Posted on October 27, 2014
Gender is on the agenda in our November 2014 issue. We explore what it takes to be a man in dance – while BalletBoyz Ed Pearce and Adam Kirkham demonstrate male partnering on the dramatic cover photo by Hugo Glendinning – and speak to director-choreographer Susan Stroman about being a woman in the male-dominated world of choreography.
Tough and tender
Paul Arrowsmith looks at men dancing:
“When American Ballet Theatre performed Don Quixote in Oman, a – male – member of the royal family objected to the sight of men in tights. The company’s director, Kevin McKenzie, was robust, ‘That’s ballet! Get over it.’ T-Shirts promoted by the BalletBoyz proudly proclaim, ‘Real men wear tights.’ The Kings of Dance and Men in Motion are equally assertive. Yet when Calvin Richardson is only the latest male Dying Swan and Maxine Peake the most recent woman to play Hamlet, notions of gender are clearly ambiguous…”
Nicola Rayner speaks to Susan Stroman about being a female choreographer and about her latest production, The Scottsboro Boys, based on the true story of nine young black men falsely accused of rape in Alabama in 1931:
Stroman: “It’s everything, the research. It’s visual – looking at pictures of the time, looking at pictures of the South, looking at pictures of the real Scottsboro Boys… I live in the musical theatre world – usually my work is more fantastical, so what we wanted to do when we [Stroman and songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb] started collaborating was to do a story that was true… and when we fell upon this one, it seemed to be the perfect tale to tell, because in effect it’s how one lie can destroy nine lives, nine young lives…”
What did you do in the Great War, mum?
Michael Barber looks back at the early career of his mother, the dancer and “child Pavlova”, Marjorie Stevens:
“…Another report, in the Evening News, said she was the first child dancer ‘to be put on the picture palace films’. Sadly, I’ve been unable to trace any evidence for this, but by 1912, billed as ‘Little Marjorie Stevens, The Wonder of the Age’, she’d become a star in her own right, dancing solo at West End theatres such as the London Palladium and the Palace, where Pavlova was based when in London, and also further afield at popular resorts like Brighton and Eastbourne. She must have more than earned her keep…”
Also in the November issue…
The Royal Ballet’s Marcelino Sambé speaks to Margaret Willis
Laura Dodge explores the teaching and beautiful surroundings at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts
Debbie Malina on an inspiring dance project at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool
David Mead on People Dancing, a Community Dance gathering taking place in Cardiff this month
Dancer and now theatre director Jack Thorpe Baker on moving on from dance
Zoë Anderson explores Arthur Pita’s Christmas show, The Little Match Girl
As we launch a new volume of Dancing Times – our 105th! – we include an overview our last year of interviews, features and Talking Points
Plus news of Northern Ballet, Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, Queensland Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Russian Ballet Icons gala, reviews of BalletBoyz – The Talent, Royal Swedish Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Richard Alston Dance Company, Grupo Corpo, Birmingham Royal Ballet, New Adventures, Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House, the Mikhailovsky Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, National Youth Ballet, Tring Park School, Genée International Ballet Competition, Elmhurst School for Dance, a new biography of Alicia Markova and more!