In the July edition of Dancing Times magazine, my Danza in Italia column talks about La Scala Ballet’s exciting new dancer Alice Mariani as she comes to the end of her first season with the company. I write: “Now with Sylvia, in a version choreographed by Legris for the Vienna State Ballet, she has once again proved herself as one of the finest dancers of the company and it would be no surprise to see her promoted to principal dancer at the end of this season.” Yesterday it was announced that she has indeed been promoted and she becomes La Scala’s newest principal dancer.
I also mention La Scala soloist Emanuela Montanari’s last performance at the opera house. She danced the bedroom pas de deux from Roland Petit’s Chéri in the first annual Gala Fracci, and she flexed her dancer-actor muscles winningly, as she unfailingly has during her career: a sexy performance with irony and much fine dancing.
In the current issue Karen Berry, Senior Teacher Training Manager at The Royal Ballet School, writes about ‘Challenging Studio Culture’:
Often training environments reveal a blatant disregard for the very purpose dance should serve: the experience of being human. If we are to begin to address such concerns, we must start to unpick studio culture, acknowledging the impact historic methods, behaviours, and expectations have had on dancers.
In another thought-provoking article, Matthew Paluch wonders if current professional dancers’ employment contracts are friend or foe considering recent events within the UK’s dance sector.
This month’s cover boy is Rudolf Nureyev whose career is celebrated in the magazine: “The man who, perhaps more than anyone else, brought dance to the wider public at large through his inspirational performances and staging of the Russian classics.”
Paluch also talks to Javier Torres following his retirement from Northern Ballet: “There aren’t many people who talk about grounded theory in an interview. Javier Torres, former premier dancer with Northern Ballet, is one of the few who do.”
Gerald Dowler in ‘Curating the legend of Nureyev’ interviews Nehemiah Kish about a new project: “When my career took me abroad, Nureyev’s presence was felt wherever I went, from Denmark to here in London at the Royal Opera House where artists pass under an enormous picture of Nureyev as they enter the stage.”
Also, Nicola Rayner speaks to Kathleen Marshall, director-choreographer of Anything Goes; James Whitehead looks at the hip twist in the rumba; Laura Cappelle reviews Ballet de Lorraine’s Pas assez suédois; Leigh Witchel sees New York City Ballet and Trisha Brown Dance Company; Margaret Willis interviews Eric Snyder of English National Ballet; and Debbie Malina explores some of the ways to cope with stress.
Among many other articles are obituaries of Liane Daydé, John Leach and Ann Hutchinson Guest.
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.