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March 2020 issue

Posted on February 28, 2020

March 2020 DT 1

There is so much in the March issue of Dancing Times, we don’t know where to begin. This month, we hear from Kenneth Tindall about Geisha, his new full-length work for Northern Ballet, talk to pianist Jason Ridgway about his 20-year collaboration with choreographer Richard Alston, report back on the 2020 UK Open from Bournemouth, and learn more about the Royal Academy of Dance’s “Fonteyn” competition.


Spreading the love

Nicola Rayner hears from Layton Williams, MOVE IT ambassador and star of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which is currently on tour in the UK

Layton Williams March“Has playing Jamie every night led him to think further about discrimination? ‘It’s my life,’ he says. ‘I’m a gay mixed-race man, so I have to deal with these things every day. I wouldn’t say it made me think of it any more but it made me proud to be part of changing people’s minds. When you play a role that is quite similar to you, you can really put your heart into it. I have always rallied for change – I wouldn’t say I’m an activist but I do my bit to spread love when I can.’

“His social media platform was put to good use in 2018 when an Edinburgh festival venue ejected him for ‘looking like’ someone who had jumped the fence two weeks earlier – the story made the national papers. ‘That was the first time I had been racially profiled, but it’s always been something that makes me tick so when I got the chance to speak and I knew it was happening – quite obviously to me – I thought, “If you wanna mess with a bad bitch…” I don’t know if you can print the word bitch in Dancing Times?’ he checks, laughing. ‘Listen, when I see something that’s not right, I call it out and I hope, by doing that, by calling it out, I can make a change. I think there are certain ways to use your voice and platform and I hope I do that in a positive way.’”

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A place to stay

Gerald Dowler speaks to Birmingham Royal Ballet’s César Morales about his long journey from his native Chile and why the UK has become his home

Cesar Morales March“I had always been attracted to the European way – it was more my kind of dancing; I grew up watching Anthony Dowell and Natalia Makarova on video and loved their quality of movement. I have always wanted to be that kind of dancer, so it was a total dream come true when Dowell coached me as Oberon in The Dream at Birmingham Royal Ballet.

“So, when I was 23, I decided to go to Paris and started by paying to take classes because I was completely unknown. It was my luck that I chose Harmonic, which was full of Paris Opéra dancers whom I got to know and started to dance with in small shows, as well as guesting in Prague and in Slovenia. I was happy but missed the warmth and friendship of people back home.”

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Fully integrated

Maggie Foyer meets Debbie Turner, the new leader of Cape Town City Ballet

South Africa March“Turner is balancing the traditional classics with new commissions. Northern Ballet’s Kenneth Tindall created Polarity and South African talent Michelle Reid enjoyed great success with Sheeple (which means people who behave like sheep). Future plans include the return of Veronica Paeper’s Carmen, and Maina Gielgud’s staging of a new Swan Lake in August 2020.

“‘I don’t want to change the direction of the company,’ continued Turner. ‘I want to broaden the span of what we do to include contemporary, neo-classical and traditional works. Dancers need different styles to develop their artistic natures: to dance Polarity one night and Carmen the next. The country is big, but the disposable income is not. We have a small catchment audience. We can’t be everything to everybody, but I would like the company to have the diversity you see in English National Ballet.’”

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Also in the March issue…

Roanne Cox thinks dance should play an important role on the National Curriculum

Graham Watts marks 20 years of Dance Consortium

Martin Cutler reports from this year’s UK Open in Bournemouth

Kit Holder reports on DanceEast’s Rural Retreat for 2020

Stephanie Jordan on the 20-year collaboration between choreographer Richard Alston and pianist Jason Ridgway

Matthew Paluch sees And Then We Danced, an award-winning film that looks at the complexities of representative dance and self-expression

Jo Willacy talks to Strictly Come Dancing’s Karen Hauer

Debbie Malina considers some of the many physical, mental and emotional challenges faced by individuals living with dyspraxia

Simon Selmon interviews Chris Dean, bandleader of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra

Gavin McCaig talks to choreographer Kenneth Tindall about Geisha, his new full-length work for Northern Ballet

James Whitehead looks at the ball-flat action in Latin footwork

Gerard Charles on the “Fonteyn”, a competition that emphasises artistry, creativity and expression

Jack Reavely remembers the reasons why 1954 was a good year for ballroom

Gerald Dowler looks at the dancers who defected from the Soviet Union

Margaret Willis interviews Harrison Dowzell of New Adventures

Marianka Swain explores a pioneering short dance film

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Plus

New seasons from Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet, Amici Dance Theatre, Liam Scarlett suspended from The Royal Ballet, Dancing With the Stars same-sex couples, McNicol Ballet Collective, Wayne McGregor to create new work for National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet, Sharon Watson to become new chief executive and principal of Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Johaar Mosaval receives Order of Ikhamanga in Gold in South Africa, Sydney Leonard and John Travis remembered, new film on Merce Cunningham, ISTD’s new brand, Ballet Central on tour, Rambert School centenary, Prix de Lausanne results, new appointments at bbodance, Central School of Ballet and Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, we look back to March 1980

Reviews include Ballet Icons Gala, Ballet of La Scala, Milan, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Holly Blakey, Michael Keegan-Dolan/Teaċ Damsa, Dutch National Ballet, Leonid Yakobson Academic Ballet Theatre, New Adventures, New York City Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, Rambert, The Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet Flanders, Royal Danish Ballet, Russell Maliphant Dance Company, Sarasota Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Strictly Come Dancing Live, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and Zürich 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

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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