Sarah Crompton

Lord of the dance: the genius of George Balanchine 

Sex and dance were the twin themes of George Balanchine’s life. ‘I am a cloud in trousers,’ he said, using a phrase borrowed from the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. Jennifer Homans quotes the sentence early in her biography of the man who co-founded New York City Ballet: What this suggested, and it was a central

The lonely genius of Bronislava Nijinska

Even in her lifetime, people had a habit of overlooking the talent of Bronislava Nijinska. Her famous brother Vaslav Nijinsky initially refused to recommend her to his lover Sergei Diaghilev when the impresario was signing up dancers for the 1909 Paris season of Ballets Russes. He didn’t introduce her to his friends, either and –

Rip it up: the vaccine passport experiment needs to end

38 min listen

In this week’s episode: Is it time to rip up the idea of vaccine passports? In The Spectator’s cover story this week, our economics editor Kate Andrews writes about her disdain for the idea of vaccine passports after being exposed to their flaws first hand. She joins the podcast along with Professor Julian Savulescu from

In praise of understudies

The actor Ronald Fraser was famous for two things: his comic timing and his liking for a drink. On one occasion in the 1960s, he was happily sitting three sheets to the wind in a local hostelry, when he remembered that he was supposed to be on stage at a matinee. After walking unsteadily to

Watching from the wings

The story of Sweetpea Slight is a footnote to a footnote in the annals of British theatre. Even her name suggests it — a gentle, fragrant vanishing off the bottom of the page. In fact, it isn’t even her real name (which is Jane), but one given her by her formidable boss, the theatre producer

Dancing like a demon

‘Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough,’ said Gustave Flaubert. He might have been talking about this slim volume, which takes a slimmer subject and inflates it to an epic of noble proportions. The subject is unpromising. ‘This is the story of a man who took part in a dance contest,’ runs