It’s too early to know, just yet, what impact “Freedom Day”, on July 19, may have had on dance in the UK. From that date onwards,
people were no longer required to socially distance themselves from others, and were also free not to wear face-coverings if they chose not to. Theatres, restaurants, pubs and clubs could open at full capacity again, which also meant dance schools and studios could begin to operate “normally”. Is all this too much, too soon? In this issue of Dancing Times, Nicola Rayner hears from ballroom,
Latin American and partner dance teachers – whose businesses have perhaps been the hardest hit within the dance industry during the pandemic – on how they were planning to “get back to normal”, if indeed they were. Additionally, Ginny Brown of the ISTD offers an antidote to teaching dance in a digital world. We also find out what live dance events are being planned for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.
Exploring other areas of dance in a postpandemic world, Daniel Pratt asks how much the dance industry will protect its artists in his Talking Point column, and on page 22 Matthew Paluch looks at queer representation in ballet. All topics that are food for thought.
Ginny Brown is chief executive of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). She started her career as a dance teacher, specialising in broadening access to professional dance organisations including Rambert, English National Ballet and The Royal Ballet School. She is now focused on regenerating the 117-yearold Society, so that it remains meaningful and relevant for generations to come. Ginny is passionate about ensuring everyone has opportunities to experience the lifeenhancing qualities of dance. Debbie Malina is a freelance journalist who has written for, and edited, a variety of journals. Writing for health, fitness and exercise magazines, she first contributed to Dancing Times in 1987, and has a particular interest in looking at exercise techniques and issues relating to dance medicine.
Matthew Paluch studied at The Royal Ballet School, graduating in 1997, and danced with London City Ballet, Scottish Ballet, K-Ballet and English National Ballet. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance’s Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma in 2007, and teaches at Trinity Laban and The Royal Ballet School. He completed his Master’s in Ballet Studies at Roehampton University in 2011, and currently studies Benesh Movement Notation. He became a trustee of the Royal Academy of Dance in 2021. Daniel Pratt trained locally in south London, attending the Royal Ballet School Associates programme before completing his vocational training at Central School of Ballet. He currently performs with Sarasota Ballet, dancing a broad range of works including ballets by Ashton, Balanchine and MacMillan. Daniel has also danced with Northern Ballet and English National Ballet, and has written many articles for Dancing Times, in addition to an online blog, Talking Dance. He serves on the board of the American Guild of Musical Artists. Margaret Willis writes for several publications and websites. Her book – Carlos Acosta, the Reluctant Dancer – was published in 2010 by Arcadia Books as part of their Black Amber Scholastic series.
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4 • DANCING TIMES
The Royal Ballet’s Isabella Gasparini and Joonhyk Jun in the “Blue Bird” pas de deux from Act III of The Sleeping Beauty.
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Photograph: KRISTYNA KASHVILI.