Ravenna Festival in the Rocca Brancaleone. © Zani Casadio


Firstly, thank you for your patience. We decided to suspend publication for three months quite simply because, with the lockdown of companies and theatres, there simply was not enough material to publish the type of magazine that our readers expect of us or we expect of ourselves. Live performances are the core of our existence. Instead, we diverted our energies to our website, posting occasional reviews of streamings and producing several films. Fortunately, the situation is now starting to improve and we have been able to include reviews of live performances that have taken place in Germany, Italy, Norway and Japan in this issue. Indeed, many theatres in Europe have now re-opened, albeit with restrictions on the number of people allowed in the audience.

This issue features interviews with ten artistic directors, who speak about the impact the pandemic has had on their companies and share their strategies for the upcoming months. With the situation still so uncertain regarding social distancing and the fear of second spikes, most have plans A and B - if not plan  Z -  in anticipation of the different scenarios they may face.

The viability of a performance with reduced audiences is reliant on government support which, in many countries in mainland Europe, tends to be more generous than in the UK, where theatres are far more reliant on capacity audiences. Unfortunately this means that although theatres may open and perform to indoor audiences from 1 August, the social distancing laws make such economically impossible for most English dance and ballet companies. Thus the DistDancing project, with its al fresco performances at the Potemkin Theatre alongside Regent's Canal, has offered

welcome respite from the dearth of dance in the capital. Congratulations are in order to all those who have participated in the shows or have been involved in making the performances happen. Chisato Katsura tells how it all came about on page 16.

For young dancers graduating this year, the situation is exceptionally cruel since most companies are not currently in a position to audition or employ more dancers. Since graduation shows in the theatre were not possible for most, schools and colleges organised digital performances, often with the dancers creating their own videos under remote direction. The founding of World Ballet School Day - the brainchild of English National Ballet School director Viviana Durante - brought together students from The Australian Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, ENB School, National Ballet School of Canada, New Zealand School of Ballet and Dance, Palucca University of Dance, Dutch National Ballet Academy, Paris Opera Ballet School, the Royal Ballet School, Royal Danish Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School, as well as the Prix de Lausanne, while Central School of Ballet's clever digital programme was broadcast via Zoom. These valiant performances are duly reviewed in this issue. We also report on what was possibly the only live student performance this summer, which took place in Leiria thanks to the exceptional negotiating powers of Annarella Roura Sanchez.

Lastly, after much contemplation, we have decided to revise our publication schedule to a bimonthly basis for the time being. Additionally, we will be offering more online content that will enable the publication of premiere reviews as they happen in line with the current demand for immediacy.