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December 2011

Posted on December 20, 2011


We’ve gone Nutcracker mad with the December Dancing Times, highlighting the fact that there will be no fewer than four different productions playing in London over the Christmas period – it seems we just can’t get enough of this seasonal favourite. In this issue, Zoë Anderson looks at the enduring appeal of The Nutcracker; Mary Clarke talks to Peter Wright about his production for Birmingham Royal Ballet; we offer pairs of tickets as prizes to see New York City Ballet’s production of Balanchine’s Nutcracker in the cinema; Natalie Wheen looks behind the scenes at The O2 as BRB prepare to stage The Nutcracker there; and in Dance Scene UK I see my first (but not my last) Nutcracker of the 2011–12 season!

Rest assured, there is much more to read this month, including a Talking Point written by Tamara Rojo. Also included is Kathryn Wade’s advice on how best to prepare for vocational school auditions for students and their parents; and Matthew Hawkins’ tribute to Merce Cunningham, whose company gives its final performances this month. In November, magazine subscribers received a free 2012 calendar in recognition of their support over the year. If you would like to obtain a calendar, which is not for sale in the shops or newsagents, why not take out an annual subscription for Dancing Times, or sister magazine Dance Today? They make perfect Christmas presents! Details can be found here. Finally, all at Dancing Times would like to wish our readers a very Merry Christmas.


December 2011 Volume 102 Issue 1216


15 Nutcracker nation. Zoë Anderson looks at the appeal of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic

19 Birmingham’s Nutcracker. Mary Clarke talks to Peter Wright about his Nutcracker

23 The bigger the better?
As Birmingham Royal Ballet prepares its production of The Nutcracker at The O2, Natalie Wheen considers the appeal of classical ballet for an arena audience

27 Karlovac Dance Festival. Laura Dodge investigates contemporary dance in Croatia

35 Immaterial interest. Matthew Hawkins remembers Merce Cunningham 

39 Enjoy the experience. Kathryn Wade offers some practical advice for young dancers who are about to audition for vocational dance schools, and their parents

43 Community dance. Kevin Berry meets De-Napoli Clarke of Leeds-based RJC Dance Productions


6 Dance Matters. Scottish Ballet, win Nutcracker cinema tickets, Sadler’s Wells spring season

11 Letters

12 Talking Point. This month, Tamara Rojo visits the Royal Academy’s Degas exhibition

31 Dance Health. Debbie Malina on R I C E

47 Dance Scene. Reviews this month include : Dance Umbrella, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet, Some Like It Hip Hop, The Australian Ballet and Dutch National Ballet

67 Letter from St Petersburg. Igor Stupnikov sees Sylvie Guillem

69 Dance Media. Mary Clarke and Jonathan Gray review and preview new books and DVDs

71 Dance People. Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev

73 Obituaries. Bengt Häger, Nina Sorokina

75 Dance Education. Yorkshire Ballet Gala, Italia Conti, National Youth Ballet

81 Classifieds

82 Where to Learn

84 Calendar

Into Dance

93 Dancer of the Month. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Céline Gittens interviewed by Margaret Willis

96 Behind the scenes with Beauty and the Beast. By Zoë Anderson

98 Your Page

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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