Richard, our Terpsichorean Delight: TAE Word for the Day


I know many of you have seen the above video clip before, but it never hurts to be reminded of Mr. A’s dancing background. This was from the Cats rehearsal at the New London Theatre in the West End in 1994, back in Richard Armitage‘s musical theatre days.

I wish the quality of the video was better; still, it’s a delight to watch him move (in case you haven’t seen it and can’t find him, Richard is the guy who jumps on the front of the stage in the beginning. He’s wearing a blue tank top/singlet, leg warmers and his long hair is pulled back in a ponytail. Oddly enough, he’s also one of the tallest dancers. 😉 )

All this talk about dance is due to our word for the day:

terpsichorean: (adj) of or relating to dancing; (noun) a dancer.

From Terpsichore, the muse of dancing and choral song in Greek mythology. Terpsichore is the feminine form of Terpsichoros, meaning to delight in the dance, a combination of the Greek word turpein (to delight in) and khoros (dance). it’s ultimately from the Indo-European root gher– (to grasp or to enclose) which is also the source of chorus, carol, choir, garth, court and garden.  Earliest documented use: 1825.

Richard, who trained in several areas of the arts whilst a student at Pattison College, initially pursued a career in musical theatre. Eventually, our shy and retiring guy decided it wasn’t the right fit for him, all that razzle dazzle, and he enrolled at LAMDA to study acting.  Musical theatre’s loss was our gain. If he’d stayed in musicals, I’d have likely never seen him and would still have no idea who the amazingly talented and versatile Richard Armitage even was. *shudders*

Richard (third from the rear) as part of a touring musical theatre company of “42nd Street” in Blackpool.

Richard rehearsing a dance with Sophia Myles, his future “Spooks” co-star and fellow actor in the play “The Four Alice Bakers.”

He may not be a professional dancer anymore but Richard’s grace, elegance, flexibility and economy of movement still shine through in his dramatic performances.  Lucas climbing like a sleek black cat through windows, engaging in punch-ups with a balletic grace; Porter’s amazing dexterity in his prison yard fight with the giant, Guy’s delicious slinky stride through the castle corridors and much more.

Quite simply, the man is poetry in motion. *sigh*

21 responses »

  1. He just might get his chance to sing and dance in a movie one day soon…maybe, he’ll have a wider choice of roles once “The Hobbit” hits,,,,,well,I can hope!

    Or maybe…he can do a Hugh Jackman! Can you imagine a song and dance routine while he hosts the BAFTAS?

    • I am not sure if he wants to do any musical numbers in the future, but It would be such a treat. I know he has said he’d never appear on anything as Richard Armitage, but I took that to mean reality shows with celebrity contestants, such as Dancing with the Stars/Strictly Come Dancing. Doing a number as part of an awards show wouldn’t be verboten, surely.

      At least we get to hear him sing in TH. *sigh* And I am certainly hoping for a wider range of roles and career opportunities for our fella. 😀

  2. Once again, they hide him in the back most of the time because of his height. Most dancers tend to be short, partly because there’s less mass to manipulate, but Richard has amazing elevation for someone that tall. The muscles to be able to lift all that into the air must be even more developed than they appear. Definitely, musical theater’s loss is our gain! I would not have seen him either, because most musicals just make me cringe. Richard moves with all the grace that comes from dance training as well as a natural physicality. I hope a role does come where Terpsichore can tickle him a bit — one reason why I fantasize about him doing certain roles where he would be dancing, fencing, romancing the leading lady, fighting the bad guys, etc., and he would not have to get wet and cold!

    • I thought exactly the same thing, there he is in the back again! LOL I love seeing him in the early part where you can watch him twitching those amazing thighs. You can always tell someone who has had extensive dance training. It really does give an individual more poise and grace. And I am right there with you on the dream roles.

  3. The way he holds his leg stretched at the beginning or when he turns shows that he must have enormous power in his lower abs and rectus femoris (the central part of quadriceps). 😀

    • And I know it takes a great deal of discipline and hard work to build and maintain that kind of strength and power beyond what is God-given. God designed him as a beautiful thoroughbred and he’s taken those dancer’s thighs and all the rest and made the most of it.

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