Arts and Entertainment

Holly Williams reports on a new Channel 4 show giving a leg-up to plus-sized dancers

Books: The puzzling effect of an MTV promo made prose

The Book of Revelation by Rupert Thomson Bloomsbury pounds 12.99

Dance: Contemporary meets classic

13 DIFFERENT KEYS THE ATLANTIS LONDON E1

Degas' pounds 17m ballet dancer makes a big impression

A PASTEL of a ballet dancer by Edgar Degas was sold for pounds 17.6m at Sotheby's last night, making it the second most expensive work done on paper.

THE GUILLOTINE: No 8: ANNA PAVLOVA

Twentieth-Century Classics That Won't Last

A prospect with knobs on: David Brintley

The artistic director of Birmingham Royal Ballet believes the future of ballet lies in changing people's attitudes about what ballet can and should be. And where it should be too. Shape of Arts to Come

Dance: Quick steps to the brighter side of life

DANCE NIGHT BBC2, TONIGHT

Dance; Event of the week - Dance Night, Monday BBC2

Burly comedian Alexei Sayle and porcelain ballerina Deborah Bull (above) are the oxymoronic combination of presenters for BBC's first-ever all-dance night. Why Sayle? Because, despite his looks, he actually taught dance as a drama teacher. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing (7.05-7.35pm) is his how-to guide for catching the dance bug. "Dancing is beautiful," he says. "It'll make you live longer, be nicer, stand taller, smile brighter, and think more interesting thoughts." In Dance Ballerina Dance (6.05-6.50pm), Deborah Bull explores the ballerina's evolving image through performances of extracts from five ballets, partnered by Adam Cooper and coached by Lynn Seymour. Also scheduled is footage of Margot Fonteyn dancing, Marcus Ryder's documentary, Clubbing, and two feature films - Strictly Ballroom and Chorus Line.

In the footsteps of Forsythe

The master choreographer has brought his Frankfurt Ballet to London's Sadler's Wells. But what is it about William Forsythe's work that makes it so distinctive. And inspire such devotion? By John Percival

Racing: Song all primed to extend his repertoire

TONY McCOY steered His Song to another impressive victory in the Dunstown Wood Chase at Punchestown yesterday and the powerful five-year- old is now heading for the Murphy's Irish Craic at Cheltenham next month.

Racing: Ballerina has the toe to take limelight from His Song

EVERYONE knows the name of the only horse to win consecutive races at the Festival (Montelado, who took the bumper that closed the 1992 fixture and the Supreme Novices' Hurdle that opened the 1993 meeting), but his trainer, Pat Flynn, should not be forgotten either.

Dance: Angels with hairy armpits

"OH ... my ... gahd" exclaimed the aged ex-ballerina behind me, at the unadjusted volume of old ladies who've forgotten how to whisper. "I just don't believe it." Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo takes people that way, even when they thought they knew what to expect. We'd had the warm-up gag: the cod-Russian voice over the Tannoy announcing that, in the forthcoming performance of "Lez Silfeeds," Mikolojus Vatssisneym was to be replaced by Igor Teupleze, and Helen Highwater (hell and ... geddit?) by Margaret Lowinocteyn DBE. So we knew it was going to be a gas. But nothing prepares an audience for the moment the curtain goes up and a vision of 14 frothy white tutus, stooped in a frozen curtsey, suddenly rears up on to its white satin pointes like one of those speeded-up nature films of a lily erupting in bloom. It ain't natural. It ain't possible. It's actually rather beautiful. But these are men!

Theatre: A seething ego pit laid bare

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Peacock Theatre, London

Dancing with danger

Ballet dancers whose training programme is too tough face a higher risk of developing the crippling bone disorder osteoporosis, a study has shown. Dancers whose menstrual cycle was disrupted by weight loss and hard training were those most at risk.

Dance: Romeo and Juliet The Kirov at the Coliseum, London

Name that tune. The music was unrecognisable at first but gradually it crystallised into "Happy Birthday" and the audience burst, almost gratefully, into a rousing chorus of the song as the Queen Mother sat down next to the Queen in the centre of the Coliseum's Royal Box to enjoy her 97th birthday treat.

Dance: The man who took ballet out of its tights

Mikhail Fokine, the daring and innovative choreographer of the Ballets Russes, believed that there could only be evolution and not revolution in art. From this pragmatic premise, he went on to create pieces that were to alter the whole face of Russian ballet, considered by many at the turn of the century to be stale and outmoded. Fokine believed that ballet had lost expression, soul and relevance to the changing world around it (still a dilemma for ballet today), in its rigid pursuit of virtuosic technique. His aim was to reinvest dance with meaning, thus enabling a ballet to mirror its subject-matter more closely, and to reflect visually on the time and place in which it was meant to be set.
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