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.

The world according to Tharp

The legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp is on a mission to rescue the Royal Ballet. By Jenny Gilbert

Both New York and London's premier ballet companies struggled in the wake of their founders' deaths. Why has ours come off worse?

One way of seeing almost every substantial ballet company in the world would have been, over the years, to attend the Paris International Dance Festival each autumn. This month's season by New York City Ballet offered a special interest for British visitors: to compare how well this company and the Royal Ballet are coping with the loss of their founder choreographers, George Balanchine and Frederick Ashton, who both died during the 1980s.

creativity decline of the Roman hiccup

Readers have been most generous with advice on what to do with my hiccups. "Hold your breath for 15 minutes," advises WJ Rosengrave. "Drink to horrible excess," says Jonathan Leigh. "Block the ears," offers Donal O'Callaghan, saying he read it in the Lancet. "Drinking a nearly full glass of water from the wrong side with your thumbs stuck in your ears," Anthony Walker insists works every time. "Drink half a glass of Bucks Fizz slowly," Virginia Halfhide prescribes, "then spin round six times and finish it." "Spell it 'hiccoughs' and take a lozenge," says Tony Kelly. While Tom Gaunt suggests: "Hold your nose and drink a glass of water upside down, while parachuting blindfold from 20,000 feet, wearing a copper-lined suit during a thunderstorm."

DANCE Nothing to get historical over

Triple Bill Birmingham Royal Ballet Hippodrome, Birmingham

ARTS : The united colours of Bjart

His ballets are a melting pot of ideas and styles, writes Sophie Constanti, but are they art or pretentious kitsch?

dance If the coat fits

Birmingham Royal Ballet Sadler's Wells, London

Dance: Coming back for seconds

Dance Bites, Royal Ballet - The Orchard, Dartford

WILLIAM DONALDSON'S WEEK: Telling porkies to a mountain man

It seems I was mistaken when I boasted last week that a journalist of my experience could instantly distinguish between a dud hot potato and a good one. No sooner had I filed my column from Breckenridge, Colorado, and made my arrangements to come home (more accurately, to fly on to Miami, where I expected to see the Dolphins stuff the Chiefs) than I received a fax from the Independent's news desk telling me to stay on the story.

WILLIAM DONALDSON'S w e e k: The Lilac Fairy? What a plonker

Watching the Denver Broncos getting stuffed over Christmas and then catching a bit of The Sleeping Beauty on television, I was reminded of John Osborne's description of ballet as 19th-century poofs' football.

BOOK REVIEW / The right time to bite the ballet: 'Prologue: An Unconventional Life' - Joan Brady: Andre Deutsch, 14.99 pounds

JOAN BRADY's first novel, Theory of War, was a comet out of the blue, a complete surprise from a largely unknown writer in Devon. It was based on her grandfather's childhood as a white slave in the American South, and its imaginative mastery over such scalding events won it last year's Whitbread Prize. To learn that she had once been a ballerina in San Francisco and New York was odd; ballerinas may be associated with rigour, but not always of the intellectual kind.

BOOK REVIEW / A lot of fancy footwork: 'Prologue: An Unconventional Life' - Joan Brady: Deutsch, 14.99 pounds

IN THE acknowledgements to her autobiography, Joan Brady includes the following sentence: 'I am deeply indebted to Margot Blake for the title of this book (as well as for the best scones in Devon).'

The Edinburgh Festival: Dance: By George, a jewel in the Miami showcase

WHEN THE former New York City Ballet star Edward Villella took on the challenge of starting a ballet company in the cultural backwater of southern Florida, he stressed that it would take at least a decade to create a first- rate troupe of dancers. Yet in just eight years, Villella's Miami City Ballet has become one of America's finest ensembles, lauded for its stylistic coherence and meticulous stagings of ballets by George Balanchine, New York City Ballet's founder choreographer.

DANCE / Tender, loving care: Judith Mackrell applauds the exuberant Miami City Ballet at the Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh

As the grand glittering powerbase that is New York City Ballet goes into decline, squandering its Balanchine inheritance through poor schooling and lack of spirit, the young and plucky Miami City Ballet have stepped into the vacated spotlight. Edward Villella (an NYCB star in the Sixties) founded the company in 1985 to take care of the Balanchine ballets that once 'looked after' him. And in the clarity with which his dancers reveal the lineaments and details of every step, that care movingly shows.
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago