Life is challenging, but Dancing Times soldiers on, as it has done for 110 years, more than any other dance publication. In all that time, even during world wars, it has never missed publishing an issue, and the coronavirus isn't about to stop it in its tracks.
Gramilano's Danza in Italia column was lucky in that it is bi-monthly, and as such still had some shows to review. A five-part mixed bill from La Scala Ballet, had works by Roland Petit and Hans van Manen and took up most of the spread, with Martina Arduino and Nicola Del Freo “mesmerising” in Van Manen's Adagio Hammerklavier; Nicoletta Manni was suitably “haughty” and Claudio Coviello “full of arrogant bravura” for Sarcasmen; and Alessandra Vassallo and Domenico Di Cristo showed great humanity in Kammerballett.
Petit was represented with Le combat des anges (with the seductive Marco Agostino and Coviello) as well as Le Jeune homme et la Mort, with Del Freo making an impressive debut, following on the heels of Roberto Bolle and Coviello during previous evenings.
Italian dance producer Daniele Cipriani in one of his starry galas in Rome, brought over Oleg Ivenko, well-known from playing Rudolf Nureyev in Ralph Fiennes' film The White Crow, and pleasingly he wasn't only a box-office draw, but has real talent.
Elsewhere in the magazine, Daniel Pratt offers an article on the coronavirus outbreak from his viewpoint as a professional dancer, Marianka Swain takes a look at the dance available online – including specialist classes and streamed performances, as well as some classic films, and Debbie Malina contributes a timely guide on the importance of sleep.
Fátima Nollén talks to American Ballet Theatre's Herman Cornejo about his 20-year career with the company, Margaret Willis interviews our Dancer of the Month, Scottish Ballet's Nicholas Shoesmith, Laura Cappelle and Jack Anderson report on the effects of COVID-19 on the Paris and New York dance scenes, and Former English National Ballet principal Andria Hall shares her insights with Paul Arrowsmith.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.