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December 2014!

Posted on November 27, 2014

square december cover

square-december-coverNutcracker season is here again! Our festive December cover shows Scottish Ballet’s Sophie Martin and Christopher Harrison in Peter Darrell’s version of the ballet, wearing the new designs by Lez Brotherston. This month’s issue has a focus on choreographer-directors, with features on Darrell, Christopher Wheeldon, Cathy Marston and more…








From Paris to Broadway

wheeldon-american-in-paris-grabGerald Dowler interviews The Royal Ballet’s Leanne Cope and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon about his new stage version of An American in Paris:

Wheeldon: “Certainly working on narrative dance, exploring text and character development has been a great way in to learning how to shape the book for American and direct the actors. I think it goes both ways though. We staged American last year as a studio workshop right before I started working on The Winter’s Tale and I definitely found myself approaching the process differently, probing much deeper into character and how to build movement that feels like it is naturally emerging from text. This has been an incredible learning experience that will inform how I work from here on…”


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Peter Who?

peter-darrell-grabAs Scottish Ballet reproduces Peter Darrell’s version of The Nutcracker, Paul Arrowsmith finds out more about the company’s founder choreographer:

“Recognised for getting the best from his performers, Darrell complained when dancers looked like puppets rather than people. ‘Peter didn’t just want technique. He liked personalities, you couldn’t be bland. You needed something between your ears. He treated you as an actor,’ says [Brenda] Last. Now director of Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, in his first job, Paul Bayes-Kitcher found that, ‘You felt Peter’s presence but dancers were not scared of him. That showed on stage. He cared about each individual. You could have a laugh with him – but rehearsals were still hard work. He had that balance.’”


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No Place Like Home?

guest-artist-grabDominic Antonucci, ballet master with Birmingham Royal Ballet, reveals the challenges and rewards of performing as a guest artist, from Romantic ballerina Fanny Elssler to the present day:

“Imagine Elssler doing her daily ballet class on the rocky ship across the ocean or warming up between train carriages travelling from one city to the next. It must have been impossible for her to have felt on top form. The pressure to perform well on her US tour would have been immense. Though Elssler’s enterprise is well-documented ballet lore, it does highlight some areas of consideration that are very much relevant to guest artists in dance today…”


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Also in the December issue…

A new book about the Ballet Russe ballerina Irina Baronova

Northern Ballet’s Dreda Blow speaks to Margaret Willis

Cathy Marston argues for choreographers as leaders

News of MOVE IT, the popular dance exhibition at London’s Olympia

David Mead finds that being a critic and a choreographer go hand in hand

Debbie Malina looks at dance and games, including a new phone game featuring Dutch National Ballet

Zoë Anderson speaks to Kate Prince, choreographer of ZooNation’s new Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Igor Stupnikov interviews to Yuri Fateyev about his plans for the Maryinsky Ballet


Plus news of Sadler’s Wells, English National Ballet, Sylvie Guillem, Wendy Whelan, dancers’ pay, Diana Vishneva, National Dance Company Wales, the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and the Gala for Ann Maguire, reviews of Dance Umbrella, Rocío Molina, Tao Dance Theatre, A Harlem Dream, Le Patin Libre, The Royal Ballet, Thomas Adès: See the Music, Hear the Dance with works by Wayne McGregor, Karole Armitage, Alexander Whitley and Crystal Pite, Akram Khan and Israel Galván, Dance ’Til Dawn, DV8 Physical Theatre, Dutch National Ballet, Ballet du Capitole, Royal Danish Ballet, Zürich Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Gypsy, Dance Proms, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Sarasota Ballet, dance books and DVDs and more!


Buy now

The December issue is in shops now, 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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