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Can they dance like nobody else?

Alvin Ailey’s first company, established in 1958, consisted of seven black dancers and the intention of showcasing black culture. Over the years, as the troupe’s size and reputation continued to grow, it had an unmatched impact on dance in the US. Though predominantly African-American, the roster was integrated in 1964 and has included white and […]

Dance as window-dressing?

Dance maligned, dance misused, dance as window-dressing. You wouldn’t expect a live performance to inspire such thoughts, but in less than a week I’ve seen two that do, and the combination was quite unsettling. Let’s start with the worse offence, perpetrated by the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre. A new version of an old story, Her […]

Performing as professionals

In her fascinating book, But First A School, a history of New York’s School of American Ballet, Jennifer Dunning examines its annual Spring Workshop Performances, remarking that “the Workshop tradition… has given visibility to the School as a productive vocational institution.” The phrase “productive vocational institution” doesn’t quite suit the end-of-year performances here, which are […]

Barbara Newman sees Natalia Osipova in a new triple bill

In case you hadn’t noticed, branding works just as effectively in dance as in the supermarket. The Sadler’s Wells production titled simply Natalia Osipova is on its way to the Edinburgh International Festival in August, back to the Wells in September, and into the gaping cavern of the New York City Center in November. It […]

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