Darshan Singh Bhuller workshop

Darshan Singh Bhuller workshop

This photograph shows Darshan Singh Bhuller working with boys at Harehills Middle School in his hometown, Leeds. Bhuller shot to fame as a dancer and choreographer with London Contemporary Dance Theatre. His energy, athleticism, and beautiful line (the shape made by the body) made him one of the most exciting performers of the 1980s and 1990s. In 2002 he returned to Leeds to direct Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Harehills is unique in being the only comprehensive school to give birth to a dance company. Dance was part of the normal curriculum and, through their extraordinary teacher Nadine Senior, boys came to see that dance was far from 'cissy'. So many promising boys emerged that Phoenix Dance Company was formed in 1981. It was chance, not design, that, with so many boys coming from African or Asian families, the original members of the company were black. The photograph captures the energy and style that gives Phoenix Dance Theatre, as it is now known, its particular excitement.