Letter from; Clover Roope received 23 September 2009
(Ed. Clover taught Contemporary Dance technique based on her studies in USA with Graham and Cunningham from 1964-66. Prior to this she was a soloist with Sadler's Wells Ballet and Western Theatre Ballet for whom she also choreographed various works. Returning to England in 1966 she joined Ballet Rambert as a dancer and teacher. She retired from dancing two years later to concentrate on her choreography and teaching, mainly at London School of Contemporary Dance, but also two days a week at Bush Davies.)
I was pleased to hear from you and to know you are documenting the history of Bush Davies. Noreen Bush created and ran a much respected school which I was pleased to be part of at that time. Nevertheless it was a tough 2 days, when I taught non-stop with no music, losing half-a-stone each week (quickly regained once home!). It was Paul who used to whisk me to the station to catch my train, sometimes Mr Leopold, I think.
The evenings and nights were grim, but saved by a TV – I stayed over in the Barn. Sometimes Paul would invite me for a drink which was much appreciated!
Also I remember some of the students vividly. Patricia Tierney especially. She later came to the Rambert School where she produced some good choreography and then went on to study notation at the Benesh Institute. She is, I believe, still the chief notator for Birmingham Royal Ballet and still contacts me at Christmas.
Of course Noreen Bush's mind was focussed very much on how dance was developing. She was willing to risk choreography, such as mine which she did not like, because she recognised that the students needed to have different dance challenges and performing experiences. I respected and admired her for this.
Indeed my time there was 'an experience'! Retrospectively, I realise, it was valuable in many ways – not least in sheer stamina! Of course I remember Joy Camden well also.
All the best with documenting the school and thank you for being in touch.
All good wishes to you and Paul.
(Ed . We don't have programmes for the 1960's but one work by Clover is listed in 1971(see Performance & Choreography page 8).
It is also interesting to note that Pat Whittock (Cannon) was choreographing in various modern styles at the same time.)
Back Memories index
Back Bush Telegraph