Saturday, 25 August 2018

Blame Robert Helpmann

"I got a letter from the Sadler's Wells Ballet School saying they found me temperamentally and physically unsuited to a career as a dancer. I suppose that knocked me back for a couple of days, but then I went to see The Red Shoes at the cinema and I was up on my toes again. Blame Robert Helpmann."
Farewell to one of the most influential people in British popular culture, Lindsay Kemp - the man who mentored David Bowie and taught Kate Bush to dance, studied art with David Hockney and mime with Marcel Marceau, appeared in The Wicker Man, Sebastiane and Velvet Goldmine, collaborated extensively with Spanish composer Carlos Miranda, lent his support to the ongoing campaigns against the "gentrification" of Soho, and co-ordinated productions of various operas across Italy (his adopted homeland, where he died).

A remarkable man. As another longtime collaborator David Haughton says: "He was one of a kind. There won't be another like him."

RIP Lindsay Kemp (3rd May 1938 – 24th August 2018)

Read my previous tribute to the great man, and his collaboration with Mr Bowie.


  1. I don't like clowns or mimes--I blame it on Stephen King's It and Cirque du Soleil and their creepy clowns/mimes.

    But I admire the work and talent that goes into creating a character. And Lindsay Kemp is certainly a hard worker and very talented individual who created masterful characters. I admire his spunk and resilient spirit, that he was able to live his dream and be himself, doing what makes him happy.

    Rest in Peace.

    1. I'm with you on the eternal creepiness of clowns and mimes - and those bloody "living statues" that just get in the way in Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square - but Mr Kemp was certainly a lot more than that, thank heavens! Jx

  2. Carlos was actually from Chile, and moved to Spain.

    1. Admittedly so; however, he started his career in Italy, and spent decades creating some of his major works in London before settling in Spain, where he had taken nationality decades previously. A child of the universe, one might say. Jx


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