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What makes a leader? This question has become a defining issue in international politics. But it is equally vital when major classical companies appoint a new artistic director. Some directors quickly make their mark – others crash and burn. We speak to bold new brooms like Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet) and Angel Corella (Pennsylvania Ballet), and to prominent victims of ballet politics including Johan Kobborg and Assis Carreiro. They explain just why it’s so tough at the top.
Also in this issue, we report from the studios at the RAD’s prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition in Sydney, where young dancers must master entirely new choreography. We meet students facing very different tensions, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. And amid heightened concerns about inappropriate contact in dance class, we ask – how much touch is too much?
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Into the unknown
Genée candidates aren’t just show ponies – they must master testing new choreography. We report from Genée 2016.
Following in Gene Kelly’s footsteps, learning to sing onstage: how two classical dancers met a daunting challenge.
Looking for leaders
Artistic directors of a major classical company often have a rocky ride. We meet successes, survivors and the walking wounded.
State of the art
Giselle is a heartbreaking classic, but also a ballet that has tested cutting-edge stage technology from its premiere to the present day.
Past the checkpoint
How do you run a ballet school in the conflicted Palestinian city of Ramallah? Teachers and students tell stories from the West Bank.
Too much touch
Hitting students is wrong – but how should teachers use physical contact and correction in class? What are the rules of 21st-century touch?
Fit for purpose
Barre-ballet is becoming increasingly popular. But can it replace the gym – and is it really ballet?
What I’ve learned
Alessandra Ferri: the star who retired, and came back better than ever.