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About the Change

 Kristen McNally

Kristen McNally, the Royal Ballet Soloist and Choreographer, has just created a piece, live, at the Apple Store in Covent Garden - here's a debrief on what happened...

Kristen McNally in the studio
© the ballet bag

Kristen's blog and favourite images of the Apple Store event

Kanye West - 'Runaway' on YouTube

Kristen McNally and dancers at the Covent Garden Apple Store
Gallery of 30 images

Kristen McNally on
Interview, June 2010
Interview, February 2003
McNally in reviews

RB reviews

Take5 Interview
5 Questions, 5 mins - A mini interview about something specific... Discuss this iv

Q1 How did you come to be performing/creating in a computer store - is it true you are the love child of Steve Jobs?!

I thought I was but I wrote to him and asked if I was eligible for a free iPad for my 'Kristen does Kanye at The Apple Store' artistic contribution to his empire and I'm still waiting to hear!
(For a slightly more serious take on how this came to be see Kristen's recent blog entry)

Q2 Why Kanye West and did I hear some Kings of Leon in there?

No Kings of Leon as such but I did use a bit of Mozart's Requiem. This features in Kanye's short music film 'Runaway' and is also what Kings of Leon walk onto the stage to at every concert. The association of that piece of music and the Kings makes me love it even more. I hoped that in using Kanye's album which culturally the majority of customers in the Apple Store would be more familiar with, would help them see ballet in a more exciting accessible way!

Q3 It was rapturously received - how did it go from your perspective?

After stressing over it for weeks, I was blown away. Amazingly the pressure forced me to do things out of my comfort zone and I was shocked at what was achieved. In the past I have always gone into the studio with steps and phrases of movement I've made up beforehand in my living room! I've never trusted myself to create on the spot. One of the key elements of the event was to choreograph interactively with the audience, they were drawing things on the iPad, finding images and then I had use it for inspiration right there in front of thie eyes! Someone was watching over me because ridiculous things that shouldn't have worked actually did and we had a 10 minute piece by the end!


Thomas Whitehead in the Apple Store
© Dave Morgan
Click image for larger version, or one that fills the browser window

Q4 Performances of the finished piece on 26 and 27th April - will you change any of what you created in the Apple Store or will you hold to the faith of instant creation?

I had planned to make a new piece over the next two weeks for Draft Works, but after seeing the final showing of what we made on Saturday I'm beginning to think it would be a shame and quite frankly silly not to use it! We shall see! If I do use it then yes I'd definitely get it back in the studio and tweak! (RB press release about the Apple Store event and Draft Works).

Q5 What next?

I'm expecting Kanye to call me up either tonight or tomorrow with flight details and passes to perform with him at Coachella this weekend!


Yasmine Naghdi & Ryoichi Hirano in the Apple Store
© Dave Morgan
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