British dancer and choreographer Les Child has worked with the Rolling Stones, Alexander McQueen, Boy George and Tim Walker – here, he talks about the man who inspired him to dance
This article is taken from the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of AnOther Magazine:
“In 1976, I saw this performance by William Louther, when he was artistic director of the Welsh Dance Theatre. He had previously danced with Martha Graham, and Alvin Ailey, who had choreographed this solo for him, Hermit Songs. It took me elsewhere. Louther was very lithe, with a trembling attitude. At one point he pulled his costume down around his waist in a big ruffle of fabric and did second arabesque position with his leg right up in the air. I knew then that dance was what I wanted to do. Louther was a very elegant man, dark skinned and incredibly intelligent – a philosopher. Later he taught me contemporary dance at Rambert School of Ballet in London. He always likened things to philosophy, especially the mythological demon Lilith – ‘Allow Lilith in!’ He died to no fanfare – there’s very little written about him – but he danced like no one else.”
During his four-decade career, the British dancer and choreographer Les Child has infused countless fashion editorials, runways, films and performances with the grace and artistry of dance. Having trained and toured with the Lindsay Kemp Company, Child went on to dance for groundbreaking troupes including the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and the Michael Clark Company. In the late 1980s, he brought ballroom to Britain, founding the country’s first vogue group, House of Child. As a choreographer, Child has worked with artists as feted and varied as Eartha Kitt, Boy George and the Rolling Stones, while as a fashion movement director – a role he essentially created – he has been involved with shows and shoots for such innovators as Alexander McQueen, Miuccia Prada, Patrick Demarchelier and Tim Walker, giving breath to imagery through movement.
Grooming: Roxy Attard at Future Rep using DAVINES. Photographic assistant: Federico Covarelli