically and passionately about how dance, design and theatre have always interested him. Following a stint at stage school, he began his training at the Arts Educational at the age of sixteen and then went on to study at The Royal Ballet Schools. He joined the London Festival Ballet (now the English National Ballet) in 1978 and was one of the company’s leading dancers until his departure in 1985, when he turned his interests to teaching. click for more