Posted on February 28, 2019
In this month’s magazine, we talk to some of the world’s leading choreographers, as well as catch up with Strictly Come Dancing’s Dianne Buswell, meet our Dancer of the Month, Nicholas Shikkis of Richard Alston Dance Company, and discover who the winners were at the UK Open in Bournemouth and at The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.
Jonathan Gray previews the upcoming UK tour of Pepperland by the Mark Morris Dance Group
“Sometimes it takes someone from a different country to give you a real insight into your own nation’s history and culture. This thought occurred to me in California last autumn whilst watching the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) perform Pepperland, which the company is bringing to the UK this month for a five-week tour that commences at London’s Sadler’s Wells.
“Morris created Pepperland for the Sgt Pepper at 50 festival held in Liverpool in May 2017, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ seminal album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It proved a smash hit, and received great critical acclaim, including from Zoë Anderson writing in these pages in July 2017. ‘In Liverpool, everyone seemed to be a “relative” of The Beatles,’ laughs choreographer Mark Morris when I talk to him about Pepperland. ‘I’d never been there before, but people stopped me in the street – super-drunk ladies who gave me wet-cheek kisses – and the teenagers were whooping and clapping during the show. I was delighted.’”
Nicola Rayner meets new UK Open Professional Ballroom champions Andrea Ghigiarelli and Sara Andracchio in Bournemouth
“This year’s Professional Ballroom Championship was one of the most exciting in recent memory at the UK Open. On the run-up to the event, rumours started to circulate – which later proved to be true – nine-time champs Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova would not be dancing – nor would last year’s runners-up, Victor Fung and Anastasia Muravyeva: a completely different line-up was guaranteed.
“When did the news reach them? ‘We only knew when we got to Bournemouth,’ says Andracchio. ‘We don’t like to know too much [before a competition]; we like to concentrate on ourselves. We always come here and do our best.’”
“An exciting development, both for Marston and Northern Ballet, is the news that Victoria is to be screened across the UK, the first time Marston’s work will be shown in the cinema. What does she hope this will accomplish? ‘It will definitely open the door to different audiences. So many more people are going to be able to see it,’ she beams. ‘Cinema is such an international and accessible artform and seeing the whole work there will be so different from seeing a rehearsal clip or trailer broadcast online.’
“What about the task of taking Victoria from stage to screen? ‘It’s a totally different thing with film. A choreographer’s job when you’re telling a story in dance is to guide the eye of the audience around quite a big stage to the points that need to be seen. That’s part of the challenge – deciding what I want to tell.”’
We reveal the winner of the Dancing Times Best Male Dancer Award
Gerald Dowler continues his series on ballet in the Soviet Union
Fátima Nollén takes a look at the dance scene in Paraguay
Nicola Rayner meets Strictly Come Dancing’s Dianne Buswell
Gerald Dowler interviews Ballet du Capitole’s Kader Belarbi
Mikael Petersson on a new Pianist Placement Programme at Elmhurst Ballet School
Nicholas Shikkis of Richard Alston Dance Company is our Dancer of the Month
Tips on technique: James Whitehead on the Viennese waltz
Rachel Rist on successful behaviour in class
Simon Selmon explores the best way for beginners to approach the wide variety of swing dances
Debbie Malina looks at how dance can be of benefit for those living with Cerebral Palsy
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s plans for 2019-20, Flamenco Festival London, Kenneth MacMillan’s Seven Deadly Sins at Wilton’s Music Hall, Pasha Kovalev leaves Strictly Come Dancing, Tribute to Annette Page, Thiago Soares to become guest principal with The Royal Ballet
Reviews of Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, English National Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rip it Up in the West End, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Royal Ballet Flanders, Sarasota Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, the Paris Opéra Ballet, and New York City Ballet
The March 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