The Royal Ballet’s director has said that a dance company director claiming to have never worked with anorexics performer is “lying”.
The iconic Dame Monica Mason made her comments on both nutrition and eating disorders in the industryat the Dance UK conference, saying that while perhaps those involved in dancing were in denial in the past, anorexia is now a recognised problem and more can be done to help vulnerable young people suffering from the illness.
In July, Dame Monica will retire from her current role as the Royal Ballet’s director. Speakers who had their voice heard at the Nutrition and Disordered Eating Conference, attended by over 100 delegates, were dance and medical experts, with former dancer Kenneth Tharpe acting as chairman of the proceedings.
The conference was held earlier this week after professionals demanded that there be a public forum made for discussion. Tharpe, who is now heads a contemporary dance centre The Place, called for greater transparency on such issues as anorexia. He set the ball rolling at the conference by uttering ‘Let’s talk about it’,” at the very start.
Medical experts have repeatedly stressed the importance of dance organisations identifying staff that students can turn to. Following the conference, The National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (or NIDMS) was launched by Dance UK. NIDMS is a joint initiative between Birmingham Royal Ballet, the University of Wolverhampton, the University of Birmingham, Trinity Laban and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.