Author: Paul Arrowsmith

Paul Arrowsmith writes for Dancing Times, with a particular interest in design and dance. He contributed reviews for Balletco from Russia, South Africa and the USA. He is chairman of Parrabbola, a community theatre production company.

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs. Reviews on Balletco
David Drew in his later years - here as the Duke of Courland in Giselle.© John Ross, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Obituary: David Drew, Royal Ballet Principal, with the company 56 years

David Drew, for 56 years a member of The Royal Ballet, has died after a long battle with illness. He described himself as one of a ‘bridge generation’ of dancers. The longevity of his career meant that he worked with many figures from the Ballets Russees – but also taught many dancers and choreographers working today.

Rosie Kay Dance Company in 5 Soldiers.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Rosie Kay Dance Company – 5 Soldiers: The Body is The Frontline – London

Kay’s cast all look real, raw, anxious and laser sharp, ready for action…

The Lost Rite book cover - drawing by Millicent Hodson.© KMS Press and Millicent Hodson. (Click image for larger version)

The Lost Rite – Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer document ‘their’ Rite of Spring in a newly released book

Kenneth Archer and Millicent Hodson have contributed a number of articles to DanceTabs and before that ballet.co.uk. Their last piece, on ‘Jeux’ reaching its centenary in 2013, can be found here and includes…

The Making of Markova: Diaghilev’s Baby Ballerina to Groundbreaking Icon, book cover.© Pegasus Books. (Click image for larger version)

Book – The Making of Markova – by Tina Sutton

Sutton was originally asked to write a brief account of Markova’s career for the Gotlieb Centre but soon realised that her subject’s life, personal and public, was so fascinating that she undertook a substantial biography

Detail from the book cover of Constant Lambert - Beyond The Rio Grande.© Boydell & Brewer. (Click image for full version of cover)

Book – Constant Lambert, Beyond The Rio Grande – by Stephen Lloyd

Lloyd has written widely on English composers and is meticulous in combing together many fragmentary impressions of Lambert. The book weighs over 1.5 kilos, 419 pages of small print, most heavily annotated in smaller print still, with a further 150 pages of appendices.

Mikhail Fokine.© & courtesy of Isabelle Fokine and Fokine Estate Archive. (Click image for larger version)

The Work of Mikhail Fokine – Q&A with Isabelle Fokine

Born in Paris in 1958, Isabelle Fokine is the daughter of Vitale Fokine and granddaughter of choreographer Mikhail Fokine. She is artistic director of the Fokine Estate Archive, which holds the worldwide copyright to his work.

Ivan Putrov.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Dancer, Choreographer and Director of Men in Motion

“I want audiences to leave inspired, not scratching themselves in boredom.”

John Craxton, 1997.Photograph by Matthew Thomas, © estate of John Craxton.

John Craxton Exhibition – Cambridge

John Craxton, the celebrated designer of Frederick Ashton’s Daphnis and Chloe, is the subject of an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge…

Hannah Rudd in Malgorzata Dzierzon's Hikikomori.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert – An Evening of New Choreography 2013 – London

Strongest to emerge was Dzierzon’s ‘Hikikomori’ apparently about social reclusiveness, though Dzierzon’s treatment of her theme was not didactic…

Will Kemp (Ratty), Cris Penfold (Toad) and Clemmie Sveaas (Mole) in The Wind in the Willows.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House production – The Wind in the Willows – London

The’ Wind in the Willows’ is the Royal Opera House’s first transfer to the West End. I hope other shows will follow…

Never Far from Dancing book cover.© Routledge. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Never Far from Dancing, Ballet artists in new roles by Barbara Newman

While some of the views expressed may not chime with your own, the fascination of this book is to understand how contentious maintaining and developing ballet as vibrant theatre often is.

Josh Wille in Jose Agudo's Ki.© Brian Slater. (Click image for larger version)

Phoenix Dance Theatre – Particle Velocity tour – London

Phoenix Dance Theatre are part way through their Autumn “Particle Velocity” tour – Paul Arrowsmith caught up with them in London at their Royal Opera House Linbury performances…

Sharon Watson.© Richard Moran. (Click image for larger version)

Sharon Watson – Artistic director, Phoenix Dance Theatre

Funding is my biggest frustration. Compared to others, we receive peanuts. We have to strip everything back. That can be healthy – forcing me to scrutinise why I want something and concentrating on production values.

Rudolf Nureyev, La Bayadère, Kingdom of the Shades Act, Palais Garnier, 1974.© André Chino. (Click image for larger version)

The Nureyev Collection – Centre national du costume de scène et de la scénographie – Moulins

The triumph of the Nureyev collection at CNCS Moulins is to make the many facets of his profligately talented, maddening personality so vividly alive still.

Thinking with the Body.© Ravi Deepres. (Click image for larger version)

Wayne McGregor – Thinking with the Body exhibition & EChO Seminar – London

Persevere and you will discover an exhibition (Thinking with the Body) that is genuinely provocative, multi-layered, visually and aurally – and as cerebrally demanding as any McGregor stage work.

Unknown dancers in unknown piece from the 2013 bill Still / Current (also known as Still Current).© Warren Du Preez & Nick Thornton Jones. (Click image for larger version)

Russell Maliphant Company – Still Current bill – London

Still / Current is a marvellously evocative title for Maliphant’s work, capturing the mercurially elusive quality of his choreography and his own dancing. And the good news is that Maliphant is back on stage…

Alexandra Timofeyeva and Ilya Kuznetsov in The Firebird.© Valeria Komissarova. (Click image for larger version)

Les Saisons Russes of XXI Century – Le Spectre de la rose, Firebird, Scheherazade – London

But altogether, this was an evening of historical curios that lacked consistent vibrancy.

Edward Burra: Design for William Chappell as Creole Boy in Rio Grande.From James L. Gordon Collection and ©. (Click image for larger version)

Exhibition of 1930’s British Ballet Design – Saffron Walden

Obscurer corners of early British ballet are connected in the exhibition ‘An Outbreak of Talent’, at the Fry gallery in Saffron Walden, Essex until June 30 2013.

Tobias Batley (Jay Gatsby) and Martha Leebolt (Daisy Buchanan) in The Great Gatsby.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – The Great Gatsby – London

The ballet succeeds most in its incidental scenes – though everything is presented fortissimo. Most clever is the way in which Nixon depicts Myrtle and George Wilson …The performances of Benjamin Mitchell and Victoria Sibson were the strongest of the evening.

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