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Log-in From London

In the third instalment of his regular blogs, Graham Watts, summarises the dance he has seen in London during December 2017 and January 2018 Nuts for Christmas, Resolutions for the New Year: dance mirrored most of our lives at the turn of this past year. December’s dance in London was dominated by The Nutcracker, with […]

Daniel Pratt considers Conversations on Dance

January is a time for reinvention and renewal. Looking back over more than a year of this blog, I wrote in my first post that I wanted “to reveal something of the voice of the dancer”. Bringing that intention into fresh focus for 2018 is Conversations on Dance, a fantastic podcast I discovered last year. […]

The Brexit Effect by Barbara Newman

Are you worried about Brexit? You should be. Its impact on the arts in the UK could be greater than you might anticipate. In the February issue of Dancing Times, an excellent letter to the editor from Fiona Biddulph in Rutland raises important questions about the opportunities for British dancers that may be limited by […]

Barbara Newman offers some ideas for New Year’s Gifts

On New Year’s Eve, New York City Ballet used to slide tiny jokes into The Nutcracker – I don’t know if this tradition continues – to delight the cognoscenti and relieve the dancers’ exhaustion after weeks of performing the same ballet. If you’re also tired of fairytales and eager for a change of pace, you […]

Daniel Pratt celebrates The Nutcracker

Clement Crisp and Peter Brinson wrote pithily of The Nutcracker: “other productions proliferate.” This 1892 ballet is seen across the globe in countless versions and is an obligatory ingredient to the perfect Christmas. Though dancers – and critics – can groan at the annual reappearance of the work, it occupies a special place in our […]

Strictly Speaking – The Final

And then we came to the end. All in all, it’s been a cracker of a series, and the final really was the, er, brandy cream on the pudding. We had a great run of dances from all four couples, and I found my allegiance switching regularly between them – the sign of an excitingly […]

Stars Experiment

Encouraged by their international acclaim, well-known dancers often abandon the ballets on which they’ve built their reputation to test themselves on the unknown. Well before she became a household name, Margot Fonteyn went off to dance with Roland Petit in Paris, and Maya Plisetskaya radically redefined herself in Albert Alonso’s Carmen Suite and Maurice Béjart’s […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 12

Two dances is theoretically a good test of range, growth and performance at this crucial stage, but can often make for a night of half-finished numbers – the pros’ steely ambition exceeding the knackered celebs’ execution. So it proved in some cases, but not all, and we actually wound up with a pretty clear view […]

Log-in From London

In the second instalment of a regular series of blogs, Graham Watts summarises the dance he has seen in London during November November’s dance in London came in a succession of pairs. There were two world premieres by the same choreographer; two programmes by Birmingham Royal Ballet; The Place offered two thoughful and topical pieces […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 11

Musicals Week – where ballroom comes to die. Well, not entirely, but it did feel for much of the evening as though we were watching the backdoor pilot episode of spin-off Strictly Come Auditioning For The West End (Who Are We Kidding – Touring Will Do). From Mollie getting 9s (9s!) for open-mouthed contempowaft with […]

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 […]

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