Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Harlequin Floors returned to Trinity Laban this year (2015) to talk to Principal Anthony Bowne and Director of Dance Mirella Bartrip, to check out how the Harlequin floors had performed over 10 years since they were installed in the then new building.
Mirella Bartrip explained, “It was very, very important for us in this new building to have the very best floors. Harlequin was the name out there. That was our first choice…it is extremely important the floors are of the best quality. First of all they need to have the right degree of spring in them and that is something Harlequin are experts at. Secondly, the actual surface has to be one that isn’t slippery or too sticky. So that’s Harlequin for us.”
Mirella sums up, “They have worn excellently, the quality is really fantastic and they clean very well. Our floors have been used not just by our students, but by external users, dance companies and the floors have been absolutely terrific for all of that time.”
Professor Anthony Bowne, Principal, says in the interview, “When I hear the word Harlequin I think two things. Of course, I think dance floors, but I also think a committed partner. We have been very lucky to work with Harlequin over the years. We wanted the best dance floors. We demanded the best dance floors and Harlequin have supplied them and been a very good organisation to work with throughout that time.”
The Hong Kong Ballet
At The Hong Kong Ballet, one of Asia’s premier ballet companies, they choose a Harlequin Liberty sprung floor with Harlequin Reversible vinyl surface finish.
“We use Harlequin to give our dancers one of the most important foundations required to create a good performance - confidence. Whether in soft or pointe shoes, our dancers can focus on their performance knowing that the floor is reliable and has just the right amount of spring. A quality floor is the basis on which creativity and excellence in ballet begins.” Madeleine Onne, Artistic Director, The Hong Kong Ballet
The Bolshoi Ballet
When Italian designer Ezio Frigero produced his stunning set for the Bolshoi Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty, the Harlequin dance floor was an integral part of the concept. Using advanced wide format computer controlled printing techniques, the Bolshoi’s design was digitized for printing on rolls of customised white Harlequin Cascade, which was laid onto a Harlequin Liberty sprung floor.
Extensive testing and experimentation during the development of the technique ensured the surface characteristics - so important to professional dancers - were maintained, while ensuring adequate adhesion of the inks to withstand scuffing from ballet shoes.
When discussing the new floor at the Bolshoi Theatre, Sergei Filin, Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet said: “Harlequin floors are comfortable as soon as you stand on them. You can work for longer on them too. If you get tired after an hour on a different floor, you can work for two, three or four hours on a Harlequin floor.”
Melbourne City Ballet
“We formed Melbourne City Ballet about two years ago. Our goal was to create a new space for dancers and we wanted to create something different by getting out to the people, building interesting dance and creating a great space for dancers to enjoy and for the public to come and see.”
“We’ve tried to position ourselves slightly different to the other ballet companies around the country by offering more affordable ticket prices and going to theatres that they wouldn’t generally go to. We’ve captured a very different audience that possibly has never seen ballet before.”
When speaking about their Harlequin floors (Harlequin Studio and Harlequin Liberty®): “We chose the best product on the market and when they arrived we were able to dance comfortably and so many people have come into the space and said to us that the floors are by far the best in Melbourne and we really love to hear that.”
Michael Pappalardo, Artistic Director, Melbourne City Ballet (2015)