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April 2015 issue

Posted on March 26, 2015

square april 15


square-april-15Our April issue is here! The gorgeous cover of ballerina Diana Vishneva, photographed by Gene Schiavone, has already reached more than 77,000 people on facebook – now here’s the magazine to go with it! This month, we have interviews with Vishneva and Ballet Black’s Kanika Carr, a debate on performance style in the ballets of Frederick Ashton, reports from Munich, New York and more…



From diva to woman

vishneva-grabAs Diana Vishneva brings her show On the Edge to London, she talks to Zoë Anderson about fresh challenges and working with choreographers:

“Jean-Christophe Maillot holds a special position for me, for my creative path. When I was a teenager, I danced in the Prix de Lausanne competition for young ballet dancers. He was the head of the jury! He was someone who discovered my talent, who understood my potential… There were differences of opinion on that jury, but he was adamant about giving me the grand prix. I decided – maybe even at that point! – that once I’ve grown into a real, big ballerina, I will do something with Jean-Christophe Maillot…”

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The Ashton question

ashton-questionLuke Jennings wonders if the ballets of Frederick Ashton are being seen to best advantage:

“Brenda Last, who was taught the role of Lise in La Fille mal gardée by Ashton and danced it more than 100 times, agrees that every dancer’s reading of a role should have its small individual touches, but sometimes, Last says, essential details are forgotten, or smoothed out because they’re simply too difficult. At the beginning of her Act I variation, Lise performs two grand jetés en attitude which are now usually performed with, at most, a half-turn of the head towards the audience. In fact, Last says, Ashton wanted much more. At the height of each leap, he told her, the head should incline first towards, and then away from, the audience. ‘He didn’t just want a port de bras, but a major shift of weight from side to side. You had to have real courage and guts to move your head like that mid-jeté, because it puts you right off balance, but it’s much more interesting to watch…’”

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A milestone in Munich

bavarian-state-ballet-grabJeanette Andersen celebrates a significant anniversary for the Bavarian State Ballet (BSB): 25 years since it gained independence from the opera company, giving it freedom to grow and develop:

“It took a long time to convince choreographers that BSB had the ability to perform their works, and music still had the highest priority in the National Theatre. When BSB danced Ulysses Dove’s Bad Blood to taped music by Laurie Anderson it triggered, says [artistic co-director Bettina] Wagner-Bergelt, a ‘palace revolution’ because the then music director, Wolfgang Sawallisch, said performing without the orchestra was not an option. For Jirí Kylián’s Svadebka Sawallisch refused to allow the opera chorus to sing because he thought it absurd to dance to Stravinsky’s music, so the ballet company had to hire a different chorus. A year later, the opera chorus wanted to sing the work because they loved the music and Kylián’s choreography…”

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Also in the April issue…

Richard Ralph reports from New York’s Juilliard School Dance Division

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Céline Gittens investigates motivation in ballet dancers

Vikki Jane Vile reports from MOVE IT 2015, the UK’s largest dance event

Ballet Black’s Kanika Carr speaks to Margaret Willis about her career

Debbie Malina looks at head injuries and concussion in dancers

Choreographer Jenna Lee on her new production of Snow White for London Children’s Ballet

Plus news of dance at the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival, Sylvie Guillem, Battersea Arts Centre, Breakin’ Convention 2015, Bristol’s Mayfest and a chance to win Bugsy Malone on DVD; reviews of Flamenco Festival London, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet, Scottish Opera with choreography by Ashley Page, Wendy Houstoun, English National Ballet, Ballet de Lorraine, Russian Ballet Icons Gala, Royal Ballet Flanders, Finnish National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, On the Town on Broadway, Boris Eifman in St Petersburg, New York Theatre Ballet and Martha Graham Dance Company; reviews of dance DVDs; obituaries of Louis Godfrey, John Hart and Wilfride Piollet; dance education news, listings and more!

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



Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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