FEAR OF THE DANCE

“The idea of uncontrolled, wild dancing as something dangerous stays with us: the club must be licensed for entertainment; the rave strictly policed. The idea of people enjoying themselves, whirling like banshees out of control is deeply unsettling to authority. Uncontrolled passion must be restrained. Yet in the not-so-distant past, hundreds of thousands of people took part in frenzied outdoor orgies and wild displays of dancing that lasted for weeks. From as early as the eighth century and as late as the 17th, these dance manias spread across Europe.” The Guardian (London)

BIG MISTAKE?

The Bolshoi Ballet stumbles into London this week. The company has been a mess the past year. There’s been “talk of missing money; of a threadbare repertoire; of a headless organisation, because the new team of the conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky (artistic director) and Anatoly Iksanov (general director) had yet to get its act together.” The question is – is this a company that should be touring right now? The Independent (London)

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?

In 1998, six male stars of London’s Royal Ballet left to start their own company. “The central question was whether it would genuinely be a new kind of company, a democratic, intensely creative Gang of Six. And so, what happened? Have the six friends lived happily ever after? No, of course they didn’t. Did the company become a star vehicle? Yes, of course it did. Are they all still friends? Have a guess.” The Telegraph (London)

NO RESPECT FOR THE DEAD

Ron Protas, the Martha Graham heir and owner of the trademark of her name has filed a lawsuit against the Martha Graham Center. “The suit seeks to stop the center, which encompasses the school and company founded by the legendary choreographer, from using Graham’s name. Triggering the lawsuit was the reopening of the Martha Graham School, which yesterday began operations in temporary quarters in lower Manhattan after a seven-month hiatus.” Washington Post

DANCE WITH ME

Should all kids have access to dance classes meant to lead a student to dance’s professional ranks? The issue is brought up in San Francisco where a mother charges her 8-year-old daughter was rejected by the San Francisco Ballet School because she has a “short, athletic body” that doesn’t fit the classical ballet ideal. The New York Times (one-time registration required for access)

EXTREME DANCE

What does it mean to be a contemporary dancer? “Traditional” contemporary dance is changing and “idealized images of the body are increasingly being replaced with new models of what is dance and what is a dancer. Contemporary dance has been increasing “investigations into the avant-garde by employing people who openly defy expectations.” The Globe & Mail (Canada)

NIJINSKY’S MAGIC

What was it about Vaslav Nijinsky that he so mesmerized the world – “that he should have inspired so many books, films, plays and pieces of artwork? He belonged in ballet’s rarefied circles, yet during his career he captured popular imagination across the world. Fifty years after his death he still does. The Independent (London)