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Dance with confidence

Well, it had to happen eventually, but it’s that “back to school” time of year! Dancers are already busy preparing their dance kits, and also looking for great things to buy, so to coincide BLOCH has just launched its brand-new Back to School campaign. Titled “Dance With Confidence”, BLOCH wants dancers to feel inspired, confident, […]

Budding stars

In 2013, French television broadcast a six-part series titled Graines d’Étoiles (Budding Stars), in which the director Françoise Marie documented a year’s activity inside the Paris Opéra Ballet School. Housed in gleaming premises in Nanterre, seven miles from Paris, the school numbers about 130 pupils aged eight to 18, nearly two-thirds of whom board full-time. […]

Rainbow interpretations

The LGBT+ movement still has plenty of battles to fight, but finding representation in the theatre is not one of them. The Southbank Centre has launched a season of “queer cabaret, drag kings and queens, and DJ collectives” that runs through the summer, featuring dance, comedy, films, happenings and exhibitions, many of them free, from […]

Inspiring artists

Isn’t it curious how much ballet dancers differ? By the time they can call themselves professional, they’ve been taught to respect the academic vocabulary and deliver it with precision. Most performers honour those twin obligations faithfully even if they lack imagination, but many go further. The Royal Ballet’s revival of A Month in the Country […]

Giselle

Back in April, I worked on Peter Wright’s version of the Romantic ballet Giselle. It’s a piece that continues to capture our imaginations because it examines both the euphoria, and the destructive capacity of love. Having the opportunity to be coached by Wright in the studio was fascinating, and working with several casts of principals […]

The Four Temperaments at Miami City Ballet

I saw George Balanchine’s 1946 ballet The Four Temperaments for the first time in 2013. I remember it as a special time in my career because I was on tour with Sarasota Ballet performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC during the Ballet Across America festival. The sense of cool space, the physical exhalation […]

Against the Stream and She Persisted

In the last few years, allegations of sexual impropriety have run rampant through the performing arts, assaulting film producers, opera and ballet directors, choreographers and performers as they pass. Dance has developed a powerful social conscience, and gender identity is such a hot topic that entire programmes are planned around it. For his second excursion […]

A Context to Pepperland

Call me old-fashioned, but when I go to see dancing, I want to see it. Regardless of the subject, if you can’t distinguish the bodies and their arrangement in space, why watch them? I also want the movement to hang together somehow. Improvisation has its uses, but apparently random activity often resembles incomplete ideas. If […]

Richard Alston; Yolande Yorke-Edgell; Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

The news of Richard Alston’s knighthood in the New Year Honours List followed the announcement, two months earlier, that his company will close in 2020. Having made dances for 50 of his 70 years and led his own troupe to its 25th anniversary, Sir Richard might be considered the backbone of contemporary dance in the […]

The Power of the Prix

February has always been an exciting month for me. My birthday falls at its start; Valentine’s and Pancake days usually add further cause for diversion (though Shrove Tuesday makes a later appearance in March 2019). Since I’ve spent successive Februarys stateside, my appreciation for pop culture standouts like the Super Bowl, Golden Globes and Oscars […]

The American Clock

Arthur Miller’s masterpiece, Death of a Salesman, came to Broadway in 1949 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The author was 34 years old. In 1980, toward the end of a long, illustrious career, he wrote The American Clock, basing its loosely connected vignettes on his own life and those recounted in Hard Times, […]

Liam Scarlett Asphodel Meadows, Frederick Ashton The Two Pigeons, TRIO ConcertDance

When The Royal Ballet Upper School left its Barons Court home in 2003 and moved into brand-new facilities in Covent Garden, directly across the street from the stage door that every pupil hopes one day to enter, I was told that the quality and convenience of the new premises were bound to improve the quality […]

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