About Gavin Roebuck
Tue, 29th Jan 2008

Gavin Roebuck is a familiar face and name in the world of classical dance - as a manager, ballet teacher, and writer about the arts, a subject he knows so well.

First stepping on to the boards at the age of 12, at The Royal Festival Hall in The Nutcracker ballet, he had the unforgettable experience of appearing with London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) whose tradition was to select pupils from Arts Educational School, where he was a full time pupil and student. His family background his mother a doctor and his father then an MP in Harold Wilson's Labour government - gave him exposure to academics and politicians alike.

At 18 he joined Ballet-go Round, a touring company, for a year . Roebuck then went on to gain valuable experience, taking jobs backstage at London theatres and front of house. After a few months learning the nitty-gritty of theatre life, he gained a ballet contract in France. This was to be his learning curve, performing to a sophisticated audience, dancing in all the major ballets like Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, working the long hours required of all classical dancers, learning new repertoires in rapid succession. After several years, he returned to the UK, dancing in operas & ballets at The London Coliseum and The Royal Opera House. He appeared with many international stars like Janet Baker, Jose Carreras, Rudolf Nureyev, and Joan Sutherland.

Life as a dancer inevitably comes to an end at a relatively early age and many leave without a trace of what may have been an illustrious career. Teaching is the likeliest option where that vital link can be forged between past and present. This became especially significant when Roebuck met Laura Wilson, a member of the Diaghilev Ballets Russes. She was a direct link to that great era and was able to pass on memories and demonstrate her great knowledge of the Cecchetti method as taught by the great master himself. Gavin Roebuck went on to edit the English edition of the two volume text book Classical Dance.

Teaching still forms part of Gavin Roebuck's working life. From these many experiences gained through a lifetime of learning from such people, Roebuck has always explored new territory. He gained a B.Sc., is a consultant in the film & TV industry, and has found success as an arts journalist and critic and edited Audience Today magazine for some years. He also works with dance companies developing new business.

As an accomplished arts administrator he works with prestigious organisations involved in the arts and has developed a successful business in arts management, presentation and advertising.

Extract By Faye Pendle in Metro People.

Photo: Gavin Roebuck at the Paris Opera


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