Arts and Entertainment

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

CENTREFOLD / Amateur aquatics: Literary agent transforms ICA into swimming pool

'Theatre is a very important but a very silly activity,' declares Gary Carter, who performs two solo pieces under the title Sport and Recreation at the ICA on Wednesday. 'The whole idea of a group of people coming to watch me pretending to be under water is very funny'. It's even funnier if, as is the case with Carter, you are only a part-time performer. The rest of the time he is a literary agent, and his clients frequently come to see the performances. 'They enjoy coming to watch me and then telling me my structure was crap,' he admits cheerfully. 'They're incredibly influential in the sense that having exposure to people who are much more talented than you is a very good thing'.

Male ballet dancers take small steps to shake off uptight prejudices

JAY BEVAN announced that he wanted to be a ballet dancer at the age of four. His mother was horrified. 'She said it was poofy, and sent me to judo instead.' Only when he was 18, after completing his exams early, was he able, finally, to join a Saturday dance class.

Racing: Big field frightens Fairy

Fairy Heights, 10-1 joint third favourite with William Hill for the 1,000 Guineas, may miss Tuesday's Nell Gwyn Stakes because of the competitiveness of the race. Twenty fillies have been entered for the Group Three contest which is the feature of the first day of Newmarket's Craven meeting.

DANCE / Fired by flamenco

CRISTINA HOYOS came to Sadler's Wells last week and exposed this country's best- kept secret - the British are mad about flamenco. The box office could have sold Ballet Cristina Hoyos twice over. What is remarkable is that Hoyos's company has not been to London before, although it has twice been to the Edinburgh Festival since 1988, when it was founded. Nor was Hoyos a frequent visitor to the capital in the 20 years she danced with the renowned Antonio Gades.

Letter: The affair of the missing ballerina

Sir: I was lucky to see Rudolf Nureyev in many different roles at various stages of his career, and very much admired his extraordinary contribution to 20th-century dance. With many others, I am delighted to support Crusaid's 'Gala tribute to Rudolf Nureyev and his legacy'.

Letter: Guillem and the Nureyev tribute

Sir: David Lister's article 'Ballet star snubs Nureyev tribute' (2 March) was offensive and thoroughly unfair to Sylvie Guillem, whom I represent. (The article reported that Miss Guillem 'has snubbed the international gala tribute to Rudolf Nureyev because the organisers will not allow her to choose her own dance'.)

DANCE / Simply, ecstasy

IT IS A religious experience. By the end of In the Upper Room, everyone is ecstatic, including the dancers. Well, Twyla Tharp always says she does 'God's work'. A wondrous classic, the piece will long outlive its great creator. She is one of America's most acclaimed and eclectic modern dance choreographers, and this piece has been wildly received wherever it goes. Last week at the Riverside Studios was no exception.

Cold ballet dancers strike over a question of degree

IT WAS exactly one degree colder than the Equity national ruling and the cast of The Nutcracker finally cracked. The Sugar Plum Fairy reached for her Equity rulebook and stood her ground. The Nutcracker Suite became the bitter suite.

Royal Variety show provides finale to Russian ballet dancers' UK tour

Members of the Grigorovich Ballet of the Bolshoi Theatre rehearsing for tonight's Royal Variety Performance at the Dominion Theatre in London. The company was formed three years ago by Yuri Grigorovich, chief choreographer and director of the Bolshoi Photograph: Ralph Erle

Obituary: Geoffrey Foulkes

Geoffrey Lloyd Foulkes, physician: born Ilford 31 January 1923; Chairman, Traditional Acupuncture Society 1976-80, President 1980-82; President, British Naturopathic and Osteopathic Association 1981-82; married 1970 Gillian Williamson; died Ilford 9 May 1993.

Health: Whether you're a piece of bacon or a ballerina, life can be fun: New Yorkers are finding that the way to succeed is childishly simple, reports Angela Smyth

NEW YORKERS have a reputation for being loud and pushy, but some of them have decided they are not quite extrovert enough. Throwing caution to the wind, they are enrolling for the latest weekend therapy - which involves making asses of themselves in public.

BALLET / Over here and out on a limb: Sylvie Guillem is the world's most famous ballerina. She is known for two things, besides her infinite legs: breaking the rules, and not breaking her silence. She has only ever given one unconditional interview. This is it

GUARDED green eyes watch me from a fine-boned face. 'I'm nervous,' says Sylvie Guillem. 'I don't like interviews.' In person, and without make-up, there's a cool, witchy mischief about Guillem which is absent from the handful of carefully composed portraits that she has permitted to be published. She smiles; our meeting has entailed several phone calls and third-party negotiations, conditions laid down and then gradually laid aside.

TELEVISION BRIEFING / 30 years in action

Two weeks ago, BBC2 hailed the achievements of Granada with an evening of the company's best programmes. Tonight, it is the turn of ITV to salute its own North-west franchise-holder with WORLD IN ACTION - 30 YEARS (10.40pm ITV), a Greatest Hits compilation from Granada's flagship current affairs documentary series. This comprehensive survey opens with various alumni (including Margaret Beckett, Labour's deputy leader) reflecting on the programme's reputation - a phone call from World in Action could strike terror into the hearts of the guilty - before delving into the archives for early programmes on VD and bronchitis (which opened with a scene of undertakers carrying coffins out of every door in a Coronation Street- style terrace). It's good to be reminded of the number of important investigations World in Action has carried out over the years - from John Pilger's 1970 report on US soldiers in Vietnam shooting their own officers in the back through the start of the Birmingham Six campaign in 1985, right up to the 1991 programme questioning whether the Queen should pay tax. Long may it continue.

Nureyev, a divine gift, is dead at 54: John Gregory assesses the turbulent life of the greatest dancer since Nijinsky

RUDOLF NUREYEV, the most celebrated ballet dancer of our time, died yesterday in Paris of a cardiac complication after a long illness, aged 54. He had suffered from a serious heart condition which was made worse by the HIV virus. His death was long expected, and artistically he had been in the shadows for some time.
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