Dancing Times archive

The Dancing Times archive has been saved – by the RAD.

Dance Gazette | Big Picture | Issue 8 - October 2023

After Dancing Times ceased publication following 112 years in print, its archive is now housed at the RAD’s headquarters in London. The archive comprises around 38,000 black and white and colour prints, spanning the period from c1920–2000, making it one of the world’s largest collections of 20th-century dance.

Dancing Times was Britain’s oldest monthly dance magazine, founded in 1910 by Philip Richardson, who also founded the Association of Teachers of Operatic Dancing of Great Britain (later the Royal Academy of Dance) in 1920. The RAD will be a natural home for the extensive archive, and this acquisition has been made possible by generous support from the Linbury Trust who have made a grant towards supporting the acquisition, preservation and cataloguing of the archive, as well as enabling education opportunities for RAD students and the wider dance community.

Tim Arthur, Chief Executive of RAD, welcomes the news, saying, ‘not only was the Dancing Times pivotal in the creation of our organisation, it was a much-loved magazine that provided vital discourse around our art form. We are very touched that it has entrusted us with its beautiful collection, which we will proudly house in the Wolfson Library and RAD Archive here in Wandsworth, London.’

Eleanor Fitzpatrick, Archives and Records Manager says, ‘we are delighted to receive this incredible resource which both complements and broadens our existing collections. We look forward to preserving it as an important historical and valuable research tool for the dance community now and in the future.’ Jonathan Gray, Editor of the Dancing Times from 2008 until its closure, adds, ‘I am thrilled that this wonderful collection and resource has been saved for the nation and that it is going to be looked after by an organisation so closely associated with the Dancing Times.’

The collection includes photographs of classic productions; dance icons from Fred Astaire, Alvin Ailey and Margot Fonteyn to Carlos Acosta and Darcey Bussell; dance competitions and schools. The RAD has begun the process of transferring it to the Archive: a full catalogue is expected to take two years to complete.

To learn more about philanthropically supporting the Dancing Times photographic archive and work of the Academy, please contact the Development team for a private conversation: development@rad.org.uk / +44 2073268996

Anna Pavlova as The Dragonfly. She inscribed this photo (taken by Mishkin) for Philip Richardson in 1925


Art of the matter post

Grand reverence

Gerard Charles

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REST OF Issue 8 - October 2023

Art of the matter post

Grand reverence

As he retires from the RAD, Artistic Director Gerard Charles reflects on the lessons of his tenure – and says farewell in model ballet style!


Curtain up!

The Fonteyn, the RAD’s flagship ballet competition, returns to the live stage this year. But how does it feel to be part of this cherished event? Rosemary Waugh hears from dancers, teachers and crucial figures behind the scenes.

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The RAD is progressing its safeguarding work, for members and students.

RAD Q&A post

Susan Coles

Susan Coles was a beloved RAD teacher. Her daughter Emma Tonkin describes the RAD bursary set up in Susan’s memory.


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What happens when a student decides to move away from ballet? How do teachers feel when someone they have known since childhood leaves their class? Alice Robb explores how to say goodbye to ballet.

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Aditi Mangaldas

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Alice Oseman

The creator of Heartstopper describes what dance has given them.



Who does the daredevil stunts for action movies – and why does a ballet background help? Veronica Horwell investigates.


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Sonya Lindfors

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Fonteyn bronze medallist Ed Cooley. Photo: Martin Bell

Sound of The Fonteyn

The Fonteyn – the RAD’s prestigious international ballet competition – took place in person for the first time since 2019. The final was held at His Majesty’s Theatre, the opulent London theatre that is home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera – and Dance Gazette was there to capture the evening in sound.