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June 2016

Posted on June 14, 2016

We look forward to a summer of dance this month, from The Australian Ballet – with our cover star Leanne Stojmenov – at the London Coliseum to Fearghus Ó Conchúir’s The Casement Project and choreographer Jessica Lang’s new response to Shakespeare’s sonnets…

Shakespeare with a wink

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David Mead talks to choreographer Jessica Lang, who is creating the Shakespeare-inspired Wink for Birmingham Royal Ballet

“Lang is fully aware that Wink may well become a topic of discussion because, as a female choreographer, ‘I’m achieving something that everybody’s questioning right now, but I would hope I’m getting commissions because my work is good and not only because, ‘Oh, you’re a girl so we’ll give you that opportunity’…

“The issue is closely linked to what happens in education, she says, noting that there are usually more girls taking ballet than boys, and that while girls often feel replaceable, boys quickly realise they are needed. ‘We need a prince. We need a Nutcracker. You don’t have to be exceptionally talented. It’s just a facct that he’s the gender needed for that role.’ Men get more attention, which translates into confidence, she continues. Males are not more talented in choreography, she insists, it’s just that their experiences encourage them to be bolder and gives them a different sort of rapport with their usually male artistic directors…”

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Dressed to dance

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Zoë Anderson speaks to Theresa Hewlett of DSI London about the skill that underpins the glamour of ballroom and Latin dresses.

“Latin dresses are usually revealing, with bare midriffs and slashed skirts. One thing I’ve always wondered: how do dancers’ tiny pants not ride up, particularly given their athletic moves? ‘They’re bigger pants than a swimsuit,’ Hewlett explains. ‘Swimsuits are cut with high legs. It’s a delicate subject, but if you measure the width of the crotch on an ordinary pair of knickers, it’s probably three or four centimetres. For dancers, it’s maybe seven centimetres.

“‘They’re big knickers, really,’ she continues. ‘Dancers don’t like to think that, but they are really big knickers, because they have to hug under the bum. Some dancers do say, ‘I’d like a higher cut, and sometimes we do cut them a little higher, but then they might ride up when they’re doing their moves…’”

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Another way to be

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David Jays finds out about The Casement Project, a dance work marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin that comes to London’s The Place later this month

The Casement Project, which embraces a dance festival on an Irish beach, film and academic symposia as well as this dance production at The Place, is part of the 14–18 Now programme commemorating the centenary of World War I. ‘I grew up in Ireland,’ [Fearghus] Ó Conchúir says, ‘but although he played an important part in the rising, I didn’t know about him.’ Roger Casement’s life was full of contradictions – a British civil servant increasingly drawn to his Irish heritage; an establishment figure turned sexual and political outlaw; a human rights pioneer who has often been ignored by the nationalist movement he supported so ardently.

“‘He’s a complicated figure, with a peripatetic life,’ Ó’Conchúir remarks. ‘Always travelling, which is very appropriate for dance: in a single day, he made a trip from London to Dublin and back again. As a diplomat, he exposed human rights abuses in the Congo and Peru, but connected this experience of colonial abuse to what he saw in Ireland. We would now say he was radicalised…’”

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Also in the June 2016 issue…

On stage and off: Paul Arrowsmith speaks to ballerina Miyako Yoshida about her career

A year of magical dancing: Nicola Rayner meets Latin dancers Troels Bager and Ina Jeliazkova

Jeannette Andersen meets Ivan Liška as he prepares to step down as director of the Bavarian State Ballet

Maggie Foyer on 90 years of Dresden’s Palucca School

Lee Knights unravels the magic of rumba

Margaret Willis speaks to The Australian Ballet’s Benedicte Bemet and Cristiano Marino, ourDancers of the Month

Talking point: Cecilia Watts on her determination to be a dancer, and the setbacks she faced along the way

Tips on technique: key priorities from James Whitehead

Our dance doctor, Phil Meacham, explores leading and following

Simon Selmon has more advice from swing dancing greats

Same sex dancing: Marianka Swain previews the ESSDA European Championships in Helsinki

Jack Reavely remembers the heyday of the Lyceum Ballroom

Debbie Malina on mental health, psychotherapy and counselling for dancers

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Plus news of Sadler’s Wells’ autumn season, Dance Umbrella, a chance to win tickets to The Australian Ballet, [Frame] the London Film Dance Festival, Martha Leebolt and Tobias Batley, Gary Avis in Suffolk, William Forsythe in Boston, Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru in Bucharest, Strictly Come Dancing at the Proms and more

Reviews of David Dawson’s new Swan Lake for Scottish Ballet, Gary Clarke Company’s COAL, Show Boat and Funny Girl in the West End, the BalletBoyz in Life., Protein Dance’s May Contain Food, Jasmin Vardimon’s choreography for Tannhäuser, The Royal Ballet in The Winter’s Tale andFrankenstein, Breakin’ Convention, Rambert in Murder, Mystery and a Party and Birmingham Royal Ballet in Kenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton, David Bintley and Hans Van Manen

International reviews of The Bronze Horseman in St Petersburg, the Perm Ballet in Ashton and MacMillan, Miami City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Ballet Preljocaj, the Pennsylvania Ballet, Sarasota Ballet in Ashton and George Balanchine, Bavarian State Ballet’s Ballet Week, Royal Danish Ballet in Don Quixote

Reports of the All England Latin Championships and Freedom to Dance

Obituaries of Jennifer Hancock and Hilary Tickner

Education news of the International Dance Teacher Conference, the Cecchetti Society, Dance Forward, Tring Park School, Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, National Dance Company Wales, Northern Ballet School and Urdang Academy

The June issue is out now – including branches of WHSmith – or you can buy your print copy hereor download 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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