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January 2015 issue

Posted on January 5, 2015

square jan

square-janHappy New Year! Our new January issue takes us into the New Year with an international focus, from Ballet Flanders cover stars Aki Saito and Wim Vanlessen to training from Beijing to the UK…









Improving on excellence


Christopher Powney, new director of The Royal Ballet School, speaks to Gerald Dowler about his plans:

“I sometimes question the motivation of British students because there can be an element of sitting back on their laurels. Potential is the starting point, and that can only be developed by motivation and effort; if you are not driven or determined, you won’t make it.

“It has been said that certain cultures possess more drive and in today’s culture in the UK there can be a sense of entitlement. Some young people think they are entitled to have success handed to them – but it actually comes from them and them alone. They must work to create their own opportunities, especially when we are talking about excellence. The challenge is to communicate that once they are given a chance, the rest is down to them…”

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A Beijing anniversary

beijing-grabJonathan Gray travelled to the Chinese capital for the Beijing Dance Academy’s 60th anniversary celebrations:

“The benefits of international co-operation between China and the west were firmly demonstrated… when the lucky BDA students were treated to a series of wonderful masterclasses…

“Experiencing classes that, presumably, were very different in style to the ones they receive from their regular teachers, the students seemed invigorated and excited by the challenges of what they were learning, from the deliciously precise style of the petit allegro and épaulement of the Danish school that Thomas Lund was imparting to a class of clearly delighted young women, to the exhilarating, more flamboyant grand allegro demanded from Kenneth Greve of a class of young men. In all of the masterclasses, each teacher stressed the importance of correct placement of the feet, arms and stance, and the students responded to what was required with true commitment…”

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More to life

aakash-odedra-grabDancer and choreographer Aakash Odedra talks to Zoë Anderson about dance, dyslexia and Absolutely Fabulous:

“‘I come from a very extreme upbringing,’ he says now. ‘Two extreme sides – one very orthodox, one extremely open.’ What does he mean by unorthodox? ‘You know Absolutely Fabulous? That’s my mother. My father’s side was quite orthodox Indian, so they were like chalk and cheese. My mother was like Eddy and I was like Saffy’ – the fashionista mother and sensible teenaged daughter in the BBC sitcom. ‘I lived with my grandmother because I found my parents quite weird. I really thank them for it now. All these strange things – actually, in the long run, it turned out to be the foundation of what has made me as a person…”

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Also in the January issue…

English National Ballet’s Junor Souza talks to Margaret Willis

Richard Glasstone celebrates 50 years of the Spanish Dance Society

The Royal Ballet’s Nathalie Harrison highlights the importance of arts education

Zoë Anderson speaks to Gregory Dean and Kizzy Matiakis, two British-born dancers with the Royal Danish Ballet

We preview MOVE IT, the UK’s biggest dance event

Debbie Malina explores osteopathy for dancers


Plus news of Dance UK’s industry-wide conference, Wayne McGregor and Paris Opéra Ballet stars at Manchester International Festival, Northern Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Richard Alston and the Golden Lights Awards in St Petersburg; reviews of Cullberg Ballet, Rambert, James Cousins Company, Jasmin Vardimon Company, Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Ballet Cymru, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Flanders, Gauthier Dance, Millennium Performing Arts, English Youth Ballet, the West End musicals Memphis and Made in Dagenham, the international arts festival Diaghilev PS, the Mikhailovsky Ballet in New York; obituaries of Alla Sizova and Harry Haythorne; a New Year round-up of dance books and DVDs and more!


Buy now

The January 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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