mon 08/08/2022

dance

Dance: The Best of 2012

Ismene Brown

Offstage dramas made more waves than onstage, where dance-followers have much less to see, and a prospect of still less in this arid immediate future.

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Black-Out Ballet: The Invisible Woman of British Ballet

Ismene Brown

In 2006 an elderly dancer died in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. She was 88, and had once been one of Britain's most recognised ballerinas. Why did she die in obscurity? Why is the great ballet company that she ran now a forgotten name? This was what I set out to explore in a BBC Radio 4 documentary which aired yesterday. Inglesby's story has the improbability of an epic.

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Royal Opera House chief Tony Hall to the BBC - now what?

Ismene Brown

So Tony Hall moves from heading the Royal Opera House to taking over the BBC as its new Director-General. I can't for a moment imagine a rerun of that crucial mini-conversation between Helen Boaden and George Entwistle over the Jimmy Savile programming (if you can remember all the way back to mid-October through the cannonfire since) taking anything like a similar course had it been Tony Hall rather than Entwistle.

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Kenneth MacMillan Died 20 Years Ago

Ismene Brown

It's 20 years since the death, backstage at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, of a man who scripted high-wire emotions and extreme psychological states in a theatrical language that had widely been held to be the realm of sweetness and majesty. The choreographer Kenneth MacMillan brought the values of modern theatre, cinema and the sexual revolution to ballet, and his narrative daring remains unequalled by any choreographer in Britain after him.

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The Composer and the Water-Nymph: Hans Werner Henze's Ondine

Ismene Brown

Hans Werner Henze, the composer who died on Saturday aged 86, wrote the music for one of Margot Fonteyn's signature ballets, Ondine, a ballet about an inhuman spirit who longs to be joined to a man - but when she does, he must die. It might almost be a metaphor for the death of the thought the moment it is realised.

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theartsdesk Olympics: The Golden Age

Ismene Brown

Rio Ferdinand did four years' ballet training as a child, England manager Graham Taylor sent the national squad to dance classes, while the Royal Ballet once ran an active football team. Ballet and football have long been secret lovers backstage. But they have only been rarely seen out together in public.

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The Gods of Grace: When Sport is Beautiful

Ismene Brown

Faster, higher, stronger - and more graceful. There is a handful of top athletes and sportspeople who are the beautiful people, who have some divine extra dimension to their movement that makes you smile to see them. They're winners, but they're seraphic dancers too, and they make all the other winners look tough and effortful.

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Opinion: What ballet school is for

Ismene Brown

How many classical ballet dancing jobs, full-time, are there in Great Britain? I make it just 289. That's the Royal Ballet 94, English National Ballet 67, Birmingham Royal Ballet 57, Scottish Ballet 36, Northern Ballet 35. Rambert does sometimes take classically trained dancers: another 23. So, at a stretch, 312 full-time jobs for Britain's classical ballet graduates to be searching for a vacancy in.

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From Foot to Foot, How Rhythm Travelled the World

Ismene Brown

Two hundred years ago in Durham taverns you could find men in wooden clogs clattering on the tables, with their mates pressing their ears to the underside of the surface. Meanwhile, at the other end of the world, African slaves with bare feet were shuffling on dirt with metal bottle caps held between their toes. Now picture a Mediterranean gypsy dancing of sorrow and pain with swirling shawls and angrily pounding heels.

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New Year Brantub - Free Tickets Competition

theartsdesk

Competition alert! Start 2012 with a surprise arts trip. On theartsdesk we love crossing the borders - "Surprise me," was the edict of the great impresario of theatre, music, art and dance, Serge Diaghilev, and it's one we hold to here, because we believe in the pleasure of surprises. So please enter our competition, and a pair of tickets to one of the splendid events listed below could be coming your way, but you will take pot luck with which one you win, and who knows?

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