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June 2022 issue

Posted on May 27, 2022

06 Cover June 1

June finally sees the arrival of summer in the UK and, after nearly two years of lockdown restrictions, its wonderful to see so many dance lovers beginning to spread their wings and start travelling to performances again, both in this country and abroad. In this month’s issue of Dancing Times, we also get the opportunity to travel, with features that take us to Europe, the US and Latin America. Gerald Dowler visits, in some unexpected ways, some famous names of the dance world in Paris, and Graham Spicer hears from principal dancers Nicoletta Manni and Timofej Andrijashenko, the well-established couple based at the Ballet of La Scala, Milan, who are also partners in real life. Fátima Nollén finds out about the Mexican inspiration behind Christopher Wheeldon’s new full-length work for The Royal Ballet, Like Water for Chocolate, which opens this month, and Margaret Willis talks to Kayla Collymore, who will be appearing in The Car Man with New Adventures at the Royal Albert Hall.

Finally, I would like to advise readers that from the beginning of next month, the cover price of the magazine will be raised to £4.50 per issue. This is due to the sharp rise in the cost of paper which has been affecting us since the end of last year. Subscription prices, however, remain the same until October, so why not click here to find out the best subscriptions deals for you.


The look of love

Graham Spicer meets Nicoletta Manni and Timofej Andrijashenko

18 21 Nicoletta and Timofej June“Nicoletta Manni and Timofej Andrijashenko are principal dancers with the Ballet of La Scala, Milan. They often dance together and are also a couple offstage – curiously, one of three couples among La Scala’s eight principal dancers. ‘Nico’ is from Galatina, a picturesque town south of Lecce towards the tip of Italy’s heel; ‘Tima’ is from Riga, the capital of Latvia on the Baltic Sea.

“‘There are certainly differences in culture,’ says Manni. ‘We notice it a lot, especially in our relationship with our families. In Italy we are more emotional, much more protective, they are…’ 

“‘We seem a little colder,” says Andrijashenko. They frequently complete each other’s sentences. “Yes,” says Manni, “but in reality, he has a southern soul. ’”

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Stravinsky Festival 2022

Jonathan Gray sees three of New York City Ballet’s programmes during last month’s Stravinsky Festival 2022

22 23 Stravinsky Festival June“Fifty years ago, New York City Ballet (NYCB) presented a festival that marked the 90th birthday of Igor Stravinsky. Sadly, the Russian-born composer – a long-time associate and close friend of the choreographer George Balanchine – died the year before, in 1971, but the festival in his honour proved a milestone in the company’s history. During a week of performances, NYCB presented no fewer than 30 ballets, 20 of which were world premieres that included Balanchine’s Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la fée”, Duo Concertant, Scherzo à la Russe, Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Symphony in Three Movements. The festival also featured important revivals of works Balanchine had already choreographed to Stravinsky, including Agon, Apollo, Firebird and Orpheus. For many it was an overwhelming artistic experience, and remembered with a rosy glow of nostalgia, so when NYCB announced it was to hold another Stravinsky Festival in 2022, it was an opportunity too good to miss. 

“The Balanchine ballets mentioned above were revived again for 2022 in four programmes presented over the course of a fortnight, but the festival also included revivals of works by Justin Peck and Jerome Robbins, and there was a world premiere by former NYCB dancer Silas Farley to music composed by David K Israel. The three performances I saw at the David H Koch Theater – the controversially renamed State Theater – were extremely well-attended (in spite of rigorous entry requirements into the theatre that included proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test, and mandatory mask wearing), and I felt the many New Yorkers present were taking great pleasure in everything they saw.”

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Life through a lens

Nicola Rayner remembers ballroom photographer Ron Self

50 51 Ron June“The photographer Ron Self, whose unique contribution to the dance world was recognised with a Carl Alan Award in 2014, died last month at the age of 90, after cataloguing the development of ballroom and Latin American dance in his photography for more than six decades. A ballroom institution, he could always be spotted on the edge of the dance floor at every major competitive event in the UK, from the 1950s to the 2010s, with his camera around his neck, his head bowed between shots, checking his photographs. At Blackpool Dance Festival, where Ron was, for many decades, the official photographer, he even had his own spot, just left of the stage, as you face it, in the Empress Ballroom. His pictures have been featured in these pages countless times, as well as on many covers of Dance Today (formerly known as Ballroom Dancing Times), and he photographed all the ballroom greats, as well as several members of the royal family and film stars such as Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin.

“When I interviewed Ron about his Carl Alan Award, which he won with his beloved wife Sheila, he told me how it all began. He was born in 1931 and grew up in the City of London and in Essex. ‘My father was a manager at Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, so we lived in Cornhill, and he took a few photographs,’ Ron began. ‘He wasn’t a photographer – just a happy snapper – and I started taking the odd picture with an old camera too.’ During World War II, Ron worked as a medic with the RAF and, after that, as an apprentice copperplate printer and journeyman. From there he went on to work for the Post Office, where he stayed for the next 35 years.”

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Also in the June issue…

Fátima Nollén on Like Water for Chocolate, the new full-length work for The Royal Ballet

Tina Hughes talks to Terry Hyde about his mission to support dancers

Gerald Dowler visits some famous names in Paris

Dr Jacqueline Smith-Autard extends our conversations about teaching methods

James Whitehead looks at a revered figure in the waltz

Phil Meacham looks at promenades in the paso doble

Simon Selmon shares his tips for going professional

Pete Meager reviews Le Rendez-Vous de Paris

Jack Reavely remembers his friend, ballroom champion Peter Eggleton

Shobana Jeyasingh on creating a new work during a global pandemic

Barbara Newman reviews a new production of Oklahoma!

Laura Cappelle on François Alu’s promotion to étoile at the Paris Opéra Ballet

Leigh Witchel sees New York City Ballet in new works and repertoire by George Balanchine

Margaret Willis interviews Kayla Collymore of New Adventures 

Jonathan Gray reviews a new biography on Bronislava Nijinska

Debbie Malina considers the scope of work being undertaken by Scottish Ballet in helping to promote health through dance


06 Cover June

New season announcement from Dutch National Ballet, summer dance season in Greenwich Park, Nureyev Legend and Legacy at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Susan Jaffe to become director of American Ballet Theatre, dance for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Wembley Park, Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice win BAFTA TV Award, employment dispute at Phoenix Dance Theatre, winners of BBC Young Dancer 2022 and English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer Award announced, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo to tour UK, dance film by Thiago Soares selected for Cannes Film Festival; Reviews of live performances from The Australian Ballet, BalletBoyz, Ballett Magdeburg, Breakin’ Convention, National Dance Company Wales, Norwegian National Ballet, Paco Peña, The Royal Ballet, Scottish Dance Theatre and Zürich Ballet; John Dowson, Stephen Lade and Richard Rutherford remembered in Obituaries; New things to try in Products; IDS Teacher’s Convention, Déda’s new programmes, Céline Gittens named international ambassador for the Royal Academy of Dance; Calendar dates for performances in the UK and abroad; Where to learn to dance in the UK; We look back to June 1982

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

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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