Arts and Entertainment

Paul McCartney's first work for dance may be the most satisfying of his classical pieces – but then, he's been composing for the dance all his life, in a way.

Obituary: Leon Barzin

ALMOST A century after his birth, Leon Barzin's name might not mean much to younger generations of concert-goers, though it is a by-word for elegant, precise technique among his fellow conductors, among whom his influence will be felt for decades to come. Barzin was also, decades back, one of the first musicians to point to the importance of concentrating on the "outreach" to local communities that has now become a part of the survival technique of embattled orchestras everywhere.

Arts: Birthday brilliance at NYCB

No other company in the world could do it. To celebrate its 50 years, New York City Ballet is presenting a breathtaking showcase season of 100 ballets.

Dance: Raw power

PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET SADLER'S WELLS LONDON

Dance to the music of time; The Books Interview

A literary late-starter, Joan Brady caught up fast. So why does she shun books?

Pictures: The ghastly world of Ogdred Weary

The dark, appallingly funny works of Edward Gorey are finally being published in Britain. Not before time, says Ian Irvine, who met the septuagenarian genius, balletomane and recluse at his house on Cape Cod

American Times: New York - First prize: a night out with Norman

THE MODEL is doing her best. The lighting in the ballroom of Manhattan's Pierre Hotel isn't helping and the 200 guests at the fund- raising gala for the American-Italian Cancer Foundation seem underwhelmed by the flowing brown shawl she is showing.

Drag queens fix it for gym

Aerobics classes in the US get ever more bizarre as they fight for new members

Obituary: Nina Youshkevitch

THE RESPECTED New York City-based ballet teacher Nina Youshkevitch was a rare remaining direct link with the legacy of the great choreographer Bronislava Nijinska. She was a protegee of Nijinska both as dancer and as teacher.

West Side stories

Loan sharks and delis, drug dealers and bookies, Puerto Ricans and Poles ... the colourful neighbourhood of novelist Douglas Kennedy's Sixties childhood has all but vanished thanks to gentrification and `zero tolerance'. Here, he looks back and questions the price we pay for our clean streets and safe lives

The night I stepped on Darcey's toes

Such a sweet girl, that Darcey Bussell. Just don't mention her father. Or Sylvie Guillem. By John Walsh

Dance: City slickers

NEW YORK BALLET STARS QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL LONDON

Dance: For Tharp! read sharp!

BACK IN 1969, the buzzword was that anyone could do anything. Andy Warhol said everyone could be famous for 15 minutes. People who couldn't hold a paintbrush displayed their own spatter paintings on their walls. And Twyla Tharp declared that Joe Ordinary was capable of performing a piece of her choreography for 11 seconds. Eleven seconds precisely. She'd had this beatific dream, lying blissed out on a grassy hillside (it was the 1960s, remember), and conceived the notion of a dancework composed of 100 phrases of movement. They could be performed in sequence, to make a long piece, or all at the same time, to make a very short one: an eruption of dense activity, 11 seconds from start to finish. And the dancers could learn the wherewithal in one afternoon

Dance: A taste of the Big Apple corps

We don't get the New York City Ballet in London. It would cost a fortune to import them, and an impresario could only make it pay (and keep things affordable) if London had a 3,000-seater venue to put them in.

At last, someone benefits from the bright lights

American Times new york

Classical Music: MUSIC ON RADIO 3

The idea of ballet on radio is, of course, a paradox - and potentially a risible one. Granted, scenarios can be narrated and recordings of dance scores played - as in the fondly remembered Cormac Rigby's exquisitely high camp Royal Repertoire series of the Seventies. Granted, new productions and revivals can be reviewed in Radio 3's Nightwaves or Radio 4's Front Row. But as to conveying the direct experience ...
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