More memories

Peter Cazalet

"I remember doing Prisoners very well, it is ingrained even after all these years. It was a real test of a ballet. Not that it required any great technique, no difficult steps, just emotional commitment. Even when playing a village hall we'd psych ourselves up and plunge into it. The choreography and music so knitted together that time seems suspended and at the end we'd be wrung dry but exhilarated."

Sir Anthony Dowell

Artistic Director, The Royal Ballet

"In rehearsal, Peter gave me great freedom to make the role in Scarlet Pastorale my own as it had been originally created for another dancer. The performance remains as one of the highlights of my career memories and I was sorry that as it was a one-off Gala appearance there was only one opportunity to appear in the ballet."

Stuart Hopps

"As Director of Scottish Ballet's Movable Workshop and an emerging choreographer myself, watching Peter work in the early seventies was such a privilege. His method: sculptural approach to the body, ability to draw out what he wanted from the dancer; musicality and creative skills were truly inspirational - I learnt so much."

Ashley Killar

Director, Ecole Classique, Sydney

"I joined Western Theatre Ballet from Stuttgart Ballet and consider myself tremendously fortunate to have had John Cranko and Peter as my first directors. Both men shared a genuine wish to promote new choreographers and, significantly, both managed to forge with almost all their dancers working relationships which created tremendous loyalty and artistically fruitful teamwork.Three or four years ago I was delighted to read in an American review, that one of my ballets had the stamp of Peter Darrell's influence. This is true, and his example is being emulated by many of us around the world."

Harold King

Artistic Director, City Ballet of London

"Soon after forming The London City Ballet in 1978 I approached Peter Darrell to ask if he would be kind enough to sell us his production of Othello for a nominal fee. He agreed but to my surprise he refused to be paid and staged the production himself. His encouragement and generosity astounded me. He also gave me my first opportunities to choreograph for The Scottish Ballet. I am proud to be one of the founder members of his Company."

Brenda Last

"My memory of Wedding Present is Peter's manner which was one of quiet excitement and one felt something special was being created during the rehearsals on tour. Dealing with people's sexuality, it was a dramatic piece of theatrical realism with wonderfully challenging roles for Laverne Meyer and myself."

Elaine McDonald

"Peter always gave you the feeling that you, as a dancer, had been the greatest contributor to the creation of a ballet, and he made you believe you could do anything that was asked of you; to wear a huge body made of birdseed in Herodias; climb a near vertical staircase to have your head chopped off in Mary Queen of Scots or, to balance on point whilst falling in love with the Prince in Cinderella.

"I especially remember that, at the end of the creation of Five Rückert Songs none of us who were involved felt the need for stage, costumes or even audience to bring a sense of fulfilment. The fulfilment had been in the making. Maybe this is why, after twenty-one years, Peter's ballets, like the words in a book, can still live today for both dancers and audience."

Deirdre O'Donohoe

"How fortunate we all were ... those of us who knew Peter, learned from him and worked with him. In later years I was to realise how much he had taught me and given me. He was a man from whom we received encouragement and enthusiasm. I'll never forget Peter, and I miss him greatly."

Domy Reiter-Soffer

"Having been a dancer with Western Theatre Ballet for three years, and the first season with Scottish Theatre Ballet, I worked closely with the late Peter Darrell and danced in many of his ballets. His influence on my career as a dancer and later as a choreographer was immense. His artistic vision in tackling interesting music and ballet subjects, was very daring and exciting. He made an impact on all those dancers who worked with him and of course the audiences. His influence on British Ballet was enormous. He is greatly missed."

Patricia Rianne

"Herodias with its lavish costumes and use of the spoken word was more about the realisation of a theatrical concept than it was about steps - Peter the producer was equally inspiring as Peter the choreographer."

Peter Royston

Director of Dance, Northern College of Education, Dundee

"I have an enormous amount to thank Peter for. He encouraged my choreographic development at every juncture. I certainly wouldn't be doing what I am now if it wasn't for him. He was so often right. He once told me I should get on with it or I would be fat and forty before I knew it and I am! That sounds silly but it did make me realise that I should grasp the nettle. I feel honoured to have been part of Peter Darrell's era and for him to feel that I had something worth consideration."

Donna-Day Washington

"Peter seized the moment."