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Dancing Times February 2019 issue

Posted on January 24, 2019

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This month’s magazine is full of anniversaries and events, as well as new appointments, and we also talk to a whole host of dancers and people employed in the industry. These include Northern Ballet’s Javier Torres, Ballet Black’s Isabela Coracy, West Star Bonnie Langford, and the ballroom and Latin American dance photographers Fredric Frennessen, Sophie Perren and Ron Self.

Feeling lucky

Jonathan Gray meets Northern Ballet’s Javier Torres

“Torres smiles broadly when I congratulate him on his [National Dance Award] nomination [for the Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer], announced earlier that week. ‘I was so surprised. I’ve been dancing for 20 years and feel like I’m appreciated. It’s important for dancers in companies who are not always nominated, as you can see you don’t have to be in a big company to be recognised – it’s a reward for your job.’

“The nomination came after a highly successful year for Torres, one in which he made a great impression in a number of works, including the title role in Kenneth Tindall’s Casanova and Mr Rochester in Cathy Marston’s Jane Eyre, as well as the national celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the death of Kenneth MacMillan, most notably Las Hermanas and Gloria. A naturally gifted dramatic dancer, Torres says the role of Rochester is one of his favourites, but adds, ‘Dancing in the MacMillan ballets was one of the best experiences of my life. It was wonderful having something new to do, and we were very well coached. I really enjoyed it, and performing Gloria at the Royal Opera House was amazing. I loved Las Hermanas, too, and I like the idea of sharing between companies, and more integration.’”

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What a way to make a livin’

Nicola Rayner hears from West End star Bonnie Langford about her role in 9 to 5: The Musical, now at the Savoy Theatre

‘“I’m really enjoying being in the West End again, it’s a fabulous place. I wasn’t expecting 42nd Street and then I wasn’t expecting 9 to 5 but it’s all slotted into place quite well. I’m enjoying being back and I’m still doing some telly, too, but nothing I can talk about at the moment.’

“Could she pick between her television work and the West End? ‘No,’ she says firmly. ‘That’s why I do the job – because you don’t know what’s around the corner – and you surprise yourself when you are presented with different challenges that you might not even have thought about. That’s the case certainly with the storyline of EastEnders. It’s a way of growing as a person and a performer.’”

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Highland fling

Kathy Elgin celebrates Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary

“Scottish Ballet is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, and, as you might expect from a company based in Glasgow, they’re not doing it quietly. Christopher Hampson, the company’s artistic director and chief executive, has set in train a programme of celebratory events and a big party to which the entire population of Scotland seems to be invited. Looking ahead, he has also announced ‘Five in Five’ – five new, full-length productions in five years. This is enough to make any board member (or finance director) gulp nervously, but the company are getting on with things with enthusiasm – and with the new confidence born of seven years of careful and hardworking re-invention on the part of Hampson and his team since he took over in 2012.

“Beyond doubt, Hampson has moved the company forwards and he’s done this, in one sense, by looking backwards, investigating the glory days of founding director Peter Darrell, one of the most revolutionary figures in ballet in the UK and a creative man of the theatre for whom Hampson has huge respect.”

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Also in the February issue…

We highlight MOVE IT 2019, the UK’s biggest dance event

Laura Dodge offers some ideas to graduates about to enter the dance profession

Fátima Nollén takes a look at the dance scene in Colombia

Nicola Rayner highlights the benefits of Hot Yoga for dancers

Gerald Dowler interviews Stuttgart Ballet’s Friedemann Vogel

Sean Gandini draws parallels between dance and juggling

Graham Spicer see the Ballet of La Scala, Milan, in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Ballet Black’s Isabela Coracy is our Dancer of the Month

Tips on technique: James Whitehead on fallaway and promenade position

Rachel Rist on building resilience

Same-sex dance: Marianka Swain marks the 20th anniversary of the Pink Jukebox Trophy

Debbie Malina thinks dancers should know more about breath control

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New directors for Birmingham Royal Ballet and Rambert, Ballet Central on tour, dance in the New Year Honours

Reviews of Scottish Ballet, New Adventures, English National Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Natalia Osipova and Jonathan Goddard in The Mother, Ballett Basel, Hamburg Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Obituaries of Elaine McDonald, Raven Wilkinson and Thea Nerissa Barnes

The February issue is now in shops – including branches of WHSmith – or you can buy your print copy here or buy your digital copy from all good app stores

Main image: Ballet Black’s Isabela Coracy. Photograph by Angela Zaremba

Simon Oliver has been production editor of Dancing Times since 2010 and is highly experienced in design across print and online magazine production. Throughout his career, Simon has worked on a diverse range of subjects including music, family history, book collecting and poker.

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