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Strictly Speaking – Week 9

Ah, Blackpool – home of ballroom. Or, in Strictly’s case, home of prop dancers, inflated (in most cases) scores, and alarming combos like fire, feathers and copious amounts of hairspray. At its best, it provides history, spectacle and a thrilling element of risk. Elsewhere…a well-intentioned mess. Highs this year included paddle-tease Craig finally locating his […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 8

It might seem a strange statement to make while the BBC is shoving Stacey towards the glitterball, and Joe’s YouTube views have now surpassed the last six series, but one thing I’m enjoying is this year’s unpredictability. Who could have guessed that none of Lee, Vick, Dr Ranj or Danny would make Blackpool? Or that […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 7

Post-Halloween Week, and it’s possible the judges were still hopped up on Haribo and egging unsuspecting strangers, with the series’ most inconsistent show so far in terms of scoring and comments. Of course, Strictly is a mix of dancing and entertainment, ringers and J-worders, and subjective interpretations of different styles, but even so, I think viewers […]

World Ballet Day 2018

This month I’d like to offer some thoughts on this year’s World Ballet Day. Last year’s online marathon of behind-the-scenes ballet viewing was, I felt, vital for our industry because it enabled dance-lovers to go behind the curtain and witness the kind of experiences that made me want to spend my life in dance. My […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 6

Ah, Halloween Week – the annual dumbing down of Strictly. Why have subtext or delicate concepts when you can instead bumble about dressed in the most thuddingly literal, kids-dressing-up-box interpretations of groaningly repeated and/or entirely insane songs? Under such conditions, the judges’ sudden desire for technical precision seemed rather cruel – although it wasn’t applied […]

Photographers vs Prostate Cancer

The Dance Project, held at London’s Regent Street Cinema on November 1, is an evening of film, live flamenco and photography. It will include an exhibition and auction of works by some of the world’s top photographers to raise funds for the charity Prostate Cancer UK. Organised by Richard Dunkey, the exhibition features 20 donations […]

November 2018 issue

Our cover stars for the November 2018 issue are Elly Braund and Nicholas Shikkis of Richard Alston Dance Company, which has announced that it is to close in 2020. Alston has said he will seek new opportunities to make dance: we hope to see much more from him. Also this month, we look at preparations […]

Plain and Fancy

When George Balanchine choreographed Chaconne in 1976, he chose Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins for the principal roles. They were the leading lights of New York City Ballet at the time, and people naturally wanted to see them in anything they might dance. The Balanchine historian Nancy Reynolds has described Chaconne as “a series of […]

#MeToo Medusa

Graham Watts travelled to the International Institute of the Arts in Sitges to talk to choreographer Jasmin Vardimon about Medusa, her new production for Jasmin Vardimon Company GW: What attracted you to the mythical character of Medusa as the subject for your new work? JV: What I find amazing is that when I ask people […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 5

In a firm bid to counter the Sean(n) Scandal of ’18, Strictly gave us lots of new things to gripe about this week – from Couple’s Choice (of which much more anon) to someone channelling the medicated enthusiasm and incoherence of Bruno Tonioli, if not the occasional dashes of lyrical expertise. Yes, it was another […]

Classically British 2018

Classically British returns to the Tabernacle, in London’s Notting Hill on October 26, with a programme designed to promote young British talent. The company celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, and again holds its performances during the UK’s Black History Month. This year’s theme is “past and present”, working with new and pioneering artists. This […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 4

Everything’s fine, we’re all lovely, why do you ask, oh I’ve always had that twitch, silly really, just keep smiling, did I mention I rescued an orphaned puppy from a fire last week, no reason, that’s just me, and of course you know my charming children, darling where’s that smile, smile for Mummy, don’t mind […]

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