In this issue, we begin a four-part series on diversifying dance. Many months in preparation, and inspired by the stance members of the dance community took in response to the Black Lives Matter protests held last summer following the murder in the US of George Floyd, I am delighted Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, with his extensive knowledge of the UK’s dance sector, has agreed to take on this project for Dancing Times. My ambition is that the series will act as a catalyst for a larger debate around the subject from others working on the UK’s dance scene.
As the take up of COVID-19 vaccinations continues to be a success, thanks to all the work done by our wonderful NHS, there are signs – following the “false dawn” of last autumn – that, all being well, dance companies will soon be able to perform once more in the UK. Ballet Theatre UK, Northern Ballet and The Royal Ballet have all announced upcoming performances in the pipeline, and a number of musicals are also promising to be back on stage very soon. More worrying, however, is the news that the internationally important Theatre and Performance collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum may be dissolved following restructuring of the museum’s curatorial departments due to a £10 million deficit caused by the pandemic. To read more on this, and also to find out about the online petition launched in protest of this happening, see News.
Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp introduces a new series on diversifying dance
Teresa Guerreiro catches up with Prix de Lausanne winner António Casalinho
David Mead interviews Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Marion Tait
Nicola Rayner finds out about boleadoras from Sarah Louis-Jean
Alison Gallagher-Hughes meets ballroom dancer Arunas Bizokas