Speaking of Dance

Biography

Interviews from Barbara Newman's Speaking of Dance column for The Dancing Times, 1985-1989.

Wright discusses the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet's upcoming tour. He elaborates on ballet touring abroad and the role of the company as ambassadors. He goes on to reflect upon how to chose a successful touring repertory, noting the differences in…

Alston describes his influences and creative process when choreographing The Rite of Spring (1981), Night Music (1981), and Pulcinella (1987), which he was in the process of creating at the time of this interview.Biographical note:Richard Alston was…

Wang Jai Hung describes through an unknown interpreter his training in ballet from the time he was 12 and on. He discusses his training at the Chinese dance school, the Experimental Ballet Society, now known as the Central Ballet of China. He also…

Anderson discusses attending art school at St. Martins and dance theater at Middlesex College before joining the Laban Centre. Anderson also studied music, which plays a significant role in her pieces as they use almost all original music. Anderson…

In this interview, Natch Taylor discusses the formation and creation of the all male dance company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. He also discusses his background as a dancer and the popularity of the dance company in Japan as well as the…

Stanley discusses how she initially became a dancer as a teenager as well as some of the physical aspects of dance. She references some of her influences, including Dido Nicholson, and finally her move from classical ballet to contemporary dance. She…

Lt. Col. Edward Armitstead discusses his administrative role as overseeing officer in planning the annual Trooping of the Color Ceremony celebrating the Queen of England's birthday ceremony in 1985.Biographical note:Edward Armitstead served as a…

In this interview, Tankard details the beginning of her career at the Australian ballet, as well as her time at the Pina Bausch dance company in Germany. She also discusses her choreography and upcoming work.Biographical note:Tankard's professional…

Sonnabend discusses collaboration in her work with Kenneth MacMillan and others and describes music as the primary influence of her work. She also talks about her experiences seeing other productions of Swan Lake as well as some specific sets she has…

John Ashford discusses his directorship of the contemporary dance and performance center, The Place. He addresses funding, audience attendance, and programming. In addition, he reflects on the nature of international styles and language of…

In this interview, Skylanskaya details the beginning of her career as a dancer in Russia and discusses being a teacher. She discusses the movement and style of a good dancer, along with her musical background and the impact it had on her early life.…

Berky discusses his journey from the world of classical music, to theater, and then to the circus. He talks about his early roots as an athlete and how that impacted his work as a mime, his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War and subsequent work with…

In this interview, Simon discusses her career path from her roots as a dancer from the early age of eight in the School of American Ballet meeting George Balanchine in 1948, her career in the New York City Ballet and then developing her career as a…

Bloom talks about his work on the film A Chorus Line. The interview begins with a discussion of the pressures of joining a production already in progress, and the unique aspects of editing a film with dance as its focus. He goes on to describe the…

In anticipation of its opening, Schouvaloff defines the Theatre Museum's scope, mission, and its importance within the context of contemporary London culture.Biographical note:Descended from Russian aristocrats, Alexander Schouvaloff was born in…

Bourne talks about the history of the Dance Umbrella festival, beginning with its first performance at Riverside Studios at the ICA London. This 1988 interview marks the 10th anniversary of the Dance Umbrella. In 1988, Bourne was awarded the…

Chorley discusses Sotheby's role as a dealer and their relationship to buyers, private collections and museums. Chorley emphasizes the importance of provenance and discloses that many fakes exist on the market. Her obligation is to authenticate…

Salmon talks about the rapid pace and turnover of productions in the New York of the time. He describes his opinion on joy being the best motivator of dance rather than the militaristic attitudes he experienced with some choreographers. The…

Ailne Phillips discusses teaching at Sadler's Wells Ballet School under the direction of the "extraordinary" Ninette de Valois (referred to here simply as "Madam"), including the structure of the school and style of coaching and instruction. In…

Geoff Dunlap discusses his career as videographer for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, filming them for British Television. Mr. Dunlop describes Merce Cunningham as a singular genius who is consistent and ordered with an inquiring mind, always…

In this interview, Paxton discusses using improvisation and the process of stepping back to look at how forms influence what's created. He also discusses working with the Extemporary Dance Theatre on his work Audible Scenery which he was involved in…

Tim Flavin discusses his early roots in Texas, through his move to New York City, getting his union card, starting on the stage, and finally ending in London before his performance of Dracula (1986) at the Lyric Hammersmith.Biographical note:Tim…

Mitchell discusses a grant received from the Greater London Council to fund a year's training for five black English students at his New York school. The conversation extends into Mitchell's larger approach to ballet training, touching upon issues of…

Gayle discusses the beginnings of the Royal Ballet Summer School, the people involved, and the finer administrative details of running a dance program, and of students' life while at the program. He cites Anya Linden, Lady Sainsbury as the first to…

Leonard discusses his work in publishing books on dance. He elaborates on coverage of Russian Ballet (the Bolshoi), and photography books of dance.Biographical note:David Leonard is the managing director of Dance Books Ltd., the English bookselling…

Gavin Henderson discusses the Brighton Festival, which he has been director of since 1984. The festival gives Brighton's arts and artists exposure and brings new art to the city.Biographical note:Born in 1948, Gavin Henderson is a native of Brighton,…

Layton discusses the difficulty of finding good experienced dancers in London because there are too many shows and not enough dancers, which affects the quality. Conversely in New York, there are not enough shows and too many dancers. Layton…

Jürgensen reveals that he trained as a dancer in Copenhagen and Paris from age sixteen to nineteen before attending the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, and eventually the University of Copenhagen, to study Musicology. He then explains how his…

In this interview, Kustow discusses at length how his career in contemporary dance developed through his interest in contemporary music. He describes being a student at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the late 1960s and John Cage's influence on…

Kent discusses coaching the Royal Ballet's production of Bugaku, and approaches in movement required by certain ballets, for instance, the extremes required by Balanchine ballets. Relates early motivation for choosing to study ballet and her early…