Anthony Van Laast, who was born in Sussex, originally wanted to be a doctor, but having taken some ballet lessons in his teens, decided at 17 that what he really wanted to be was a dancer. He auditioned for the London School of Contemporary Dance and became one of its first full-time students.
In 1971, he joined the school’s associate company, the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and over the next eight years, danced many major roles. In 1979, he left the company to pursue a career as a freelance Choreographer and teacher, and quickly established a reputation in films, on television and the concert stage, and now, in the theatre. He was Choreographic Advisor to Kate Bush on her highly acclaimed concert tour in 1979, has choreographed many television shows and has a list of films to his credit, from his own ‘shorts’ Strange Behaviour which went on release with Gregory’s Girl and Cut Down, to major feature films like The Music Machine, Outland, Excalibur and, Who Dares Wins, in which he choreographed a dance sequence for award-winning Australian actress, Judy Davis.
Anthony, who is married with two young children, still dances – he recently gave his first solo performance at the Riverside Studios – and appears on television not only as a dancer but as an actor, too. He is also one of the few presenters of Playschool ever to have presented a series of programmes on Radio 3. He is a member of the faculty of the London School of Contemporary Dance, and of the Art Council’s Dance Panel.