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September 2018 issue

Posted on August 30, 2018


The September 2018 issue is particularly strong on interviews, from our cover star Laurretta Summerscales to former Strictly Come Dancing pro Robin Windsor, from Michael “Mikey J” Asante and Kenrick “H2O” Sandy of Boy Blue Entertainment to choreographers Lucas Jervies and Wayne Eagling – plus a roundtable discussion with Latin American dancers working in the UK…


The Time is now

Laurretta Summerscales speaks to Laura Dodge about her move to Germany, the dancers of comparing herself to other dancers, and the joys of napping…

“LD: You had a really successful career at English National Ballet [ENB] and were loved by the UK audiences. What prompted your move to the Bavarian State Ballet?

“LS: There were lots of little reasons that came together. I mainly wanted to do new repertoire – at ENB, we always had the Christmas Coliseum season of The Nutcracker and I knew we’d continue to perform Akram Khan’s Giselle a lot. I wanted to do Don Quixote and La Bayadère as I’d always dreamed of dancing those ballets. A dance career is short and can be over suddenly. People told me I had plenty of time, but I decided the time was now!

“The move has been really good – I’ve been so busy. Of course the UK is my home and I wouldn’t be the dancer I am today without ENB. I really enjoyed my time there. I’ve always had a passion for ballet that I could never control – but coming to Munich, it’s been ‘wow’. I’ve learnt so many ballets in one season. My passion has reached a new level. I’m very happy…”

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Farewell, Robin!

Nicola Rayner chats to Robin Windsor about his farewell tour, Strictly Come Dancing and his move to the Caribbean…

“‘In the show, I talk about the stories on the lead-up to [his time on Strictly], which weren’t quite so pretty,’ says Robin. In what way? ‘I talk about how I had to stop dancing when I was 19 and the reasons behind it. Everybody always sees me with a big smile on my face and thinks I’m the happiest person in the world but there’s a lot of stuff people don’t know, and I wanted to tell my story before I left.’

“Today, Robin works closely with a mental health charity, SANE. His depression returned a few years ago. ‘I was still on Strictly at the time it started – it was really bad. A lot of things happened at the same time, quite bad things, which set it in motion.’

“In 2014, a slipped disc meant Robin couldn’t dance in the BBC show. ‘My injury, a financial situation,’ he starts to list the disasters. ‘My engagement [to David Cini] had ended and I lost my job on Strictly all at the same time, so it took its toll,’ he says, ‘though there’s more to it than that. Be prepared to bring a tissue for that part of the story, and the song that deals with it…’”

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Passion and principles

Michael “Mikey J” Asante and Kenrick “H2O” Sandy of Boy Blue Entertainment tell Zoë Anderson about staying close to their roots as they find international success

“‘Ken and I are both big brothers,’ says Asante. ‘In both our upbringings, we were told, “You have to be mindful of what you do, because your younger brother or sister will follow.” Especially from the African point of view, that transcends the whole family, cousins and everything. So, as Ken says, you’re in the space of responsibility. Connected with that, hip hop in itself, inherently, is about showing by example. It’s about show and prove. You can’t just mouth off and talk about what you do, you have to do it. So really, our minds are focused on being that example. Whether it’s a big stage or a small stage – we started on small stages – it makes no difference. It’s a space and there’s someone there who needs to be entertained, or enlightened, or educated – whatever it is we give, that element where it’s needed.’”

“‘We want to create artists,’ says Sandy. ‘We want to create people who are so independent and so strong in their will and in their passion that they become the next choreographers, the next teachers… When we’re doing something like Blak Whyte Gray, we want the next generation of dancers to look at that show and say, “This is the show I want to be in.” So they have to push themselves…’”

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Also in the September issue…

Latin America in London Fátima Nollén hosts a roundtable discussion with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s César Morales, Rambert’s Miguel Altunaga and The Royal Ballet’s Leticia Stock, Isabella Gasparini and Fernando Montaño

Creating a rock solid technique a new series by Rachel Rist

Caitlyn Lehmann speaks to Lucas Jervies about his new production of Spartacus for The Australian Ballet

Laura Cappelle visits Carthage Dance, a new festival held in Tunisia

Wayne Eagling discusses his new work for New English Ballet Theatre with Jonathan Gray

Nicola Rayner reports on the UK Closed Championships in Bournemouth

Lee Knights bones up on bone health for dancers

Northern Ballet’s Mlindi Kulashe is our September Dancer of the Month

Talking point: Laura Dodge argues that recreational dance schools need to reconsider their focus on exams

Tips on technique: James Whitehead swings the jive into focus

Technique clinic: Phil Meacham on the difference between walking and dancing in ballroom

Same-sex dance: Marianka Swain on performers Iron & Sparks

Swing dance: Simon Selmon on Balboa, a dancer’s dance

Jack Reavely remembers a transformation of tango

Dance health: Debbie Malina on why the ankle is particularly vulnerable for dancers

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Plus news of Strictly Come Dancing, Carlos Acosta, Ballet Cymru, Experiential Dance Company, Vicki Igbokwe’s Uchenna Dance, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, ballroom in the Oxford English Dictionary, the XX Biennal de Flamenco in Seville, Julia Farron

Reviews of East London Dance and Hofesh Shechter Company in East Wall, Che Malambo, Carmen La Cubana, L-E-V in Love Chapter 2, William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load

International reviews of Rocío Molina in Avignon, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Ballet am Rhein’s new Swan Lake, The Australian Ballet in works by Stephen Baynes, Tim Harbour and Alice Topp, Má Vlast danced in the Old Town Square in Prague, the 280th anniversary of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, Joshua Beamish’s move:the company, BalletX, Carmina Burana and new choreography at Badisches Staatsballett, A Reid Anderson Celebration at Stuttgart Ballet

Obituary of Nadine Baylis

Education news of Gielgud Academy, Urdang Academy, Dance School of the Year Awards 2018, Bird College, Laine Theatre Arts, Genée International Ballet Competition results


The September 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

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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