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February 2022 issue

Posted on January 27, 2022

02 DT Feb22

Although there were some performances cancelled in the UK – and abroad – at the end of last year and at the beginning of 2022, it now looks as if things are slowly getting back to normal for many working in the field of dance. New productions, such as English National Ballet’s staging of Raymonda, have finally made it to the stage, and the same can be said for the Ballet of La Scala, Milan, which launched a new production of La Bayadère after various delays and cancellations due to the Omicron variant. 

One long-standing dance institution, MOVE IT, will be back at ExCeL London again next month, and in this issue you can find out what it has planned to entice us back into the exhibition hall. We also hear from choreographers Ben Duke and Mark Bruce, both of whom are about to launch spring tours, and we talk to The Royal Ballet’s Marcelino Sambé about his upcoming appearances in Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake. 

On a sad note, however, all at Dancing Times were shocked to learn, early in the New Year, of the death of our photographer, Kristyna Kashvili, and we pay a small tribute to her in obituaries.


One of the family

Gerald Dowler talks to Royal Ballet principal Marcelino Sambé 

16 19 Marcelino Sambe February“GD: Now you are settled into your status as a principal, how has the nature of your work changed?’

“MS: It has been a humbling process. As a company dancer, it is easy to be blinded by the volume of work that you have with one production following another and sometimes several roles in each. Suddenly, as a principal, all your efforts are concentrated on maybe two or three performances of the highest standard with a vision of a role which is unique to you. You have to have more of a business-like approach to decide what it is you are going to do with it. To be honest, the journey becomes a lonely one. That said, you create deeper relationships with your coaches – I am really enjoying working closely with Edward Watson, for example.”  

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Stripping himself bare

Craig Revel Horwood talks to Nicola Rayner about his new show, which opens next month 

28 31 Craig Revel Horwood FebruaryAll Balls and Glitter returns to the very beginning of Revel Horwood’s life. ‘I’m going to go right back to when I was a little kid, dressing up and singing songs I made up. Things you might have read about, but not necessarily heard… It’s all connected to myself growing up in my hometown of Ballarat, the boy from Oz… I’m giving myself up and handing myself over to the audience to decide,’ he muses. ‘It’s about being brave and courageous about the whole thing and stripping yourself bare, showing people what I love to do.’ 

“Is it hard, as Strictly’s sternest judge, to let himself be vulnerable? ‘You have to be vulnerable,’ he insists. ‘First and foremost, I’m an actor, and, secondly, I’m a singer, then lastly, I’m a dancer. You need to be able to portray a story, so that’s the acting part, and then, if you can’t say it, sing it, and if you can’t sing it, dance it, as the old saying goes.’ Didn’t the dancing come first for him? ‘The order of events is I trained as a dancer, then I trained as a singer, then as an actor. I went to a school that did all three, the first school of its kind in Australia, back in the early 1980s.’”

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Standing on a tightrope

In advance of his new production based on Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities, Dancing Times asked Lost Dog’s Ben Duke why he was interested in adapting classic texts

19 21 Ben Duke February“There are two answers to this. One is true and the other is retro-fitted. To adapt is to make something that already exists suitable for a new purpose. I think we are essentially an adaptive species; I’m sure that is why we’ve been able so successfully to colonise the world and, although I claim no specialist knowledge, beyond having read Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, the problems seem to have really begun when we started favouring the new over the adapted. I think it has something to do with Freud’s grandson who, at some point in the 1950s, convinced us to not bother sewing that button back on the coat but just throw the whole thing away and get a new one. 

“So I’m in favour of adaptation as an act of resistance. Admittedly, creating new stories is less environmentally damaging than making new coats but there is a correlation. If we fetishise the new, the emerging, the young, then we waste a huge amount of what is already excellent in the old and the emerged.”  

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Also in the February issue…

MOVE IT, the world’s biggest dance show, is back for 2022

Sanjoy Roy meets choreographer Mark Bruce

Jonathan Nash reveals how audio-describers can contribute to the enjoyment of dance

Alison Gallagher-Hughes hears how Domen Krapez and Natascha Karabey went about honing their craft during lockdown 

Barbara Newman reviews Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall

Graham Spicer sees La Scala’s new production of La Bayadère

James Whitehead looks at fallaways in the foxtrot

Laura Cappelle watches the Paris Opéra Ballet in Don Quixote and The Rite of Spring

David Jays sees Cabaret in the West End

Phil Meacham looks at traction action

Margaret Willis interviews our Dancer of the Month, Northern Ballet’s Dominique Larose

Simon Selmon introduces his friend Rusty Frank

Igor Stupnikov applauds Angelin Preljocaj’s version of Swan Lake in St Petersburg

Pete Meager talks to Jacky Logan about Jacky’s Jukebox

Luke Abnett looks at pain and injuries

Jack Reavely shares some tips from Doreen Freeman

Leigh Witchel catches up with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Trocks in New York

Nicola Rayner reviews a new book on Latin arm movement 


02 DT Feb22Tamara Rojo to leave English National Ballet, Rambert to appear in stage version of Peaky Blinders, Sadler’s Wells announces spring season, Jasmin Vardimon’s Alice in V R Wonderland, new dance venue in Brighton, Trisha Brown choreography at Tate Modern, Aakash Odedra’s new show for children, Rosie Kay Dance Company closes, New Year Honours for dance, Maria Kochetkova resigns from English National Ballet; Reviews of live performances from The Australian Ballet, Ballet de Santiago, English National Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, New Adventures, Natalia Osipova, The Royal Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet; Kristyna Kashvili, Galina Samsova, Marjorie Tallchief and Rudi Trautz remembered in Obituaries; New things to try in Products; New CEO of Royal Academy of Dance announced, Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre Dance Virtual Showcase, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dance Track programme; Calendar dates for performances in the UK and abroad; Where to learn to dance in the UK; We look back to February 1982

The February 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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