Dance and art

May 2022 issue - Dancing Times

Published on April 28, 2022

As the horrific events of Russia's invasion of Ukraine continue, in this month's issue of Dance Schedule we find out how the dance world responded to the war with two articles covering both ballet and ballroom. Matthew Paluch and Nicola Rayner hear from dancers who have been directly affected by the situation, and we also discover ways in which we might be able to help.

Elsewhere in the magazine, we talk about former Royal Ballet principal Federico Bonelli, who has just become the new director of Northern Ballet; celebrate the 25th anniversary of Birmingham Royal Ballet's Dance Track program, which has introduced thousands of young children to dance; and interview Argentine tango dancer and director German Cornejo on the eve of the London premiere of his new show, Wild Tangoat the Théâtre du Paon.

Finally, I'd like to pass along to our readers the news of the passing of ballroom photographer Ron Self, whose images graced the pages of this magazine for many, many years. Our sincere condolences go out to his wife, Sheila - we'll pay tribute to Ron in next month's issue of Dance Schedule.


Freedom of expression versus demand for speech

Matthieu Paluch looks at the ballet world's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

16 19 Ukraine May"World politics changed on February 24 when Russia invaded Ukraine. Within a week, the television news looked like Syria in 2011. Cities and villages were bombed and razed before our eyes. Horrific and heartbreaking scenes at train stations showed human desperation at its worst, with civilians fleeing to safety. Men had to stay behind to fight if necessary. The impact was global - both financial and political.

"Within the first 24 hours, people started shouting at Vladimir Putin's Russia. Ukrainian flags filled social media feeds, and many people found images incorporating the colors of Ukraine's blue and yellow flag - a subtle and artistic way to show solidarity. Buildings were lit up in the same two colors, from Wembley Stadium to the Royal Opera House (ROH). The ROH also played the Ukrainian national anthem before every performance for a limited time after the invasion began, but elsewhere - in other theaters - not everyone was performing. Some very powerful and influential Russian artists were part of the political bargaining tactics.

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Dance reflections

Sanjoy Roy gives an impression of the first Dance reflections festival presented in London by Van Cleef and Arpels

27 29 Dance Reflections May"Postponed from 2020, then from 2021, the Dance reflections The festival finally arrived in March 2022 with a jam-packed fortnight of some 17 live works (one of which was postponed until a month later), split between Sadler's Wells, the Royal Opera House and the Tate Modern, as well as four films streamed online. Programmed by Serge Laurent, former director of performance at the Centre Pompidou, and presented by French luxury jewelry brand Van Cleef and Arpels, it came marked with class and quality - unusually, for the UK at least, related to contemporary and experimental dance, a bit of a stretch (I can't imagine high-end brands in the UK venturing so boldly into such territory). With so many works on display, some of the richest rewards of the festival were being able to track the connections between different artists, styles and eras.

"The centerpiece of the opening night was the Lyon Opera Ballet in the now classic Lucinda Childs. Dance (1979) - the starting point of a particular track that one could follow throughout the festival: minimalism. Dressed in celestial white, the dancers use a limited lexicon throughout - little more than step, hop, skip and jump - ballerina style and performed without affect or affectation. In the first section, they run from side to side, then add diagonals. In the second section, a soloist moves either in a straight line or in a circle. In the third section, there are lines, circles, diagonals and squares. Around, in front of and above them, a reshot version of the original film of Sol LeWitt's work multiplies the dancing figures as well as their angle and scale. Everything is in one piece with Philip Glass' music: steps, images, bodies and sounds refracted into cosmic harmonics that resonate in the mind long after the performance is over. Simple and sublime.

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It's raining men

Tango superstar German Cornejo is back - and his surprising new show Wild Tango the male perspective, he tells the story of Marianka Swain.

62 63 May Tango"The last time I spoke to Argentine Tango World Champion German Cornejo in 2018, he was thrilled to bring Tango after dark at the Peacock Theatre in London. Another successful show followed in 2019, Tango fireThen he started developing his latest production, expecting to return to the capital for a 2020 season, "but because of COVID-19, everything stopped," he sighs.

"The pandemic was devastating for tango dancers because, perhaps most of all in the performing arts, it requires such an intimate connection between two people. It created problems when his company, which Cornejo led with Gisela Galeassi for 12 years, resumed rehearsals. "We were working so hard and wearing masks all the time makes breathing very difficult. Tango has a lot of fast steps, it's a very powerful dance, so it was a big adjustment - and it was strange to have to be careful to be close to people. With restrictions, tango, as we know and love it, was almost impossible.

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Also in the May issue...

Gérald Dowler interviews Royal Ballet Director Federico Bonelli about his appointment as Director of Northern Ballet

Paul Arrowsmith wonders if Birmingham Royal Ballet's audience has become too insular?

Laura Capelle attends the Paris Opera Ballet La Bayadère

James Whitehead examines the fundamentals in paso doble

Howard Ibach reveals an improvised incident in Stanley Holden's performance of Widow Simone in The Unwanted Daughter

Marguerite Willis interviews Calvin Richardson of the Royal Ballet

Jack Revely explains what makes the Blackpool Dance Festival so special

Graham Spicer watches Touch in Rome and Jewelry in Milan

Skinny Pete talks to Ansell Chezan, the new Chair of the UK Equality Dance Council

Barbara Newmann sees the Royal Opera House Pierre Grimes and Blanca Li The Paris Ball

Simon Selmon introduces conductor George Gee

Leigh Witch catches up with a number of dance companies across New York

Phil Meacham explores misconceptions and corrections in the Viennese waltz

Debbie Malina concludes his article on first aid

Lois Roz celebrates the 25th anniversary of Birmingham Royal Ballet's Dance Track program

Thérèse Guerreiro preview of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble


05 Envelope without barcodeAnnouncements of the new season of the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Ballet, Saburo Teshigawara's Tristan and IsoldeShobana Jeyasingh at Fête des Granges, Edinburgh International Festival announced program, Blackpool Dance FestivalNational Dance Awards, Hamburg Ballet's John Neumeier Celebration season, Mark Skipper retires from Northern Ballet, Crystal Pite extends her contract with Nederlands Dans Theater; Live performance reviews of Akram Khan Company, Ballet Black, Bavarian State Ballet, Birmingham 2022 FestivalDutch National Ballet, English National Ballet, Christopher Gurusamy, James Wilton Dance, National Ballet of Canada, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Johannes Radebe, Richard Chappell Dance, The Royal Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, and Scottish Ballet; Yuriko Kikuchi, Margaret McGowan, Menaka Thakkar, and Valerie West remember obituaries; New things to try in Products; CAT Open Days in the North West, BTUK2, Immerse by Elmhurst Ballet Company, performances by English National Ballet School and Verve; Calendar dates for performances in the UK and abroad; Where to learn to dance in the UK; We look back to May 1982

The May issue is now in stores - including WHSmith branches - or you can purchase your print copy here or buy your digital copy of all good application stores

Simon Olivier

Simon Oliver has been editor of Dancing Times since 2010 and has extensive experience in print and online magazine design. Throughout his career, Simon has worked on a wide range of topics including music, family history, book collecting and poker.

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