The Diary: Kenneth MacMillan; Iain Banks; Great North Run; Diego Rivera; 26.2 - Features - Books - The Independent

The Diary: Kenneth MacMillan; Iain Banks; Great North Run; Diego Rivera; 26.2

Psychotherapists dance on dark side

Kenneth MacMillan, the late, great British ballet dancer and choreographer, has found an unlikely following among the nation's community of psychoanalysts. Perhaps it was because his work often dwelt on the darker side of human nature and sexuality, or perhaps because MacMillan was in psychoanalysis for years, as a new biography, 'Different Drummer', written by Jann Parry, is set to reveal when it is published next month. A source said Parry had written about his love of shrinks, at length. "[MacMillan] was in analysis for most of his professional career and later life. Lots of psychiatrists and analysts have come out as ballet fans," said the source. To celebrate the fact, the industry's professionals will get together for a conference called 'MacMillan and Psychological Insight', organised in conjunction with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, at Imperial College, London, in November. His work, 'Mayerling', will open the autumn season at the Royal Opera House (he died backstage as his revival of the same ballet was being performed in Covent Garden in 1992) and will form a part of a larger season to mark his 80th anniversary.

Still time for sex

The best-selling author, Iain Banks, has never shied away from writing in a no-holes-barred sex scene, and his latest piece of fiction is no exception. Banks explained why in some scenes in 'Transition', a sci-fi-cum-action story, when the novel's time-travelling characters are talking about the metaphysics of body-hopping, he also has them getting it on in bathtubs. "One is always worried that it will lead to nominations for the worst sex scene award," he joked, but added, it was there to "entertain" and keep the story interesting.

Great North Fun

The Great North Run might be "just a half marathon up north" for Southerners, but it has its own cultural programme (from 16 September to 15 November), now in its fifth year. Artistic feasts to be screened include "playful footage" of those red-faced runners who have taken part in the race over 28 years, the artist Roderick Buchanan's 'Harriers', which features video portraits of athletes in the sweaty moments after a run as well as archive material from the Olympics.

Viva Zapata! Viva Diego! Viva Art Fund!

The Art Fund has bought and donated a rare editon of the iconic lithograph, "Emiliano Zapata and his Horse", by the Mexican artist (and husband of Frida Kahlo) Diego Rivera, to the British Museum. The lithograph features Zapata, the Mexican guerrilla leader, flanked by peasant fighters, in an inflammatory image which Rivera produced in 1932 as a special commission to capture a turbulent period in his country's history. This particular image has never been re-sold or re-framed since Rivera completed it, so it is near to its original condition. The Art Fund gift came along with 16 posters produced by other revolutionary artists. The works will feature in the upcoming exhibition, Revolution on Paper: Mexican Prints from 1910 to 1960, at the museum.

From Mordor to Marathon

The Lord of the Rings actor Orlando Bloom is preparing to star opposite Noel Clarke in a new British comedy currently being made about a motley group of runners who come together to compete in the London marathon. The film, called "26.2" (the length, in miles, of the marathon) is being made by Kevin Loader, the producer of "Nowhere Boy" (about the life of John Lennon) and Free Range Films. It is described by Loader as a "commercial comedy and very British film" and its last third will be the actual race. Hopefully, this will not include any heart attacks.

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