JUNE KEMP – Movement and dance teacher at RADA 1966-1987
RADA council, staff and students send condolences to the family of June Kemp who died in October 2014. June was a much loved movement teacher at the Academy for many years and will be sadly missed by the many graduates who remember her very fondly.
A tribute from Alan Rickman
June Kemp was our main movement tutor throughout my time at RADA. But she was so much more than that. We danced with her, laughed with her and worshipped her.
Monday morning at 10am was unmissable. She often let us choose the music. Once it was Dylan's Jack of Diamonds from Blood on The Tracks. Whatever the choice, she led our bodies inside the music and out again. And that would continue, one song to another, for an unstoppable hour, the whole class jumping and whooping with happiness.
Outside of class, she was the most perceptive monitor of our progress as actors. Or the blocks to it. 'Don't prepare the ground before you enter it', remains a mantra for me in any rehearsal room. She organised, and paid for, a trip to Switzerland for Richard Greenblatt and myself to join a class with Sigurd Leeder, the genius who had taught her. She persuaded Hugh Cruttwell, the principal, to let our year make a dance work one term instead of rehearsing a play.
After she retired, we would exchange news and postcards - hers were often of her latest paintings. Vibrant stripes and swirls of colour. Constantly responsive and curious, June Kemp remains an iconic force for me and so many others. We were very lucky and we are indebted.
A tribute from Richard Greenblatt
June was inspirational. I remember taking our graduation party cruise on the Thames, and passing the West End, and her saying to me, ''I expect to be seeing you there one of these days,' and me thinking that she was crazy, but being so overwhelmed by her confidence in me.
I remember some of her early morning classes, feeling exhausted or hungover, or both, and yet feeling totally re-energized by their finish. Her movement was deceptively simple, yet amazingly centered to one's own individual body. I also remember coming in pretty sick one day with a fever, and she said, 'Bundle up, and move, and sweat it all out. You'll stay sick longer if you lie in bed and do nothing.' As always, it worked.During The Gauntlet, when we would visit each of the teachers to get critiques of our performances, it was Toshka's I was most afraid for, Hugh's I most craved approval from, but June's I most looked forward to. Her insights were always unusual, acute and true - demanding of more, yet supportive. She was simply an amazing teacher.