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April 2016 Issue

Posted on April 1, 2016

Spring is here! The sun is shining (well, some of the time) and the bright new issue of Dancing Times has arrived. This month, we interview dancers from the ballet and ballroom worlds, look at dance on display with a new exhibition by choreographer Lea Anderson and explore the role of the chief executive in dance. There’s also a wartime strand to this issue, with cover stars Jasmine Wallis and Joseph Vaughan shown in Ballet Central’s War Letters, and a look at wartime dances and fashions…

Dance on display

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Jane Pritchard, curator of dance at the Victoria and Albert Museum [V&A] highlights a new exhibition organised by choreographer Lea Anderson, on this month…

“Several years ago, Lea came to the V&A with a proposal to mount an exhibition of her extensive collection of costumes for dance that would show them in movement – how they are supposed to be seen… It’s always a frustration in a museum when costumes that have lived on stage are static in display cases and appear lifeless, and it’s not by chance that some of the most effectively displayed costumes are those created for minor roles where their purpose was purely decorative. Museum visitors get the opportunity to admire the skills of the designers and makers but, generally, a gallery can only present part of the story when it comes to performance and dance.

“The ‘moving mannequins’ for Hand in Glove will be students of London Contemporary Dance School… the dancers will fill the vast spaces of the Raphael Gallery, with visitors moving around the exhibits and able to come and go at will…”

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Creative glue

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Paul Arrowsmith investigates the art of the chief executive, speaking to Rambert’s Nadia Stern, Northern Ballet’s Mark Skipper, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Jan Teo and Scottish Ballet’s Christopher Hampson

“Nadia Stern, chief executive of Rambert, agrees with the actor Stanley Tucci’s description, expressed at this year’s BAFTA awards, that a director provides the creative glue that binds a company. ‘Think of [artistic director] Mark Baldwin and me as a couple, together providing the company’s leadership,” she says. “We each have distinct areas but we can’t do our own job without the other. Mark can’t just think in artistic terms. It’s never the case of him saying, “I want this. Go deliver!” We both have to think of the finances, scheduling, relevance, audiences, what justifies our public funding.

“In her tenth year with Rambert, Stern thinks her role has not altered; what has changed are the specific tasks. ‘It’s about all the practical issues – the glue. But we are not just making widgets. The job is to inspire all the organisation to run up the hill with you. Doing that is hard…’”

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Fashion on the ration

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From luminous flowers to gas-mask balls, Zoë Anderson looks at dance and fashion in World War II

“Imperial War Museum North’s exhibition, Fashion on the Ration, includes a photograph of a young woman pinning a flower to her lapel. It’s luminous, a decoration designed to make her visible in the blackout. With bombing raids expected, towns and cities went dark, switching off streetlamps, lowering car headlamps and muffling windows so that no crack of light would escape. Some people wore glow-in-the-dark buttons for the darkened streets; this was the prettier version…

“The social dance scene was transformed by the new conditions, from air raids to a nation in uniform. Once the bombing started, curfews made daytime dancing popular again. ‘Blitz has, paradoxically, sent the business of the underground restaurants sky high,’ reported Irene Raines in Dancing Times in 1940. (These subterranean venues weren’t always safer; at least 34 people would be killed at London’s Café de Paris when two bombs fell into the basement ballroom through a ventilation shaft.) Another club, Oddenino’s, offered dinner, dancing and an underground dormitory: ‘There are camp beds and blankets ready for all guests who do not care to face the Blitz…’”

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Also in the April 2016 issue…

Ballet in a global city: Francis Yeoh finds out about Singapore Dance Theatre

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dominic Antonucci introduces José Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane

Nicola Rayner speaks to dancer and Strictly Come Dancing choreographer Kele Baker, who found healing through t’ai chi and qigong after a car accident

David Mead visits Ballet Theatre UK

Preserving the legacy: in the fourth of the series, Gerald Dowler looks at how the works of Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor are being preserved

Igor Stupnikov interviews Mikhailovsky ballerina Ekaterina Borchenko

Alison Gallagher-Hughes meets ballroom dancer Natascha Karabey, the “professionals’ professional”

Margaret Willis speaks to Northern Ballet’s Jenny Hackwell, our Dancer of the Month

Zoë Anderson speaks to choreographer Rosie Kay, whose acclaimed 5 Soldiers starts a Scottish tour this month

Debbie Malina looks at coping with asthma for dancers

Talking Point: Alice Rush wonders if Latin dance is compatible with being a feminist

Tips on technique: James Whitehead on using the legs in tango

Our dance doctor, Phil Meacham, asks “Is footwork really important?”

Simon Selmon on preventing and dealing with injury

Harry Ferris on the heel turn in foxtrot

Jack Reavely remembers champion and teacher Phyllis Haylor

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Plus news of Breakin’ Convention, the Maryinsky Ballet, Tap Factory, the Olivier awards, the Let’s Dance International Frontiers festival, musicality workshops with former Strictly professional Andrew Cuerden, International Dance Festival Birmingham, Genesia Rosato, Sylvie Guillem and Leanne Benjamin

Reviews of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Flamenco Festival London including Sara Baras, Farruquito, Farruco, Marco Flores and Olga Pericet, Scottish Dance Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet in Romeo and Juliet, The Dream and A Month in the Country, Mark Bruce Company’s The Odyssey, The Royal Ballet in Giselle, Northern Ballet in Swan Lake, Germán Cornejo’s Immortal Tango, Rosas in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Golden Hours, Mrs Henderson Presents and Motown the Musical

International reviews of Sarasota Ballet in Balanchine, De Valois and Graziano, Dutch National Ballet’s Mata Hari, Benjamin Pech’s farewell to the Paris Opéra Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet’sAnna Karenina, Czech National Ballet in Michael Corder’s The Snow Queen, Justin Peck’s The Most Incredible Thing for New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and the BalletBoyz in New York, New York Theatre Ballet and Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake

Reports on the Pink Jukebox Trophy and the Essex Open Super League

Obituaries of Marianne Balchin and Peter Maxwell Davies

Education news of the International Dance Teacher Conference, Laine Theatre Arts, KS Dance’s Allegrodance, Linda Jasper and Youth Dance England, the UK B-Boy championships, dance for children on the autism spectrum, the Demon Barbers, Trinity Laban and more

The April issue is now in shops – including branches of WHSmith – or you can buy your print copy here or buy your digital copy from all good app stores

Simon Oliver has been production editor of Dancing Times since 2010 and is highly experienced in design across print and online magazine production. Throughout his career, Simon has worked on a diverse range of subjects including music, family history, book collecting and poker.

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