|Waltzing with Victoria|
Jack devised ballroom scene in North End Road
Fulham choreographer and dance teacher Jack Murphy is
the man behind one of the most sumptuous set pieces in
the new film The Young Victoria.
And Jack, 46, reveals that the stunning ballroom scene
began life in the rather less glamorous surroundings of
North End Road.
" I taught the stars, Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend to waltz
in Fulham's Dance Attic Studios," says Jack, who was born in Fulham and attended the London Oratory School as a boy.
" Emily was unavailable for the first rehearsal, so Rupert attended alone. He was so excited by the prospect of dancing in a film as he had so enjoyed studying historical dance at drama school.
" Emily's first rehearsal was also alone and within seconds she had me falling around in fits of laughter - she is without doubt one of the funniest actresses I've ever worked with and thankfully also full of rhythm and grace.
" Finally Emily and Rupert were available to rehearse and it was clear within minutes we had the possibility of something rather special.
" We never at any time treated the dance as a historical element. We wanted to keep it vital and alive and connected to the actors' strengths. Any step was simply there to support the intention of the characters. We were aware that by the end of the dance we should have learned something new about the characters."
In Victorian times, the waltz was considered rather shocking as the couple were dancing face to face in what was then regarded as a public display of intimacy.
Jack has had extensive experience working in theatre, film and TV and has worked with many stars, including James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, who rehearsed with him at the Dance Attic for the film Sylvia.
For him, working at the studios is going back to his roots. " I remember when the building housed Fulham swimming baths, and I used to swim as a boy in the local team," he says.
" I never dreamed that one day I would be dancing there with film stars."
As well as his film work, Jack also runs four week courses at Dance Attic in Ballroom and Latin American. The next courses will be running in April.
The Young Victoria opens in cinemas this weekend, including the Vue Cinema at Fulham Broadway.
22nd April 2009