Matthew Carey



I arrived in London by train after leaving my mother in Paris to catch her flight back to Australia, there were some tears as we parted but we both knew this day would come and they were more tears of excitement than nerves, the train pulled into Kings Cross and immediately I was very nervous but also excited.

My mother and I had been touring around Europe for a month auditioning for different dance companies, my final audition was in Nice Côte d’Azur in the south of France where I successfully made it through to the final round and was offered a six month contract with the company.

So arriving in London already knowing what the future holds for at least a short period of time was very gratifying. For the first week of my stay in London I stayed with some friends of my mothers from high school who haven’t seen each other in years. I was extremely appreciative for letting me stay but also for showing me around London. I was able to familiarize myself with the city and underground with a friend who knew London, so it wasn’t nearly as difficult to manage.

Whilst in London I did class at Pineapple dance studios in Covent Garden everyday and also occasionally went to Dance Works, which is at the top of Oxford St.

To begin with I was changing teachers to find which class I enjoyed the most and found a perfect one everyday at 12 with Roland Price an Australian who migrated to London. He had a lot of experience and knowledge from his time as Principle Artist with the Royal Ballet. His classes were very well structured and always had a theme for which you could work on, which I find very helpful. He took quite in interest in me, which I was very flattered about, he really pushed me every day to improve so starting in my new ballet company would be a breeze. I found Pineapple Dance Studios an incredible place, hardly a day went by when there wasn’t an audition for some show or cruise line.

The people that live in London really don’t know how lucky they are to have the opportunities that they do on their doorstep everyday, it made me upset knowing of the artists in Australia that wish for these opportunities but due to circumstances are unable to take them.

This is where the Award really helps, also saying that, it makes Australians work that much harder knowing that opportunities are slim and far between, so you really have to go for it with everything as opposed to knowing there is another audition tomorrow.

A friend gave me a Top 10 book of things to do in London before I left, I did the entire book I think. One of my highlights was The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, which has to be one of the most amazing days I have ever had.

I am a very large Sir David Attenborough fan and have had the privilege of meeting him in person one on one, which was just incredible. He released a documentary on the Royal Botanic Gardens which I have watched, so when I got there I already knew so much about the gardens but was able to experience it in the flash instead of on my television screen.

I enjoyed Westminster Abbey very much as well, I thought the History in the building was just incredible, the sheer size and grandeur was awe-inspiring.
I went to The Tate Gallery, The Tate Modern, The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, The Science Museum, The British Museum, The Museum of London, The Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum so I kept myself busy.

I really wanted this trip to be about so many things and not just ballet I really wanted to learn and see things that haven’t been possible to me in Australia. For example to see the original Rosetta Stone in the British Museum, the stone that helped us translate the Egyptian Hieroglyphics was something that I will always treasure. I have to say I was much more impressed with London’s Museums than its Art Galleries.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see as many shows as I had hoped, but because of money troubles I thought it best not to go. The Royal Ballet was performing John Cranko’s Onegin, which is a Ballet that I have always wanted to see but it was sold out and the tickets that were available were far too expensive which was a shame. I did manage to see the Musical Wicked which was very fun, it wasn’t as good as the Australian cast that I saw twice in Melbourne but still a very enjoyable show, with music by Stephen Schwartz how could it not be good. I also saw a play by theatre ‘magician’ Robert Lepage, I had never seen any of his work before but knew of it and have always wanted to be apart of the audiences experience. He created an incredible work with Sylvie Guillem and Russel Maliphant, which I would have died to see but unfortunately never toured to Australia and he also has done works for Cirque du Soleil. It was a very interesting show played in the Round House theatre, I went with my Mothers friend Renee and she see’s a lot of theatre so that was a great experience the show was called Playing Cards: 1. We also went and saw Rolf Harris perform on the South Bank, which was very fun. I met at the performance the woman who put the show on who is also a friend of my Mothers, Wendy Martin. She is the Head of Dance and Performance at the Southbank Centre so a very good contact for me to have.

I made many friends in London and also got to see some old friends that are now living there. I made new friends from Pineapple Dance Studios who showed me around London a little bit, I also made friends in fashion, musical theatre and lighting and design. Each person made my stay in London a little different and a little more enjoyable.

On the whole I had an incredible time in London and cannot wait to return although I feel that I saw so much and did so much that I wouldn’t know what to do if I returned.

I would like the thank the BBM Society for giving me this opportunity because my time in London really opened my eyes in so many ways which is what I was hoping for, London has an incredible dance society but it also has so much history and culture which I really wanted to explore, I had the time to do all of this and will forever be changed because of my time in London so thank you very much once again.

Kindest Regards,

Matthew Carey

Ballet 2012/13

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