writers on dancing

Volume 4, Number 15 - April 17, 2006

more current articles!

Perm Ballet's "Swan Lake" by Paul Parish

“Still Smoking”
Concept and direction by Maria Hassabi by Susan Reiter

did you miss these?

Sounddance - by Nancy Dalva

"Peter and the Wolf" - by John Percival

Phoenix Dance Company - by George Jackson

James Sewell - by Lisa Rinehart

what we're reading

Peter Aspden on learning to understand ballet

Clement Crisp on the new official history of the Royal Ballet

A different view of the same book by Ismene Brown

Elizabeth Zimmer on the Martha Graham Company's woes

Moving Forward at the Bolshoi
New York City Ballet Seminar
Alexei Ratmansky, interviewed by Anna Kisselgoff

by Dale Brauner

Alexei Ratmansky was in shock.  He was in Moscow in 2003 to choreograph “The Bright Stream” and thought he was going to be called on the carpet for being behind schedule for the big evening-length ballet.  His head was still filled with Dmitry Shostakovich’s music from the rehearsal he just left.  Instead, there in the office of Bolshoi Theater’s general director Anatoly Iksanov, Ratmansky — a Bolshoi Ballet School graduate who never danced for the big company — was being given a chance to run the whole show. READ MORE


Russell Maliphant Company

by John Percival

I'm sorry that Russell Maliphant took such a dislike to classical ballet. I remember watching with pleasure when he danced solo parts with Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet during most of the 1980s, but we learned that he didn't enjoy it; he claims that he "never quite connected" with it, and "some of the skipping about made me feel awkward and ridiculous". Ironic, then, that his present fame has arisen through his collaboration with ballet dancers: the "Ballet Boyz" (William Trevitt and Michael Nunn, formerly of the Royal Ballet before starting their own company), and then Sylvie Guillem. In the meantime, Maliphant worked with quite a few of our modern choreographers, but it appears that the one who most crucially affected him was Laurie Booth, with whom he experienced the American-influenced practice of "contact improvisation". The excitement of that provoked him into starting choreography, and gradually building up a style of his own which attracted the stars already mentioned. As a consequence, he has graduated from small audiences in studio theatres to sold-out performances at Sadler's Wells, where he has just presente d his third programme in two years, this time created for a new company, all recently recruited. READ MORE

Letter From San Francisco, Number 6
Doug Varone and Alonzo King's LINES Ballet

by Rita Felciano

Last November I saw a rather remarkable collaboration, “The Invisible Man,” between Doug Varone and Dancers and the Aquila Theatre Company in New York City. What struck me most about this retelling in movement and gesture of the H.G. Wells classic was the clarity of its narrative structure and the possibilities of developing characters without verbal language. Much credit also has to go to Anthony Cochrane’s wonderous score which nourished the work like rain trickling down to the roots of a plant. Several times, when the piece hit dry spots, the music kept it alive. READ MORE

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