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November 2017

Editorial and contents November 2017 This month, we highlight performances of ballets by Kenneth MacMillan presented in the UK as part of Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration, which will be continuing in London early this month. MacMillan’s choreography has been seen recently in Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow, Manchester and London, but it has also been presented […]

WIN! Hollywood Classics: Musicals Collection

Perfect for winter watching, the new Hollywood Classics: Musicals Collection box set includes four hits from Rodgers and Hammerstein – The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific and Carousel – plus Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. Exclusive to HMV, this box is priced at £20, but we have three sets to give […]

WIN! Fashion leggings with a scientific twist

The Natural History Museum has launched its first range of fashion leggings. Inspired by the museum’s collections, and developed in collaboration with Wild Bangarang, the sports/dancewear is patterned with images of fossils, diatoms (algae with distinctive, transparent cell walls) and dinosaurs. There are four designs – dinosaurs in green or purple, fossils and diatoms – […]

Let’s see what you’ve got

Daniel Pratt watches World Ballet Day, and considers the magic of seeing behind the scenes Thursday, October 5 was the online international celebration of ballet, World Ballet Day. I will admit to you, with no embarrassment, that I set my alarm clock half an hour earlier so I could watch the live feed before I […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 10

Another week, another “shock” dance-off entrant. Yes, nothing will quite match Aston’s exit, but this is still an enjoyably open series. Two more frontrunners (and judges’ favourites) have now landed in the bottom, while those of the genus dark horse are jostling for position. Deserving or not in dance terms, any of the celebs remaining […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 9

Well, this wasn’t exactly a vintage Blackpool Week. Alexandra was pretty much the only celebrity to rise to the heights of breathless “Mecca of Ballroom” hyperbole, and even then she had the ever-irritating Human Props to contend with. Otherwise, we had a string of just OK numbers – some beset with errors, some wallowing in […]

Shiny trinkets by Barbara Newman

Michael Somes once reported that in the early days of the Vic-Wells Ballet, Ninette de Valois would ask Frederick Ashton for “a romantic ballet at Christmas and then a 20-minute abstract ballet by Easter.” Years later she justified her demands: “There was no repertoire – there was a vacuum… The work had to be done.” […]

Svetlana’s boys

In the print edition of November’s Dancing Times, Margaret Willis talked to the Bolshoi ballerina Svetlana Zakharova about Amore, her forthcoming show in London. Margaret also found time to talk to Zakharova’s male stage partners, and we publish here what they had to say Mikhail Lobukhin A Bolshoi principal, Mikhail Lobukhin (who dances Giovanni in […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 8

Pre-Blackpool Week saw many couples in something of a dilemma: do we go easier and hope to win over the audience with a fun performance, or risk tougher routines to impress the judges? Actually, I think voters also appreciate growth, particularly at this stage, but the majority’s adherence to technique yielded distinctly mixed results. At […]

Log-in from London

In the first instalment of his new blog, dance writer Graham Watts summarises what he has seen on stage in London during October October. A month of darkened afternoons, falling leaves and frequent need of an umbrella. It’s also the time to unfurl the Dance Umbrella, the annual festival that pops up in mainstream theatres, […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 7

WHAT. DRAMA. Week 7, and this series of Strictly serves up its first proper “shock” exit – Aston Merrygold joining the likes of Pixie Lott and Gabby Logan in the Surprise Early Departure Lounge. He was unlucky to hit a dud dance (and/or one the judges chose to properly critique) on a week where comedy […]

Requisite Passion by Barbara Newman

Kevin O’Hare’s brainwave of bringing the UK’s leading ballet companies together to celebrate Kenneth MacMillan’s work has paid off handsomely. Roaming over the choreographer’s exceptional range of dramatic subjects and musical inspiration, the season has filled the Royal Opera House and pleased the public. Comprising four troupes, the two performances I saw at Covent Garden […]

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