Posted on September 30, 2016
October’s Dancing Times is the first to come to you from our new office in Battersea Square. There’s a Russian feel to this month’s magazine, with interviews with young dancers from the Bolshoi and the Mikhailovsky and with Vladimir Urin, the formidable director of the Bolshoi Theatre. We also feature ballroom and Latin show Burn the Floor, works by Kenneth MacMillan and Dance Today Teacher of the Year, our competition celebrating the best of the UK’s social dance teachers.
Rambert at 90
As the company celebrates its anniversary, Paul Arrowsmith speaks to artistic director Mark Baldwin, chief executive Nadia Stern and other leading figures at the company…
“‘We are like Tate Modern. There is always flux and change but we have a good anchor from which to move forward…” says Baldwin. For him, Rambert’s move to purpose-built headquarters on London’s South Bank in 2013 was the springboard for the company to be, “Bigger, bolder, better. We have never had that [foundation] before. We can now invite people in to research and develop their work fully.’ Among those with work in progress are Ben Duke and Kim Brandstrup, whose (nearly) full-length piece is being set to music by Witold Lutoslawski and will be designed by the Quay Brothers. ‘If it happens,’ warns Baldwin.
“‘The production budget is guaranteed but to really tour these larger scale works nationally we need partners. We all pay taxes. Rambert is not just for a lucky few in London,’ says Stern. She adds that Salford is the ‘highly conscious’ choice for Perpetual Motion, an anniversary exhibition drawn from Rambert’s archive but curated by the Lowry Centre, opening shortly. For the stage, Andonis Foniadakis and Nanine Linning are scheduled for new one-act ballets. ‘But,’ Stern observes, ‘quite frankly we can do triple bills in our sleep. What we want to share nationally are our larger scale works like The Creation.’”
Margaret Willis interviews Vladimir Urin, general director of the Bolshoi Theatre, about the company’s plans, its identity and its recent turbulent past…
“Margaret Willis: The documentary Bolshoi Babylon gave a rare, behind-the-scenes insight into the company after the acid attack on Sergei Filin. How do you feel about the resulting film?
“Vladimir Urin: You must remember it was at a time when the Bolshoi was in a bad way, with negative press reports worldwide after that horrible acid attack. We wanted to look at the Bolshoi with fresh eyes and we needed to clarify certain situations. I don’t regret my decision, but there are obviously some parts I wish had not been there. People needed to open themselves up and be frank about their feelings, but there were many people – theatre and non-theatre – who did not want to see their beloved Bolshoi in the graphic scenes that were shown. They had tried to work out why it had all happened, and had not been able to find an answer.
“There are rumours that Pavel Dmitrichenko [the dancer who was the instigator of the acid attack] is returning to the Bolshoi and that will not be an easy situation. However, after three years in jail, he will not be the same dancer physically or emotionally. So the main question would be whether he would be able to get back into the shape needed for the Bolshoi Ballet. The Bolshoi is a business and must have the principles of business…”
Playing with Fire
As veteran ballroom stage show Burn the Floor returns to London this month, Nicola Rayner investigates its history and redevelopment…
“There’s no getting away from the fact that a key part of Burn the Floor’s winning foruma is sex: telegenic dancers with skimpy clothing and beautiful bodies. A number of the latter have made their way onto Strictly Come Dancing including, in the current crop, Kevin and Karen Clifton, Pasha Kovalev, Janette Manrara, Gorka Marquez and Aljaž Skorjanec.
“How does [company manager and executive producer] Peta Roby feel about this? ‘It’s a wonderful thing,’ she says. ‘It seems to feed into the TV programme very well. Our kids are very well rounded… Jason [Gilkison, director and choreographer of Burn the Floor] is very involved with Strictly now – we’re still absolutely connected, but the scope is much larger…’”
Also in the October issue…
Dance Today Dance Teacher of the Year: Zoë Anderson introduces the competition for teachers of social dancing
Marianka Swain examines the rise of dance on screen
Back to the stage: Gerald Dowler on the revival of two very different works by Kenneth MacMillan, Anastasia and Sea of Troubles
Dancers of the month: Margaret Willis speaks to the Bolshoi Ballet’s Margarita Shrainer and Ana Turazashvili
Debbie Malina looks at Body Stress Release for dancers
Igor Stupnikov interviews the Mikhailovsky Ballet’s Anastasia Soboleva and Viktor Lebedev
Marianka Swain assesses the couples in the new season of Strictly Come Dancing
Tips on technique: James Whitehead on rise and fall in the ballroom dances
Doctor Dance: Phil Meacham asks dancers to stand up and be counted
Simon Selmon brings back the cinema dance “prologue”
Marianka Swain looks at same-sex dance in music videos
Jack Reavely remembers past ballroom champion John Wells
Gerald Dowler considers stage lighting, and wishes someone would switch on the lights
Zoë Anderson asks Emma Gladstone, artistic director of Dance Umbrella, about CCN Ballet de Lorraine’s anonymous programme, Unknown Pleasures
Plus news of Northern Ballet, Siobhan Davies, Didy Veldman, a chance to win tickets to Midnight Tango, dance at BFI London Film Festival, World Ballet Day Live, Kenneth Tharp, Wayne Sleep, Diana Vishneva and new dance books, DVDs and blu-ray discs and a special reader giveaway for Silky dance tights
Reviews of The Holy Body Tattoo in monumental, Scottish Ballet in Crystal Pite and Angelin Preljocaj, kabinet k in Raw, dance at the Edinburgh Fringe, Shanghai Ballet in Echoes of Eternity, Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, Dane Hurst and Company in Exodus, Sarasota Ballet’s Frederick Ashton programme in New York, American Ballet Theatre in Alexei Ratmansky’s production of The Sleeping Beauty, Stuttgart Ballet’s Reid Anderson 20th anniversary Festival
Education news of Elmhurst School for Dance, Central School of Ballet, Hammond School, Boston Ballet School, Northern Ballet School, Lynn Wallis, Houston Ballet Academy, Laine Theatre Arts, Dance Proms and Rambert School