Dancing Times magazine celebrates 110 years

Published: 30 September 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Dancing Times September 1966 Credit: Roy Round

Dancing Times, the world’s oldest dance magazine, celebrates 110 years this October.

Since 1910, the magazine has never missed an issue, publishing throughout two World Wars and the current COVID crisis and has only had four editors: founder Philip J S Richardson (1910–1958), Arthur H Franks (1958–1963), Mary Clarke who led an all-female team through most of her tenure (1963–2008) and current post-holder Jonathan Gray (from 2008).

Highlights over the years included Anna Pavlova, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Margot Fonteyn, Carlos Acosta, Darcey Bussell, Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Black Dancers Matter cover with Birmingham Royal Ballet principal dancer Brandon Lawrence in July 2020. Notable editorial has included features on female choreographers, gay men in ballet and a recent year-long series on dance in South America.

Features in the 110th anniversary issue include a tribute to Philip Richardson, a look at how Miami City Ballet has reimagined its upcoming season, photographer Chris Nash choosing contemporary dance images from his new book Alston Nash, an interview with Strictly Come Dancing siblings Kevin and Joanne Clifton and dancers talking about their gardens and allotments during lockdown.

Founder and artistic director of Ballet Black Cassa Pancho said, “I have been reading Dancing Times since I was a child. Then, it was to learn about my favourite dancers and see photographs of companies from around the world. As an adult and the artistic director of my own company, I have come to appreciate how Dancing Times does not shy away from discussing the difficult issues we face in our industry. Historically, the dance world has not been good at talking openly about its problems. With the support of publications like Dancing Times, we are able to examine and discuss uncomfortable subjects, as well as celebrate everything that makes the dance world incredible.”

Editor Jonathan Gray said, “Dancing Times is a magazine of record and I’m incredibly proud it has reached its 110th year. In 2020, it’s imperative we reflect on everything that is happening; diversity and difference are, rightly, to the fore and we cannot and must not ignore that. The magazine has to have curiosity and report on new areas of dance. These past months have made me realise how much culture matters to our country. I’m confident that whatever dance looks like in the future, Dancing Times will be here to observe and report on it.”