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December 2019 issue

Posted on November 27, 2019

December DT cover cropped

It’s almost time for Christmas, and we have some goodies lined up in the December issue of Dancing Times. Adam Cooper returns to the London stage to appear in Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, and we find out what he has been up to recently. We also hear from Dick Bird, who designed the sets for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Royal Albert Hall, and highlight the “series finale” to Fátima Nóllen’s articles on dance in South America with additional articles on Thiago Soares and Iñaki Urlezaga, both of whom were principal dancers with The Royal Ballet.

Song and dance man

AdamCooper DecemberIn a break in rehearsals, Adam Cooper spoke to Gerald Dowler about working with Matthew Bourne again

“Matt and I have tried over the years to find projects we could do together, but nothing quite worked out mainly because of conflicting dates. I came in to coach The Swan in Swan Lake last year, which I hadn’t done for about 20 years, and it was lovely to be back in that environment and pass on my knowledge to the young dancers.

“Matt and I had lunch one day and I observed I really wanted to do more performing because over the past four years, I have been doing an awful lot of choreography and direction in Germany, in particular, and I haven’t performed in London since 2013 in Singin’ in the Rain. A few months later, I got a call asking me if I wanted to do Lermontov in The Red Shoes, which reminded me that when I first saw the piece I had said to myself it would be a great role to tackle. I felt it would be such a complex and rewarding character to explore at this stage of my career, so I didn’t need to think twice about accepting the offer.”

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All hail, Johannes!

021 DT December 2019Nicola Rayner celebrates the runaway popularity of Strictly professional Johannes Radebe and his same-sex dance with Graziano Di Prima

‘“It’s wonderful that Johannes and Graziano have been able to dance together on primetime television in this way,’ says Jonathan Gray, editor of this magazine. ‘Dancing Times has been reporting on same-sex dance for years now, and it’s about time the Strictly producers and the BBC moved with the times, got up to date, stopped talking about it being a “family” show – as if gay people don’t have families anyway – and embraced the diverse world we live in. The cynic in me thinks their dance happened purely because of the news about Dancing on Ice; now the BBC must put words into action, and get some same-sex couples actually competing on Strictly.’

“Radebe’s journey onto the BBC show has not been an easy one. ‘I grew up in a country where homosexuality was frowned upon,’ he recently told The Sun, detailing a horrific incident in which he was attacked at school by another pupil with a baseball bat. ‘The society around me pointed to me and said, “There’s something wrong with you,” but Strictly has helped me be a better person and accepting of myself. When I got to the UK it was beautiful – for the first time in my life I felt liberated.’”

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Journey’s end?

Latin America Conclusion DecemberFátima Nollén concludes her series on dance in Latin America

“It’s difficult to write a conclusion to a subject in such constant evolution, especially with so many serious political events happening on the continent. In Chile, known for its stable economy, an unexpected crisis hit the Teatro Municipal, home of the Ballet de Santiago, when staff complained about working conditions, although they rejected the street violence seen recently on the television news. Related to this or not, a new director was announced – Carmen Gloria Larenas, a former dancer and the theatre’s first female general director. She comes with hope for better understanding of the needs of the artists, as well as a decade of success leading the Teatro del Lago in Patagonia. Ballet de Santiago will be performing The Nutcracker this month, and January sees a revival of The House of the Spirits: the 2020 season formally commences in March with [Marcia] Haydée’s version of Carmen.

“Meanwhile in Argentina, where Paloma Herrera enters her fourth year as director of the Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón, an unusual international audition for 24 places in the Colón’s corps de ballet took place, for which The Royal Ballet’s artistic director, Kevin O’Hare, and Manuel Legris, director of the Vienna State Ballet, were consultants. The audition was undertaken to help stabilise dancer’s contracts by making them permanent staff of the theatre, which is funded by the city of Buenos Aires. Herrera said: ‘I invited people [to sit on the audition panel] with whom I have never had a personal relationship, so that the audition was transparent, open and a fair call.’ This month, the company performs Mario Galizzi’s version of Swan Lake in new sets and costumes. In addition, Teatro San Martín’s Ballet Contemporáneo won the prestigious Konex Platinum Award for its avant garde work over the past decade.”

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Also in the December issue…

Gavin McCaig thinks we should get excited about digital dance

Kristyna Kashvili joins Thiago Soares on tour in Brazil

Alicia Alonso remembered

Lee Knights explores the history of bachata

Fátima Nollén talks to Iñaki Urlezaga about bringing Pushkin to St Petersburg

Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet gets the big screen treatment

Debbie Malina considers the many links found between dance and the military

Paul Arrowsmith meets stage designer Dick Bird

Barbara Newman sees Falsettos and Orpheus and Eurydice

Jack Reavely goes “Somewhere in time”

Margaret Willis interviews Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Laura Day

Laura Cappelle on Crystal Pite’s new work for the Paris Opéra Ballet

Clemmie Cowl writes about the work of the Dance Professionals Fund

James Whitehead looks at samba

Igor Stupnikov reviews the Mikhailovsky Ballet’s new La Bayadère

Nicola Rayner reports from the International at the Royal Albert Hall

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12 DT December 2019Scottish Ballet in 2020, 2Faced Dance in The Box of Delights, nominations announced for the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, American Ballet Theatre celebrates 80 years, Moulin Rouge! The Musical comes to the West End, ENB to host a gala at the London Coliseum, Karen Kain to retire from National Ballet of Canada, One Dance UK Awards, Michael O’Hare presented with the Royal Ballet Govenors’ Gold Medal, Monica Mason appointed vice president of the RAD, Barbara Sharples Award, Alastair Marriott and Jonathan Howells leave The Royal Ballet, London College reunion, David Bintley and bbodance, Dance School of the Year 2019, we look back to December 1979

Reviews include American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Arizona, Ballet du Capitole, Ballet West, Bavarian State Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Dance Umbrella, Hong Kong Ballet, L A Dance Project, New York City Ballet, Northern Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, Rambert, The Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet Flanders, Royal Swedish Ballet, Russell Maliphant Company, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Wendy Whelan

The December 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

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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