Dame Darcey Bussell talks about loves and dislikes from Astaire to Jane Fonda, from Chorus Line to Romeo & Juliet, from dyslexia to diamond earrings.
On 14 March 2020, The Royal Ballet’s principal dancer Lauren Cuthbertson was dancing Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. A rare honour. She was dancing with former Royal Ballet dancer and Mariinsky principal dancer Xander Parish and cheered on by her mother, her boyfriend and his parents. Two days later, they were returning to London on the Gatwick Express when a message arrived: Royal Ballet classes, rehearsals and performances were suspended with immediate effect because of the spread of the coronavirus.
I’d heard from friends in Europe and America that things were shutting down, so I knew what was coming. So we drove out of London, and now I’m in the countryside with my boyfriend and his parents. I’m lucky to have a garden – if I were in London, it would be a very different story.
Alessandra Ferri has been interpreting Eleonora Duse in John Neumeier’s ballet Duse, most recently in Venice at the beginning of February. Does she feel she has anything in common with Italy’s most famous 19th-century actress?
Much, starting with my approach to a work, stripping away the façades that for me have no part in an art that is an internal journey. You must know yourself, and grow, and have the courage to be true to yourself. It leaves me vulnerable but, at the same time, strong. Also for me, art was always an anchor for me to cling on to during life’s difficult moments.
I think my approach to interpreting a character has remained the same, from Giselle to MacMillan’s ballets: real acting, without outsized gesturing. Two significant roles for Duse were Juliet and Marguerite Gautier, as they were for me. Another interesting coincidence is that Juliet was also her first important character.
Everyone who has followed The Royal Ballet in rehearsal during World Ballet Day or watched the interval clips and interviews during the intervals of the company’s live cinema relays will know Christopher Carr. The Royal Ballet’s Guest Principal Ballet Master isn’t afraid of raising his voice, clapping his hands loudly and stamping the floor with […]
Save the best until last. Not a bad programming policy, and with La Scala’s recent triple bill, the last was Maurice Béjart’s Boléro. Obviously, with the first item on the programme being George Balanchine’s Symphony in C it can hardly be the best for many, but the Béjart is undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser and whoops and […]
The photoshoot for Citizens of Humanity was a brilliant experience. says Royal Ballet principal dancer Marianela Nuñez who is featured in the 13th issue of the denim label’s magazine, Humanity. It is edited by celebrated photographer Paola Kudacki who has shot celebrities such as Beyoncé, Kate Winslet, Jane Fonda, Elton John… it’s a long list. […]
John Cranko’s ballet Onegin was brought to La Scala in 1993 as a vehicle for Carla Fracci with Rex Harrington in the title role. It wasn’t, however, Fracci’s first contact with the ballet. Her close ties with Cranko began before he became the director of the Stuttgart Ballet when she created Juliet in his production […]
Three years ago, Jacopo Tissi left La Scala to join the Bolshoi Company in Moscow. Makhar Vaziev, the Company’s current director, was previously the director at La Scala and had seen Tissi’s work. It was Vaziev (on having to find a substitute for Sergei Polunin, who was himself a substitute for David Hallberg), who chose […]
Ken Browar and Deborah Ory – the husband-and-wife team behind the NYCDance Project – have their second dance photography book coming out next week: The Style of Movement: Fashion and Dance. Their first, which went on to be a best-seller, was The Art of Movement, which came out three years ago. While their particular style […]
Canadian dancer Shale Wagman turned 19 last May. Soon after he was guesting at the Mariinsky Theatre. What’s more, it was his first time dancing a principal role. Ever. Last season – his first as a professional dancer – he was dancing with English National Ballet’s corps de ballet, part of his prize after winning […]