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July 2015 issue

Posted on June 26, 2015

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square-july-15-coverThis month, we speak to Marcelo Gomes about ballet and Matthew Bourne, to Peter Schaufuss and Li Cunxin about La Sylphide and to Richard Bonynge about ballet music. There’s also a focus on the training of young dancers, from youth ballet companies to Elmhurst School for Dance and more…






Never stop growing

gomes-grabMarcelo Gomes, the princely star of American Ballet Theatre, joins New Adventures for the London run of The Car Man. He speaks to Zoë Anderson about challenges, choreography and change:

“Does he see [working with Matthew Bourne and New Adventures] as the start of a longer collaboration? ‘I hope so. I enjoy London a lot. I love doing my Swan Lakes and Romeos and Onegins and Manons, I’m still not done with all of those things. But I feel I need this outlet, I like being with different kinds of artists, to have something else to say, a different perspective on dance.

‘That’s what I’m gaining here: it’s going to make me more well-rounded. One could ask, what are you doing? Spending two weeks boxing and learning how to fight, dropping my weight in sneakers! It’s something to go for. And you see: you see if you succeed, you see if you fail. It’s a chance that you take, but my instinct is to be here right now, to go for this. I’m really happy I am.’”

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The Sylphide of Oz

oz-sylphide-grabJonathan Gray talks to Peter Schaufuss and Queensland Ballet director Li Cunxin about Schaufuss’ Olivier award-winning production of La Sylphide, created in 1979 and now returning to London:

“…the memories of winning the Olivier Award are still vivid for Schaufuss: ‘The ceremony was at the Café de Paris. Kenneth MacMillan was there too, and Balanchine was also nominated. I hadn’t prepared a speech, and I was completely overwhelmed when Sylphide won. I’m so excited it’s coming back to London…’

“One of the roles Cunxin danced in Houston was James in La Sylphide. ‘As a dancer, you want to perform all the beautiful ballets and all the styles you can,’ he continued. ‘Bournonville teaches you a different way to dance, and the style is very challenging. I found Sylphide difficult; it was harder than the Russian classics, and it certainly made me work much harder. It’s a beautiful ballet to perform, and it’s something I can now teach and challenge my dancers with. I want to introduce them to as wide a variety of styles as possible, from George Balanchine, the Russian classics and Bournonville to Liam Scarlett, Christopher Wheeldon and Christopher Bruce. I also want to encourage aspiring choreographers in Queensland…’”

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Dancing through the holidays

youth-ballet-companies-grabLaura Dodge finds out about three companies – London Children’s Ballet, National Youth Ballet and English Youth Ballet – celebrating the talent of UK youth ballet dancers:

“For most young people, the school holidays are a time to rest, but for youth ballet dancers, they’re often packed full of classes, rehearsals and performances. During the Easter break, London Children’s Ballet company members were busy in the studios of English National Ballet School, putting the finishing touches to their production of Snow White. Whilst choreographer Jenna Lee offered technical and character corrections to the ballet’s Queen, other dancers stretched and chatted excitedly, and one young performer even quietly celebrated being offered a place at The Royal Ballet Lower School…”

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Also in the July issue…

Jeanette Andersen reports on Bavarian State Ballet’s Ballet and Wilderness project, staging dance in the depths of Germany’s national parks

Ginny Brown argues that there is a strong future for dance in education

Conductor Richard Bonynge speaks to Margaret Willis about his love for ballet music

David Mead reports from Elmhurst School for Dance

Debbie Malina on Stretchworks, an exercise programme developed to help dancers to avoid injury

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Luke Schaufuss is our Dancer of the Month

U.Dance, Youth Dance England’s annual festival, focuses on integrated dance this year

Plus news of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s 2015–16 season, Tanztheater Wuppertal commissions, new home for English National Ballet and English National Ballet School, Rambert’s project with Garsington Opera, Thomas Small as Radio 2’s artist in residence, Sergei Polunin and more; reviews of Rambert’s Dark Arteries programme, Northern Ballet’s mixed programme and Elves and the Shoemaker, Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy of Nrityagram, Ballet Black’s Dogs Don’t Do Ballet, Sylvie Guillem’s Life in Progress, The Royal Ballet in Robbins and MacMillan, The Place at Battersea Arts Centre, Richard Alston Dance Company at home, Cloud Gate in Taiwan, Sarasota Ballet’s tribute to Nijinsky, Royal Ballet Flanders’ Flanders Fields, Stuttgart Ballet’s All Cranko!, The Pirates of Penzance at English National Opera, Beyond Bollywood, Diana Vishneva gala at the Maryinsky Ballet, La Sylphide at New York City Ballet, Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty for American Ballet Theatre, DVD reviews, obituaries of Maggie Black and Dudley Williams, dance education news and more

The July issue is now in stores – including branches of WHSmith – 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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