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June 2018 issue

Posted on June 5, 2018

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There’s an American slant to our June 2018 issue, with reports from San Francisco Ballet’s extraordinary Unbound: A Festival of New Works, plus interviews with artistic directors Julie Kent, of The Washington Ballet, and Hope Muir, of Charlotte Ballet. Then there are interviews with Strictly’s Kevin Clifton and with competitive ballroom couple Kyle Taylor and Izabela Skierska, plus all our regular reviews and features…





The show must go on

Kevin Clifton speaks to Nicola Rayner about his current nationwide tour and his partnership with Karen Clifton

“‘I genuinely believe this tour is going to be the best work we have ever done,’ says Kevin Clifton of his current show, Kevin and Karen Dance. ‘This has been one of the most creative rehearsal periods I’ve ever experienced. Dancing-wise we feel on top of our game and combined with Jason Gilkison, our director, who is producing the best work of his career, the results are really exciting.’

“There is no doubt that, despite a difficult personal period for the two leading dancers, Kevin’s enthusiasm sounds genuine. It is a message he and fellow Strictly Come Dancing professional Karen Clifton keep repeating since confirming the breakdown of their marriage earlier this year: the show must go on…”

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Dazzling Dancing

Barbara Newman is impressed by San Francisco Ballet’s Unbound: A Festival of New Works, which offered 12 world premieres by 12 choreographers

“The first things you notice about the company is how beautifully the dancers move, how much they enjoy moving and how generously they share their individuality. I watched the 12 ballets in four performances over three days, and by the end of the first of them, Stanton Welch’s neoclassical Bespoke, I couldn’t wait to see more of three men – Angelo Greco, Esteban Hernandez, Lonnie Weeks – and the dashing blonde Sasha De Sola…

“…The only narrative piece in the festival, [Cathy] Marston’s lean dramatic interpretation of Edith Wharton’s novella Ethan Fromegripped the audience so tightly that when the score abruptly vanished, the emotional tension held us in breathless suspension…”

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Capital Company

Jonathan Gray finds out why The Washington Ballet, now directed by former American Ballet Theatre principal Julie Kent, is becoming a company to note

“Kent has a vision for The Washington ballet, which is demonstrated through the works she has been programming, but why has she been making the repertoire choices she has? ‘So much of what I know I have learned from Victor [Barbee], and Kevin [McKenzie], Georgina [Parkinson], [Natalia] Makarova [all former colleagues at ABT]. Victor and I tend to agree about repertoire, but works will come up in my head, as does the idea of seeing my dancers performing them.

“‘For example, I wouldn’t have brought in Symphonic Variationsif I thought the company couldn’t dance it, but at the same time you also want to bring in these kind of ballets so that the dancers can become better. That’s how I built my own career – you learn from the people that know the works and then apply those experiences to what you do later. You develop a legacy that can then be used to allow other dancers to grow; they appreciate the experience you have given them.’ She cites the example of Mikhail Baryshnikov when he became director of ABT. ‘He introduced ballets that became my education as a dancer – it was great artistic food and an exciting process…’”

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Also in the June 2018 issue

Dancing through terror: in a new three-part series, Gerald Dowler looks at ballet in the Soviet Union between 1924 and 1941

Zoë Anderson speaks to leading British ballroom couple Kyle Taylor and Izabela Skierska

The Royal Ballet’s Mayara Magri is our June Dancer of the Month

Dance in Brazil: Fátima Nollén reports on the Ballet do Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, and on the folk and urban dance scene

Lee Knights sees Eliades Ochoa, veteran of the Buena Vista Social Club, and looks at the roots of Cuban dance and music

Graham Watts catches up with Hope Muir, director of Charlotte Ballet

Same-sex dance: the Sugar Dandies, Bradley and Sören Stauffer-Kruse, announce their retirement from showdance competition

Talking point: Northern Ballet’s Gavin McCaig thinks ballet needs to change with the times

Tips on technique: James Whitehead on rumba legs

Technique clinic: Phil Meacham on performance in Latin

Jack Reavely concludes his account of the first Ballroom Dancers Federation congress, held at Blackpool Dance Festival in 1978

Swing dance: Simon Selmon cuts the Big Apple

Health: Debbie Malina on dance and eczema

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Plus news of American Ballet Theatre’s Women’s Movement, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Shobana Jeyasingh’s new Contagion, Dame Beryl Grey, Bolshoi Ballet plans, One Dance UK awards, The Work Room, dance at Edinburgh’s official and fringe festivals, LIFT 2018 and more

Reviews of The Royal Ballet’s new Swan Lake, Viviana Durante Company in rare early works by Kenneth MacMillan, English National Ballet in William Forsythe and more, Chicago,Strictly Ballroomon stage, The Royal Ballet in works by Wayne McGregor, Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, DeNada Dance Theatre’s Toro: Beauty and the Bull, Phoenix Dance Theatre in Windrush: Movement of the People, Company Chameleon, National Dance Company Wales, Akademi in The Troth, Breakin’ Convention, Hofesh Shechter Company’s Show, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Formosa, A Festival of Korean Danceat The Place, Northern Ballet’s Jane Eyre, Giovanni Pernice’s Born to Win, Oti Mabuse and Ian Waite in Rhythm of the Night

International reviews of the Dance Open International Ballet Festivalin St Petserburg, with Ekaterinburg Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and the Ballets de Monte Carlo, LA Dance Project, Phia Ménard, Jerome Robbins celebrations in New York, the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève in Pontus Lidberg, The Royal Danish Ballet in Liam Scarlett’s The Queen of Spades, Bavarian State Ballets’ Portrait Wayne McGregor, Norwegian National Ballet in works by Jo Strømgren, Zürich Ballet in works by Edward Clug, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, and Crystal Pite

Obituaries of Jane Billson, Clare Duncan, William Perrie

Education news of the IDS Dance Teacher Conference, Ballet Central, Yorkshire Ballet Summer School Scholarships, the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, Rotterdam International Duet Choreography Competition, the Royal Academy of Dance, Juilliard Dance Division, the Dance Clinic, Michaela DePrince

The June 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

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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