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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 […]

Unfamiliar location

January is that month where all the clichés come out. After all the exuberance – and excesses – of Christmas, it feels good to refocus, take stock of what’s been and aim to fill the endeavours of the coming year with happy pragmatism. Sometimes I get irritated at the pressure to work on oneself, to […]

Feeling lucky

Jonathan Gray talks to Northern Ballet’s Javier Torres. Photographs by Izuky Photography “Do you mind if I stretch out my leg?” asks Javier Torres, premier dancer with Northern Ballet, who is nominated for the Dancing Times Best Male Dancer Award at the forthcoming Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards this month. We were sitting on high […]

Ashton’s Les Patineurs, Nureyev’s Cinderella, Bourne’s Swan Lake

Many people consider The Nutcracker the best Christmas ballet, because it’s short, tuneful, easy to understand, and rich with roles for small children. The 1957 and 1958 television broadcasts of George Balanchine’s production for New York City Ballet launched it as a holiday favourite, but, after its first season on stage in 1954, one critic […]

Barbara Newman sees works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Mark Morris

What do you take away when you leave a dance performance? Does the movement stay with you, or the music, or designs or overall effect? I’m asking because I’m beginning to wonder what the dance public prefers. A friend who teaches a course entitled Performance: Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins recently told me […]

Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at English National Opera

English National Opera (ENO) has developed close ties with Benjamin Britten’s music since giving the world premiere of Peter Grimes in 1945. In the wake of that historic event, the company has presented five further stage works, including, during this year alone, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Turn of the Screw, and the operetta Paul […]

WIN! £150 in Theatre Tokens!

Theatre Tokens are national theatre gift vouchers that can be used at more than 240 venues nationwide, including London’s West End. They’re the perfect Christmas present and they have no expiry date. This month, Theatre Tokens are offering ten per cent off for Dancing Times readers – visit TheatreTokens.com and quote “Dancing” by December 31, […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 10

So, we could talk about the post-Blackpool hangover pervading the week (this show very much brought to you by paracetamol and Alka-Seltzer). We could talk about scoring monstrosities, or the continuing bafflement of Couple’s Choice, or how the ghost of Ramps haunts us all via every single one of his songs being nicked over the […]

Shobana Jeyasingh’s Contagion and Scottee’s Fat Blokes

In 1918, just as World War I was drawing to an end, humanity sustained another lethal attack, this one from the influenza epidemic known as Spanish flu that infected 500 million people. Fifty to 100 million died, roughly three to five per cent of the world’s population. Life expectancy in the US fell by about […]

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 […]

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