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May 2017 issue

Posted on April 27, 2017

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From Blackpool to Paris to the West End: our May issue covers a wide range of dance, with tango dancers Esteban Domenichini and Leticia Fallacara, stars of the show Tanguera, smouldering on our front cover. This month, Dancing Times launches Laura Cappelle’s new regular column on dance in France, looks at the experience of appearing as a dance extra, meets Latin dancer Maurizio Vescovo and reviews blockbuster musicals An American in Paris and 42nd Street






In this first edition of her column, Laura Cappelle looks at some of the dance events of Paris this spring…

“It’s election season in France, and dance hasn’t been immune to some of the dilemmas facing voters. The Paris Opéra Ballet, especially, has grappled in recent years with competing instincts: a growing desire for openness and influence on the world stage, and a tendency to retreat into old habits when its idiosyncrasies are challenged.

“Both happened to be on display in March and April. Four company premieres were scheduled, all planned by Benjamin Millepied before his resignation as director a year ago, all befitting his global ambitions for the company. George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream got the deluxe fashion treatement, with new costumes and sets by Christian Lacroix, while rare works by William Forsythe and Merce Cunningham made for prestigious additions to the repertoire. With Millepied gone, however, every production came with a caveat…”

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Maurizio Vescovo

Nicola Rayner meets the Latin star

“As Blackpool Dance Festival comes round once more this month, there will be an absence in the Professional Latin. Not the tallest dancer, Maurizio Vescovo made up for lack of height with his presence on the dance floor. He and his former partner, Andra Vaidilaite, had a wonderful way of dancing as if they were at a party, lost in the moment – no mean feat performing figures they had rehearsed over and over again in the studio. Fans loved them for it, and the results rewarded them too…

“Is there a secret to his exuberance? ‘There’s no secret – I just wish people could dance more sincerely and not try to copy or reproduce others. I think when you are more sincere, it’s just a matter of revealing who you are. The joy in the dancer should be genuine… The sincere expression of feelings on the floor is sometimes missing. Sometimes it’s a fake reproduction of someone else’s work…”

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Variety Lights

Barbara Newman reports on 42nd Street in London’s West End…

“The curtain rises initially by about 18 inches, exposing dancing legs up to the knee, no more. By the time we got a full view of the dancers, auditioning for a new show, the opening night audience was cheering, and each successive tap number ignited their cheers again…

“…Randy Skinner, who supplied the musical staging and new choreography, has tapped into Busby Berkeley’s ingenious patterns, Fred Astaire’s debonair manner, the period’s style both suave and jazzy, and the irresistible sound of clattering feet to build the carefree, joyous evening that hard times demand…”

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Also in the May issue…

A stage magician: designer Bob Crowley speaks to Paul Arrowsmith

Ballet Black’s Mthuthulezi November tells Elaine Mayson about Fiona Sargeant, his first ballet teacher in South Africa

Lights, camera, dancing: Alison Gallagher-Hughes describes her time as a dancing extra in the new movie Away

Sarasota Ballet’s Daniel Pratt explains what it’s like to dance Frederick Ashton’s Scènes de ballet

On Parade: Jane Pritchard marks the centenary of an avant garde ballet, from its Picasso designs and Satie score to its Massine choreography

Northern Ballet’s Filippo di Vilio is our May Dancer of the Month

The Maryinsky Ballet’s Yuri Fateyev speaks to Igor Stupnikov

Same-sex dance: Marianka Swain interviews Frank Röpke, pioneering competitor, teacher and judge

Our serialisation of the memoirs of Nadia Nerina continues with her historic visit to the Soviet Union

Talking Point: Christopher Nourse on the importance of names

Bringing home the bling: London School of Salsa’s Lee Knights on her experience in pioneering medals tests in salsa

Tips on technique: James Whitehead on connection in jive

Our dance doctor, Phil Meacham, on musicality in social dance

Debbie Malina looks at the Keep Fit Association, and how it has influenced the development of group exercise and dance

Simon Selmon meets Swiss swing teacher Melanie Stocker Bucher

Jack Reavely looks back at the history of Blackpool Dance Festival

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Plus reviews of the Russian Ballet Icons Gala, with stars including Ivan Vasiliev and Vladimir Shklyarov, James Cousins Company’s ROSALIND, Company Chameleon in Words Unspoken and Witness, English National Ballet in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Adagio Hammerklavier and Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre de printemps, The Royal Ballet in Jewels, Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures, Fevered Sleep’s Men and Girls Dance, Aljaž Skorjanec and Janette Manrara in Remembering Fred, Hong Kong Dance Company in The Legend of Mulan, An American in Paris in London, The Life at Southwark Playhouse

International reviews of the Paris Opéra Ballet School, joined by students from The Royal Ballet School, the John Cranko School and San Francisco Ballet School, Norwegian National Ballet in Alexander Ekman’s A Swan Lake, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance in New York, Hamburg Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Gauthier Dance/Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart, New York Theatre Ballet, Zürich Ballet in Jacobo Godani, Hans van Manen and William Forsythe, National Ballet of Canada in Will Tuckett’s new Pinocchio, Sarasota Ballet in Frederick Ashton’s Scènes de ballet and The Two Pigeons, Ballet Nice-Méditerranée in Jirí Kylián, Liam Scarlett and Alvin Ailey

News of The Royal Ballet’s 2017 to 18 season, the Olivier Awards, Men in Motion, Mark Morris world premiere in Liverpool, Degas’ Little Dancer exhibition, Studio Wayne McGregor’s new arts space, inclusive Latin and ballroom dance, Peter Schaufuss’ plans for a new arts centre in Edinburgh

Obituaries of Trisha Brown, Robert Harrold and Rona Hart

Education news of KS Dance, Tring Park School, British Dance Council, Central School of Ballet, The Royal Ballet School, One Dance UK, Royal Academy of Dance

The May 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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