Kristen McNally is a soloist at the Royal Ballet, and has been frequently described as the most exciting, freshest and cutting-edge choreographer in ballet, striving to use pop music and cultural references to make her "indie ballet" choreography more accessible.

In March 2011, as part of Move It's 'Ballet Rocks' programme, she presented a Tarantino-influenced solo she had choreographed on Thomas Whitehead, 'Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Game', and in April 2011 she created a new piece to Kanye West's latest album - at the Apple Store in Covent Garden, with assistance from the audience.


'Don't Blame the Player, Blame The Game'

"I made this piece last year for The Royal Ballet's 'New Works' programme on soloist Thomas Whitehead. It was based on my interest in the Stanford prison experiment and our nature to conform to a perceived ideal. As always it ended up a million miles from this!

I'm very excited to be reworking the solo for Tommy who is a master in dance styles unfamiliar to me. It's been a challenge and I hope I can do him and the piece justice."

The Ballet Bag described the piece as: "Dressed in a stylish black suit and skinny tie, Whitehead immediately transported me to Quentin Tarantino territory. He fidgets about like Mr. Pink, the self-doubting neurotic gangster in Reservoir Dogs and his stage persona also had a dash of  Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega. To the sound of 30 Seconds to Mars combined with bits of Morricone & etc., Whitehead moves and questions his identity and environment, like a fish out of water lost in a night out at Camden’s Barfly. Three vixen-like women come by in their high heels breaking our antihero with Swan Lake-arms but no Pas de Deux. This was refreshing, creative, well danced, well characterized."

Choreographed by Kristen McNally
Dancer Tommy Franzén
Photos taken by Chantal Guevara for The Ballet Bag


website: www.ballet.co.uk/weblogs/kristenmcnally