The Heroine’s Journey of Dora Frankel

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The best part is doing it i.e. creating it and working with others and then getting surprising and wonderful responses from the dancers and the audience.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? There’s no such thing as perfect happiness but close is being in the dance studio or theatre with a like-minded team feeling the work emerge as we strive towards a common goal. And then watching my work being performed knowing the company have nailed it or being on stage knowing I’ve nailed it!

What is my greatest fear? Not being around long enough…

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Anxiety

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Tamara Rojo and Liz Aggiss

What is my greatest extravagance? Travel

On what occasion would I lie? After seeing a friend’s work if it’s rubbish

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Too much administration and of –course allowing myself to get stuck in it or stressed by it.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? In the dance studio – many times. Certainly in Ballet Rambert during rehearsals of Glen Tetley’s work particularly Embrace Tiger and Return to Mountain. Also at Angereds’ Gymnasium, Gothenburg where I was Head of Dance there were many happy hours creating, teaching, developing and watching shows.

If I could, what would I change about myself? Not sureto be honest

What is my greatest achievement in work? Surviving illness and setbacks and then specifically probably the formation of early career dance company Fertile Ground

Where would I most like to live? Somewhere in Europe with 3 months a year in Japan. (mind you Newcastle is OK!)

What is my most treasured possession? My life and my child, who of – course is not a possession. My memories.

What is my most marked characteristic? Guts

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? In Newcastle where I live its’ probably the view down Dean St with Newcastle Theatre Royal behind me on Grey St and the sweep of Dean St down to the old Quayside

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Journey Café, close to Laing Gallery. It serves simple, outstanding food and drink thoughtfully and shares the space with a bike repair shop.

What books influenced my life and how? My Life by Isadora Duncan, Vaslav Nijinsky’s Diary, art books such as John Berger’s Ways of Seeing

Who are my favorite writers? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Aravind Adiga, Mary Gaskell

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Stravinsky – probably the Wedding at the end of The Firebird and of –course Rite of Spring and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. Janacek’s Sinfonietta and Rautavaara’s Canticus Arcticus

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? The little nightingale in Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Michelle Obama, my mum, Emma, Nick Andersson headteacher, Bede Community Primary School bringing dance to his pupils against all the odds

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Moonlight

What role plays art in my life and work? The arts in all its’ forms plays a massive part in my life but particularly music and visual art.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I don’t know!

Whom would I like to work with in 2019? The creative team of Touch the Beast, my most recent project. WWW.DORAFRANKELDANCEARTIST.COM

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019? Tamara Rojo

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on? Touch the Beast, a dance film and short performance I created last month and will be further developing over this year.

Where can you see me or my work? In Newcastle and in London, Sweden and SE England

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? They mean that I just keep on bashing on!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Liz Aggiss, Nazli Tabatabai Khatambakhsh, Claire Webster Saaremets

How can you contact me?

Links to my work 


This article, first published in the Autumn-Winter 2018/19 edition of Animated magazine, is reproduced by permission of People Dancing. All Rights Reserved. See for more information. 2018

Here you can see some videoclips of my work

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