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David Fielding
1973 – 2008

by Christopher Hampson



© LCB

There will be a memorial service to celebrate the life of David at St. Paul’s Church, (The Actors’ Church) Covent Garden on 14 November 3pm. Donations can be made to the East Cheshire Hospice:
www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk

David Fielding website

2006 Interview



David Fielding was born in Buckinghamshire in 1973. He attended both Royal Ballet Schools and in his first year at White Lodge he choreographed a humorous ballet to Paul McCartney’s The Frog Chorus! In 1990, the inaugural year of the Sir Kenneth MacMillan Choreographic Competition, David received first prize from Sir Kenneth himself and went on to gain awards in the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition at the Upper School.

On graduating from RBS, David danced initially with Birmingham Royal Ballet, however the majority of his dancing career was spent with the National Ballet of Portugal in Lisbon, where he performed many roles including the Dancing Master in Michael Corder’s Cinderella.

David avidly pursued his choreographic career whilst in Lisbon, creating five ballets for the National Ballet there. He also produced works for Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company, Madeira Ballet Company and the Cultural Centre of Belem. In 2001 he was invited to participate in the New York Choreographic Institute’s fall season. After close to a decade based in Lisbon, David felt the need to establish himself more firmly on the international stage. This necessitated a move back to London, even though this would mean leaving behind a life in Portugal that was full of close friendships and strong ties with the dance scene in Lisbon.

Once in London, David set about building up his contact base and re-establishing himself in the UK’s choreographic community. He was invited to create works for English National Ballet School, ROH2, Ballet Central, Bird College, Millenium Dance, London Studio Centre Images of Dance, Ballet X in Philadelphia and, in what turned out to be a fruitful collaboration, London Children’s Ballet. Here David found a new string to his choreographic bow. Along with the support of the Artistic Director of LCB, Lucille Briance, and his former choreographic tutor, David Drew, he developed original, full-length, narrative works on children aged from nine years to sixteen years old. Working with this age group drew on David’s natural abilities of creating with humour and spontaneity. The first production for LCB in 2005 was The Canterville Ghost, described by the Dancing Times as having “…exactly the right mood, somewhere between darkly mysterious and hilariously funny”. The following year David created The Scarlet Pimpernel and once again the critics and audiences alike fell for the brilliantly-paced humour and the moving, original choreography that he had created for the young dancers.

 


David Fielding with some of the children from the London Children's Ballet involved in The Scarlet Pimpernel
© London Children's Ballet

In 2007 he won the 2007 Rayne Fellowship for Choreographers. The same year David choreographed Blood and Flesh for New English Contemporary Ballet, a powerful work with a serious content hailed a “landmark piece”.

David had been working with the Royal Opera House Education Department for several years and recently created Carnival, a romp of a ballet for their Chance to Dance project.

David’s last creation, made this year, was entitled History of Ballet, a wonderfully-crafted work which brought together students from the RBS (White Lodge) and state schools. By the time of the premiere in late April, David had been diagnosed with cancer, but he continued to rehearse and enthuse the cast as much as his time and energy would allow. In July, David moved to his parents’ home in Cheshire where he kept in touch with friends and colleagues by phone and texts. David died peacefully on July 29th 2008.

In life, David was many things to many people: a talented choreographer, delightful workmate, trustworthy friend, an uncle, a brother and a son. Through his ballets and work with the London Children’s Ballet, ROH Education and RBS Education Departments, he had become a creative inspiration and supporter to the next generation of dancers in the UK.

There will be a memorial service to celebrate the life of David at St. Paul’s Church (The Actors’ Church), Covent Garden on November 14th at 3pm. Donations can be made to the East Cheshire Hospice. www.eastcheshirehospice.org.uk


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