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Backstage insight with Director Matt Brady at Hatch House

UK - Matt Brady, director of The Covent Garden Dance Company, talked exclusively to Harlequin about the dance company, the Hatch House event and the eponymous Harlequin Stage.

With the 17th century Hatch House, located in deepest Wiltshire once again providing a rural setting for the CGDC’s sixth season of ‘International Stars of Ballet and Dance,’ it seemed a good time to ask how it all began. “Hatch House was born out of necessity and desire.” Matt explained. “ It was necessary to create a show that would raise enough funds to keep CGDC alive during the huge arts cuts and the desire to not give up on the dream of creating new and exciting work and engaging new audiences in dance.” Matt continued: “The Hatch House shows are unique in so many ways. But I would say that the most wonderful thing about them is the hugely loyal audience and the incredible artists who have taken a chance on coming and performing at Hatch.” Matt Brady has worked in various roles in staging events for television, film, theatre and dance for 25 years. “I love my job.” He says. “I get to create a world class event each summer at Hatch House and produce programmes that give not only young dancers and choreographers a chance to showcase their talents, but I also get to work with some of the greatest dancers in the world.”

Dancers are ‘loaned’ to CGDC from The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, Rambert, Paris Opera Ballet and many more great companies. “We have a duty of care to ensure that they do not get injured and that they feel confident to perform at their best without fear,” Matt tells us. At this point the conversation turns to the Harlequin Stage and specifically the Harlequin Liberty sprung dance floor. “Harlequin is the ‘Dom Pérignon’ of dance floors.” He asserts. “We knew we were going to be inviting the greatest dancers in the world to perform on the Harlequin Stage at Hatch House. We needed to make sure that they had the best floor and the Harlequin Liberty sprung floor was perfect for this,” Matt goes on to say.

Indeed, Matt has a great deal to say about Harlequin dance floors. When asked: “Are you pleased with your Harlequin floor?” his reply was: “No, we are not pleased, we are over the moon! We have used our Harlequin Liberty panel floor for five years now and it is still going strong after 50+ performance.” Before adding: “Brilliant. Simple and manageable system, durable, professional and easy to repair.” He has little hesitation in recommending Harlequin Floors and when asked how you could tell if a floor is good for dance Matt quipped: “It says Harlequin on it.”

Moving to the importance of a good dance floor, Matt Brady rated the right floor as “One of the most important things … No performance … No show.” And asked about quality and the impact and dancers’ health and performance, the answer was an emphatic: “Bad floor equals injury. Bad floor equals low confidence in the dancers. Bad floor equals bad attitude to the producer!” So summing up, what reaction has he had from the dancers? “We have a good reputation with the dancers. A lot of that is because of our dance floor.” 

27th August 2015

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