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All I want for Christmas is… Jewels

Christmas isn’t about presents – though I am preoccupied thinking about them during the festive season. For dance-goers the world over, The Nutcracker embraces all that Christmas represents. For me, though, this much-loved work can instead seem like the balletic equivalent of those utilitarian gifts you always expect to get: socks, ties, underwear. Happily, I […]

Barbara Newman sees dance by Boris Eifman and Shobana Jeyasingh

The second definition of “translate” in my dictionary is “to turn into one’s own or another language.” Choreographers do this all the time, turning ideas, words, music or images into movement, hoping their translations will measure up emotionally and intellectually to the original material. George Balanchine said, “There are no mother-in-laws in ballet,” convinced that […]

Strictly Speaking: The final

Marianka Swain on the last dance There was something of an elegiac feel to this year’s final, as Len Goodman, Strictly institution, finally hung up his “Seh-ven!” paddle, gave us one last scrambled metaphor and waltzed off to the great golf course in the sky. We can only hope ballroom doesn’t follow suit, but continues to […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 11

Marianka Swain watches Strictly get mired in musicals Perhaps this is an unfashionable stance in the “tired of experts” era, but for me Strictly’s Musicals Week highlighted a more general issue with this series: we’ve had too much of our ballroom dancers attempting other styles, rather than their own. The pro numbers are overwhelmingly contemporary […]

December 2016 issue

This month, we look at Matthew Bourne’s new production The Red Shoes, meet Strictly Come Dancing’s AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt and explore the marketing of dance… Art and love Zoë Anderson speaks to Matthew Bourne and cover star Ashley Shaw about The Red Shoes, the new production inspired by the Powell and Pressburger film […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 10

This year’s couples largely managed to avoid the crippling malaise that is Blackpool Hangover Week, although I could have done without the continuation of bizarre scoring, plus dubious Cha Cha Challenge choices. It’s no secret that the judges have firm views on potential finalists versus also-rans, but attempting to erect a Berlin Wall on the […]

Rosie Kay Dance Company receives funding for Five Soldiers tour

Rosie Kay Dance Company has been awarded £45,000 of funding towards a 2017 tour of Five Soldiers, Kay’s superb work about the experience of warfare. Announced as part of the UK Government’s Autumn Statement, the award is part of LIBOR funding, through which armed forces and emergency services charities, and other related good causes, receive money […]

Going high when others go low

I always planned my November blog to use the US Presidential Election as a departure point. I started writing this on the morning before the polls opened. I finished it on the day after the election result. My ideas about what I’d write this month changed radically as I went about my ballet business over […]

Going further

Many people consider Wayne McGregor’s choreography the latest development in classical ballet, the next step after William Forsythe. Unlike Forsythe, however, he was not trained in ballet, yet he tinkers with its vocabulary obsessively, manipulating human bodies to their physical limits, distorting their alignment, disturbing their balance, and twisting joints to the extreme of their […]

Strictly Speaking – Week Nine

Marianka Swain reports on Strictly Come Dancing‘s annual pilgrimage to Blackpool Ah, Blackpool Week: forced VTs, drama, sky-high scoring and the odd great performance amidst the hysteria. The best part for dancers is the chance to use that giant sprung floor – or at least it would be, but once again the couples spent their routines […]

November 2016 issue

This month, we look back at the creation of La Fille mal gardée, with the first in a series of extracts from the unpublished memoirs of Nadia Nerina, the first Lise in Frederick Ashton’s ballet. Our cover features The Royal Ballet’s Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambé, two of the most recent stars to dance the […]

The first Crown Prince: David Wall interview

David Wall, who died on June 18, 2013, created the role of Crown Prince Rudolf in Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling. In 2007, he spoke to Zoë Anderson about creating and coaching the ballet. Here is the interview, from Dancing Times, April 2007.   Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling returns to The Royal Ballet’s repertoire later this month. This […]

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