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Strictly Speaking: The final

Another year, another bloated final that winds up being totally irrelevant to the results. At some point, the bosses of Strictly Come Dancing might need to look into that… For my money, of the last four, Ashley was the strongest dancer, Joe the most improved, Faye the best on the night, and Kevin, I mean […]

Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at English National Opera

English National Opera (ENO) has developed close ties with Benjamin Britten’s music since giving the world premiere of Peter Grimes in 1945. In the wake of that historic event, the company has presented five further stage works, including, during this year alone, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Turn of the Screw, and the operetta Paul […]

The Sugar Plum pas de deux

Last year I cast a general gaze over The Nutcracker and how Tchaikovsky’s music reveals it as a work of art more deeply layered than any bauble-dripping fir tree. Though we see it year after year, aspects of the ballet continue to enchant, engage and resonate with us differently on each viewing. The climactic pas […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 12

Semi-final week saw the usual quality drop-off with two dances – although in some cases such technical lack was rebranded as “authenticity” by the ever-erratic judges. We also had the dance and music lottery either boosting or limiting celebs, depending on whether they lucked out with the last remaining caramel swirl in the Quality Street […]

Graham’s Appalachian Spring

Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring premiered at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, in 1944. The composer Aaron Copland initially titled the work “ballet for Martha” when he began writing the commission. Despite Copland’s appellation, working on the role of the husbandman in Graham’s piece was different to any other dance work I’d encountered in my […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 11

Musicals Week! The quarter-finals! All to play for on this jazz hands show, and the combination of high-stakes competition and rampant theming produced… mixed results. Some dances fit beautifully with their songs, others were swallowed whole – and the judges continued to be consistent only in their inconsistency. Now, I’ve always considered that we at […]

SLP College

SLP College is one of the UK’s leading training grounds for dance and musical theatre. The highly qualified staff have all worked and continue to work within the industry, while there is a regular programme of guest teachers and musical directors visiting the college to work with students. SLP graduates have secured contracts to perform […]

Tendu

Tendu is a young, exciting brand developed in 2010. It has quickly established a reputation for innovative, quality products and continues to grow year after year. A need had arisen in the dance market for really functional, good quality accessories at fair prices. Tendu provides these by keeping the focus on the product, rather than […]

Harlequin Floors

Harlequin Floors is the world leader in advanced technology flooring. Established in the UK in 1979 it has established an enviable global reputation as experts in floors for dance, performing arts, theatres, schools and rehearsal studios worldwide. Harlequin’s experience and reputation is founded on the manufacture and supply of a range of long lasting portable […]

Bloch

Founded in Sydney, Australia in the early 1930s by Eastern European immigrant Jacob Bloch, a craftsman who began his career producing exceptional hand-made pointe shoes for revered ballet dancers worldwide. So successful was Jacob, that a full dance range quickly followed. Since that time, the rapid growth of Bloch’s reputation has established the brand as one […]

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