This page is a will build to become a repository of links to great pieces about the dance that’s happening today and also in the past - so not so much the sites that you might easily find in casual dance searches, but lesser known sites that should not be lost.

I’m thinking particularly of sites that have stopped being developed and yet are repositories of terrific/interesting coverage of the past and the way the net has responded to dance and the ever-changing scene around it.

As such, the page will be updated regularly and never declared finished. Note that new additions to this page will always be at the top.

Great Sites & Pages

From the YouTube page: Agony and Ecstasy - A Year with English National Ballet, Episode 1From the YouTube page: Agony and Ecstasy - A Year with English National Ballet, Episode 1

English National Ballet, 2011 Agony & Ecstasy” Swan Lake documentary

English National Ballet are about to open at the Royal Albert Hall in their much admired Swan Lake in-the-round by Derek Deane. It runs from 12 to 23 Jun 2024 - More details

Back in 2011, the BBC ran three fly-on-the-wall documentaries under the title Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet, and the first hour-long documentary was about getting this Swan Lake production on stage in May/June 2010.

Agony & Ecstasy was an appropriate badge because it showed what can seem like the good and bad of ballet: the sheer determination to push everybody as far as possible to deliver a fantastic show and… the controlling and harsh nature of how dancers and others are, or were, treated. Seeing their dignity in coping with it all and rising to the occasion is truly uplifting. Time moves on, and one likes to think that if the documentary were filmed now, then more of a duty of care to individuals might be on display.

The dancers at the centre of the documentary are a young Vadim Muntagirov (only 20 at the time), making his debut in the production and the gloriously experienced Daria Klimentova, who becomes his unplanned partner for opening night. If you want to know how it turned out, read this short review of their performance by Luke Jennings in The Observer.

For the long term, here is a link to the documentary, as indexed by the Internet Archive WayBack Machine.


Eric Taub and Boris the cat, as posted by his sister on BalletcoForum (link below). © Eric TaubEric Taub and Boris the cat, as posted by his sister on BalletcoForum (link below). © Eric Taub

Eric Taub’s Writing

The wonderful dance writer Eric Taub sadly died earlier this year. It came as a huge surprise to us all, and I penned some words on BalletcoForum because Eric had written much for its earlier incarnation, Balletco.

I won’t repeat here all the fine words (and links) written on BalletcoForum, and elsewhere, but rather celebrate Eric’s writing.

From 2012 here is Eric’s brilliant review for DanceTabs about the Kings of the Dance performing in New York. It starts, Apparently, when you’re a King of the Dance, every day is a bad hair day.” More of Eric on DanceTabs

And here are a couple of pieces that Eric penned for Balletco from about 20 years ago…

New York City Ballet’s American Festival in May 2004 (4000 words!)

Jock Soto’s New York City Ballet farewell performance, from June 2005

Eric had a blog called Demicontretemps with the subhead bitching on a terribly high level since 1975.” It just seems to be a massive single page of many reviews and observations, not always listed chronologically. But so what - just jump in and enjoy it!

For the long term, here is a link to the Demicontretemps site as indexed by the Internet Archive WayBack Machine

Finally, for now, Eric’s social media streams are still available:
@manhattnik on X/Twitter
@manhattnik on Instagram
Eric Taub on Facebook


Photo © Internet Archive WayBack MachinePhoto © Internet Archive WayBack Machine

1990 Royal Ballet School Documentary: A Place to Dance”)

This documentary about the Royal Ballet School is a terrific piece of London ballet nostalgia and a spot the young dancer/choreographer game… and where they have got to all these years on.

Filmed 34 years ago, A Place to Dance shows the Lower School at White Lodge and the Upper School at Barons Court (in Hammersmith), which is also where The Royal Ballet was based at the time. It features lots of little quotes from both the students and staff. Merle Park was in charge of the school at that time.

Here are some of the students you might recognise: Christopher Wheeldon, Christopher Hampson, Laura Morera, David Dawson, Monica Zamora, Robert Parker and many more.

For many years the video was on YouTube, if oddly in 2 parts: one 27 minutes long (the link given here) and a separate one for the final few minutes. Sadly, both videos seem to have been taken down, but the 27-minute video has been preserved on the Internet Archive WayBack Machine:

If anybody is aware of a full version of the documentary on the linkable web, or just the final few minutes version, do contact me, and I will add it to this page. Thank you.
Ismene Brown’s marvellous repository of her dance writing - An archive of 25 years of British dance” is the subhead. More substantively: This site holds a selection of my published observations of the British and visiting international dance and ballet scene during my 30+ years as the dance critic of the Daily & Sunday Telegraph, The Arts Desk and The Spectator, and as the Telegraph’s dance obituarist.”

Photo © Ismene Brown.Photo © Ismene Brown.

A terrific website to just dip into and be astounded at the sheer depth of coverage Ismene achieved in writing at the highest level for so long. The only caveat is that many of the links go to The Telegraph site that normally looks for a subscription to view, but sometimes just knowing of an article (and its title) means you can find/investigate ways to read it for free.

But here is something you can read immediately - her wonderful interview with critic Clement Crisp as a Word document  (and you can see the page as it appeared on Balletco here.)

As a long term backup, here is a link to the site as indexed by the Internet Archive WayBack Machine:*/

More sites will be added to this page over time…