Memories: Garry Trinder

Director, New Zealand School of Dance

It is no easy task trying to summarise Peter Darrell.

That so many of the people whose lives he touched still mourn his loss is testament to the personal charisma of this creative artist. This may well be because of the nature of his work - Peter's choreography has a singular truth to it. In his finest works he successfully represented the brittle realities of the human condition. Within every step, and more especially in his flamboyant use of arms, the raw frailties, envies, jealousies, the passions of human nature would take on a metamorphosis, one he made universally transparent.

As a young dancer and embryonic choreographer with Scottish Ballet, Peter was my director, but even more than that he was my mentor. From him I learned the value of collaboration, the interdependency of drawing from different genres to create a fully rounded experience.

Today Darrell's legacy lives on. It exists through the creation of a choreographic award embracing Peter's staunch conviction that young choreographers need opportunity; and it lives on in those who worked alongside him. A day doesn't go by when I do not count myself fortunate to have worked with the artist, and to have known the man.