Looking back I have so many fond memories of Rambert School and my London life
Boston Gallacher graduated in 2016 and now dances with NDT2, he has most recently been nominated for a Piket Art Prize. See his full bio on the alumni page here.
When did you first start dancing?
I started dancing aged 9 in my mum’s after school classes that quickly progressed to a Junior Associates programme with Scottish Ballet. Then I went on to train at The Dance School of Scotland which gave me a solid foundation in ballet but left me wanting to learn more about contemporary dance.
When were you first introduced to contemporary dance?
In 2010, in Glasgow, I saw Rambert Company perform Itzik Galili’s A Linha Curva, which I would later perform with the company. As well as Nederlands Dans Theater 2 at the Edinburgh Festival performing a programme including Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, that really put NDT2 on the map for me.
What memories do you have of your time at Rambert School?
Looking back I have so many fond memories of school and my London life, but the student choreographic showings stick out to me. Twice a year the students choreograph short pieces of work for an end of term show. It’s a really incredible experience to get to create with your friends and learn from peers in an environment that doesn’t hold some above others. Seeing your own creation through a life cycle gives you the experience to make decisions and compromises about choreography that is a valuable skill to develop for your future life as a professional artist. Richmond, being just outside of London is a genuinely gorgeous borough and in the Summer it is so perfect to sit on the green or by the river. As the years progressed it started to feel like home.
What do you think makes Rambert School special?
There is a quality Rambert School has that struck me from the first time I stepped through the wooden arch. I felt a sense of independence that was unique to Rambert. You enter as an individual dance artist and it’s up to you to carve out your path. It’s such a supportive school, every day I felt I was cultivating my individuality while learning skills that would help me find a job. The balance of contemporary and ballet is so important to maintaining and building dance technique as well as pushing yourself into movement patterns and thinking that feel less natural. I remember feeling so artistically fulfilled and I felt pushed in every class.
How did the training at Rambert School prepare you for a successful career as a dancer?
What I’ve realised is that Rambert School gave me a really amazing preparation for the actual daily life of a professional dancer in a company. My day at work consists of a ballet class followed by rehearsal of existing repertoire and new creation processes with choreographers in many contrasting styles of movement and working techniques. At school you could have pas de deux class then improvisation and Graham technique followed by your own rehearsal, so I feel the varied timetable then prepared me for my life now. Also Rambert Schol has a philosophy of your training being in your own hands, that is to say that it is your own responsibility to come to class, make the best out of the experience, choreograph work, get involved in the London dance scene. It’s still a supportive environment but this independence is great preparation for life as a professional.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist with NDT2?
Working in a company where everyone is the same age as you is a special experience and it almost feels like an extension of school. Obviously there’s a lot of differences, but just as in school there’s so much to learn from my NDT2 colleagues, who’s collective credits after a couple of years in the company are astounding. Every member of the company is individually incredible and witnessing them create such beautiful work every day is inspiring. NDT is a machine, and although that may seem intimidating, when you’re inside it it feels like a family. Working for a company like NDT means I get to witness some of the most creative and talented people in the world beyond dance. Every aspect from the music, lighting, costumes, photography, filming is considered and working inside this environment is so intense and satisfying.
What are you working on currently?
The season includes Netherlands and International tours with a mix of existing repetoire and new creations. At the moment we are preparing around 8 different pieces and it’s a challenge to undertake that much work but it’s also very rewarding. I think of Rambert School and the people I met there often and I look forward to visiting.