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Strictly Speaking – week 6

Marianka Swain on Strictly Come Dancing’s Halloween dive into the prop basket It gives me no pleasure to report that Strictly’s annual Fright Night was even more frightful than usual. Well, some pleasure. An Ed Balls cha cha amount of pleasure. Yes, against all odds, 2016’s fifth-strangest political happening lives on. Meanwhile, the two newly […]

Launch of Acosta Danza

Carlos Acosta launched his new company, Acosta Danza, at the Sadler’s Wells season press launch on October 24. The new company is Acosta’s biggest project since his retirement from ballet, announced two years ago. At the press conference, he said that it would enhance the culture of Cuban people, and launch the careers of Cuban […]

2017 at Sadler’s Wells

Sadler’s Wells has announced highlights for its spring/summer 2017 season, including the UK launch of Carlos Acosta’s new dance company, a new programme from Sergei Polunin, a response to the Paris terrorist attacks of 2015 and new works by Alexander Whitley and Richard Alston. The new company Acosta Danza will perform at the London dance […]

Michael Flatley DANCE Academy

Michael Flatley, the American-born Irish dancer known internationally for his appearances in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, has launched the Michael Flatley DANCE Academy in and around the London area. The Academy aims to teach his unique style of Irish dance to children and teenagers in an environment that builds self-confidence whilst also instilling […]

Don’t do as I say, do as I do

The first month of what’s traditionally the new academic year has come and gone, and teaching has occupied my thoughts. It isn’t for me to discuss here what makes an exceptional teacher or coach – that would warrant a whole PhD thesis in its own right. What I will stridently write is how I marvel […]

Strictly Speaking – week 5

Has anyone checked if the Strictly studio is built on an ancient Indian burial ground? Or has a disgruntled crewmember started compiling voodoo dolls? For there is a curse afoot, and not the usual home-wrecking one, with this drama-laden series beginning to resemble And Then There Were None. Injuries befalling Anastacia, Greg, Tameka and now […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 4

Ringers vs comedians, simmering drama and a soaring jive: Marianka Swain on Strictly Come Dancing True to form, there was something of a post-theme comedown in this week’s show – at least until that climatic flurry of 10s. Is Week 4 too soon for such a high score? Was the sudden mano a mano rivalry a […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 3

Marianka Swain on the popcorn and drama of Movie Week Theme weeks are normally a horror-fest of props and cartoonish presentation, but – miracle of miracles – this was actually a strong Movie Week, with mercifully little faff in the actual dances (VTs were another story) and plenty of room for celeb improvement. Once again, […]

Dance at BFI London Film Festival

There’s a strong dance strand in this year’s BFI London Film Festival, running from October 5 to 16. The festival’s programme includes the documentary Dancer, which traces the career of Sergei Polunin with interviews, new and archive footage. Also in the documentary strand, Fonko explores urban African music, with some fabulous dancing. The features strand […]

World Ballet Day Live – Updated

Update: Now with full streams from The Australian Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet. Prepare for a watching marathon: World Ballet Day Live returns on October 4, with 20 hours of footage streamed live from The Australian Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 2

  Marianka Swain on time-wasting field trips and dance-off controversy It wasn’t just The Fall that suddenly resembled a particularly well-styled episode of Casualty this week. We had (in retrospect fairly insensitive) muscle-pulling jokes from Will Young, and – more significantly – the series’ first elimination notching a solid five on the Strictly Controversy Scale through […]

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