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December 2020

Posted on December 17, 2020

12 DT December 2020

Editorial and contents December 2020

With England well into its second lockdown due to COVID-19, our dance companies have had to put on hold any performances they planned to undertake during the month of November. Hopefully, by the time this latest issue of Dancing Times is published, the country will have a clearer idea of whether this lockdown will be relaxed in time for the festive season, and if we will be able to return to theatres once more. London has no fewer than three different productions of The Nutcracker in the pipeline, showing that even during a pandemic there is no escaping this indestructible Christmas classic! 

The autumn saw a flurry of performances in Birmingham, Leeds and London, and this month we not only review the shows, but talk to some of the dancers and choreographers who were able to perform and create works in the theatre before a live audience for the first time since March. We hear from Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas, and also from Manuel Legris, the new director at the Ballet of La Scala, Milan; find out how Boston Ballet has coped with lockdown; and discover – in the first half of a two-part article – how Mathilde Kschessinska may have been the hidden hand behind the dismissal of Vaslav Nijinsky from the Imperial Russian Ballet in 1911. Which just leaves me to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas! 


Dancing Times, December 2020 Volume 111 Issue 1324

Cover Stories

14 – Ready to deliver. Jonathan Gray asks dancers and a choreographer from Northern Ballet and The Royal Ballet what it feels like to be back at work

21 – Behind the sequins. Shirley Ballas talks to Nicola Rayner 

24 – Kschessinska versus Nijinsky. Andrew Foster asks if Mathilde Kschessinska was the hidden hand in Vaslav Nijinsky’s dismissal

28 – Transmitting what he knows. Graham Spicer talks to Manuel Legris, the new director of the Ballet of La Scala, Milan


18 – Boston Ballet’s COVID season. Iris Fanger finds out what has been happening at Boston Ballet since lockdown

31 – RAD 100. Eleanor Fitzpatrick highlights the 100th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Dance

Dance Today

54 – A Magical Mystery Tour. From formation to film sets, Robert Grover has certainly led a colourful life. Alison Gallagher-Hughes reports

56 – Tips on technique. By James Whitehead

57 – Technique clinic. By Phil Meacham

58 – Simon’s Guide to Swing. By Simon Selmon

59 – Stepping Out. By Marianka Swain

60 – Somewhere in time. By Jack Reavely


6 – News. Alina Cojocaru leaves English National Ballet, Win Royal Ballet DVDs

10 – Letters

12 – Talking Point. By Matthew Paluch

35 – Dance Scene International

Reviews include Birmingham Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet, The Royal Ballet and Hong Kong Ballet

42 – Variety Lights. Barbara Newman visits Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer

45 – Danza in Italia. By Graham Spicer

46 – FRANCE/dance. By Laura Cappelle

48 – Letter from St Petersburg. By Igor Stupnikov

50 – Notes from New York. By George Dorris and Jack Anderson

63 – Dancer of the Month. Margaret Willis interviews Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Beatrice Parma

67 – Obituaries. Marge Champion, David Toole

70 – Media. Reviews by Deborah Weiss and David Mead

73 – Products

75 – Education. Gielgud Academy, DSOTY 2020 results

76 – Expect the unexpected. By Debbie Malina

79 – Classifieds

80 – Calendar. Our guide to what’s on in the UK and abroad

82 – Last Dance. We look back to December 1980


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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