The Book - The Body Issue

Page 1

ISSUE 4: APR/ MaY 2012

Free The Last Word On The Street

THE BODY ISSUE

Plus size and proud

CONFESSIONS OF A MALE ANOREXIC Learn to dance FROM Tap to street OLYM-PICS PHOTO SPECIAL

REVIEWS  BLOGS  GAMING  STREET ART  STYLE  DEBATE



Contents Editor’s Letter

—3

Issue 4 APR – MAY 2012

Foreword

—8

4 The List: hot dates ahead 6 The Big Question: can men get eating disorders? 8 The Mission: keep fit by learning to dance 14 Cover star: Naomi speaks

The Mission DANCE

The Mission DANCE

...zumba With Manvir Mudhar

M

y new year’s resolution was to get into shape, join a gym and this time actually visit it. But a month after joining I had already found the cross trainers, treadmills and equipment repetitive. I had no motivation. I had heard my friends talk about an innovative and fun way of losing weight: zumba, which combines salsa, samba, latin, mambo and Bollywood. Plus it is popular with my favourite celebs: Victoria Beckham, Madonna and Shakira (left). So I went to a class to check out this fitness phenomenon. Each upbeat song had a different routine; some were fast, energetic and hard to keep up with, others thankfully were slower and focussed on stretching out the body. It was impossible to get bored and I certainly worked up a sweat. Unfortunately the wall-to-wall mirrors reminded me that my version of ‘sexy Pussycat Doll’ dance moves didn’t quite

Dance crazes

match the zumba instructors’. By the end of the class I learned how to swivel my hips, but to do this and remember to turn and carry out a step routine all at the same time? No way. Half way through the session sweat was pouring off me and my stamina was beginning to wear off. The great thing about zumba is that you don’t realise how much you’re actually exercising because you’re having so much fun. My instructor created such a vibrant, motivational atmosphere that I didn’t want to stop. My verdict: if you love dancing around your bedroom or like to take control of the dance floor in a club, this class is definitely for you. You don’t need a huge amount of coordination but a bit of stamina will help. It’s said that, depending on the intensity of the class, you can lose 500 to 1000 calories in an hour. I can’t vouch for that, but you’ll definitely lose your frown and your inhibitions along the way. Many Virgin Active venues run classes, see www. virginactive.co.uk

hit single, cashing in on Bruce Lee fever in the 1970s, brought kung-fu moves to the dance floor. They were not in fact usually ‘fast as lightning’, but it was ‘a little bit frightening’.

Eva Stamler steps back in time ’60s – The Robot Dance

Originally created in the 1960s, this dance in which humans mimic the staccato movements of robots became a hit all over again in 1997, when Daft Punk released their video to Around the World. In a reversal of the craze, the big hit of this March’s CeBIT tech fair was a trio of scrap-metal robots mimicking pole dancers. ’74 – Kung Fu Fighting

The international number one

S

o, picture the scene. The demure but beautiful bride sits patiently as henna is applied to her hands. The crowded room is decorated with a variety of colours. Suddenly the dishy groom appears expressing his love; the music begins and he starts to dance, joined by a troupe. The song ends flash-mob style with a pumpedup routine on the dance floor. And, amazingly, everyone knows the moves.

but it seems like it was actually the Brits who first came up with the moves. ’81 – Birdie Song

The dance pertaining to this astonishingly irritating song by The Tweets was the party hit of 1981. You beat your elbows like wings, make swing-like knee bends with your legs pressed together and then clap your hands four times in a row.

’77 – Saturday Night Fever

This small, gritty movie grossed $237 million and took disco global, thanks to the music of the Bee Gees and the hips of John Travolta – one of the few Hollywood stars to have a dance move named after them. Travolta subsequently sunk into Two Men and a Baby obscurity, only to be rescued by the knowing dance scene in Pulp Fiction.

...bollywood With Rupal Shah

’78 – YMCA

Four little letters and five men in crazy costumes – the ingredients to one of the most famous songs and dance numbers of the 20th century. It must be the only gay anthem to be heartily welcomed in the American Bible Belt, who didn’t

fully understand its references to the Young Men’s Christian Association.

’80s – The Time Warp

’80 – Oops Upside Your Head

The so-called row dance is definitely one of the classics. Its origins are shrouded in mystery,

‘It’s just a jump to the left…’ Thousands of fans dressed up like the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and re-enacted the dance in the aisles at midnight

Growing up, it puzzled me how everyone in Bollywood films could have so much fun and throw such energetic moves. To see if it was as easy as it looked, I decided to try it out for myself: I joined a women-only Bollywood Fuzion class, which combines Indian folkdance, bhangra, hiphop and belly dancing moves. It’s essentially East meets West. Bollywood music is loud with a great pulsating beat, demanding you give your all. Dance instructor extraordinaire Taz Nino, possibly the most smiley person ever, runs through the basic steps before we start. Then it is a free-for-all. There are about ten routines to learn in one session, giving you time to catch your breath in between. Admittedly the first week was a bit of a muddle: sauntering in the opposite direction to everyone else, shimmying on the wrong side and tripping over my own feet. But as the weeks have gone on my confidence levels have rocketed. Bollywood dancing puts you in the limelight: it’s sassy and fast, and the combination of hip shaking and bellydancing gives it the ‘sex factor’. Plus it helps

Editor’s Letter:

—9

W

that the routines are the same for each song every week, and that there are stock moves that are really quick to pick up: the classic twist-the-lightbulb move, the ‘hey hey’ bhangra shoulder-lifting move and the cowgirl lasso move. It gets everything moving from fingers to toes; there’s plenty of arm and shoulder raising, body rolling and quick leg work. It’s suitable for a beginner through to advanced level. The harder you work the more calories you burn. In every routine you tone the core muscles, strengthen your thighs, stomach and bum. I’ve found it’s made me more flexible, and as a result the moves become easier. I love that we end in a different final pose for each song, giving it a real dancer vibe. This style of dancing is a pleasure. I’m not watching the clock, waiting (and praying!) for it to finish. By the warm-down I feel like I’ve worked every single part of my body, but most of all my cheeks from smiling so much. Taz Nino teaches at various venues, Mon-Thur. bollywoodfuzion@gmail.com.

screenings. Try it for yourself, and join the ‘unconventional conventionalists’ at Leicester Square’s Prince Charles Cinema: there are ‘sing-along-a’ screenings on March 30 and May 27. ’83 – Moonwalk

Although there is some dispute about who originally invented the Moonwalk (and don’t say Neil Armstrong), it was inarguably Michael Jackson who made it his own. Countless kids were wowed by the move when it was first shown during a performance of Billie Jean, and spent hours learning it – The Book’s editor included.

’83 – Thriller

No apologies for mentioning Mr. Jackson twice. The dance of the zombies from the music video for Thriller – at the time, the most expensive ever – still enjoys worldwide popularity and almost everybody knows at least a little bit of its iconic routine.

’84 – Agadoo

Often topping polls for the worst song of all time, this sold over a million copies worldwide, helped by the easy to perform dance: ‘Push pineapple, shake the tree… to the left, to the right, up and down and to the knees’.

18 22 26 30 34 36

Epilogue 37 40 44 50

— 44

Music: M.I.A’s video Film: Plan B the director Stage: BABEL Art: Damien Hirst Gadgets: Max Payne 3 Blogs: Triathlon Q&A

Photo-story LONDON OLYMPICS

Photo-story LONDON OLYMPICS

Travel: Borneo to be wild Fashion: plastic surgery Photo-story: Olympics Inside Job: how to be a fitness instructor

The London Olympics can inspire fashion photographers as well as athletes. Rankin graduate Rachell Smith reveals the story behind our shoot

Stage Editor: —Christine Twite Art Editor: —Faye Robson Gadgets Editor: —Nigel Kendall Contributors: —Manvir Mudhar, Simon Parker, John Parton, Costas Sarkas, Rupal Shah, Neil Simpson, Rachell Smith, Bizu Yaregal

STYLIST: NICKQUE PATTERSON ASSISTANT: MIGUEL SANTOS MODEL: JUWON ABIOLA @ STORM MODELS

s

Editor and Publisher: —Kohinoor Sahota Editorial Consultant: —Dominic Wells Art DirectIon: —Bb/Teasdale Editorial Assistant: —Eva Stamler Music Editor: —Ruth Saxelby Film Editor: —Neil Clarke

—45

Going for gold

crown - Martine Rose

PHOTOGRAPHER: RACHELL SMITH STYLIST: CHLOE HOLLAND MAKEUP: HARRIET HADFIELD @ CAROL HAYES MANAGEMENT using Clarins HAIR: KATIE PETTIGREW @ TIGER CREATIVE MODEL: NAOMI SHIMADA @ MODELS 1 PHOTO ASSISTANT: ROSE PATTERSON

Chapters

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The Book is published by The Book Magazine Limited. Printed by MPC Print Solutions. The publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the permission of the publishers. Liability: while every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers can’t be held responsible for the accuracy of the information.

elcome to our body issue! As London counts down the days to the Olympics, and fitness fever takes over, we thought it appropriate to do an issue packed with content inspired by the body both serious and fun. Most of us have hang-ups about our bodies: wishing perhaps we were a little taller, a dress size smaller, or, er, better-endowed. We cover the extreme examples in a first-hand account by a male who suffered from anorexia (p6), and a piece on the rise of cosmetic surgery (p40). In fact, what we should be doing is celebrating our bodies. Our cover model Naomi Shimada sums up the aim of our body issue perfectly: not only is she beautiful, confident and healthy, but, as our cover shows, she’s happy. And yet she and models like her can find it hard to get work in a fashion industry that marginalises so-called ‘plus-size’ models – which, as she pointed out when I interviewed her, really just means ‘normal-sized’ (p14). As this issue is about being active, I knew we had to send our journalists off in our regular Mission feature to try something new. I decided that dance classes would be a great idea: not only are they an effective way to get fit, but they’re fun. Well, I think so, so much so that I decided to have a go at street dance myself. See how we all got on (p8). If dancing isn’t quite your thing, have a giggle at our round-up of the most popular dance crazes – Macarena, anyone? The gold medal for the most dazzling feature goes to our Olympics-inspired photo-story by Rachell Smith. If you’re a budding photographer, turn to p44 now and read how Rachell went from working with Rankin to branching out on her own. As ever, we’ve also got 20 pages reviewing the most exciting events going on in London. For me, the dates in my diary that I cannot wait for are the World Shakespeare Festival, BABEL, Plan B’s first film Ill Manors and Damien Hirst’s exhibition. What will you have in yours? Hope you’re inspired, Kohinoor


—4

The List

3:/ Cosplay May 25-27

There’s not many times in your life you’ll be in the same room as Superman, Batman and Obi-Wan Kenobi. At London Comic-Con you just might. Twice a year the ExCel centre attracts some 60,000 attendees, many dressed in full cosplay, to panel discussions, stalls and previews of the latest video games and films.

4:/ Crawl May 4-6

Oxonians jump into the river, children dance around a Maypole, but Camden locals like these have a pub crawl. It’s May Day celebrations! Enjoy hotly tipped artists at the Camden Crawl. Previous years included Florence & The Machine, Adele, and Mumford & Sons.

1:/ Watch

2:/ Race

Having first defeated ‘The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Zionists’ who wouldn’t let him on the red carpet in full military uniform, Sacha Baron-Cohen finally unleashes his new weapon of mass distraction. After Borat and Brüno, The Dictator is his latest alter-ego.

On your marks, get set, go! There’s no better way to gear up for the Olympics than the London marathon. Don’t just watch it on telly, instead cheer on the hopefuls (especially those in silly costumes). The race starts at Greenwich, with the finishing line at Embankment.

May 18

Apr 22


The LisT

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5:/ Circus

Mar 28-Apr 29 If you thought circus was just for kids, you haven’t heard of CircusFest. For five weeks the Roundhouse will be taken over by performers from across the globe. Cirque Mandingue mix acrobatics with street dance, Professor Vanessa’s Wondershow celebrates the golden era of circus, and there’ll be films inspired by the circus every Saturday.

6:/ Vote 7:/ Dickens

8:/ Passion

London is still celebrating Dickens’ 200th birthday in every way possible. Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre have a free exhibition to honour its famous resident (until Dec 21). To learn how his stories became operas and musicals, head to the Royal Academy of Music Museum (May 2-Sep 1). Also, how cool is it to be Dickens’ great, great, great granddaughter? Ask Lucinda Dickens in Richmond Library (Apr 24). More events at www.dickens2012.org.

Trafalgar Square plays host to 70 actors re-enacting the Passion of Jesus Christ, on Apr 6, 12noon and 3.15pm. For something more upbeat, head to Hyde Park this weekend for the Easter Skate Eggstravaganza.

April, May May 3 Have your say! It’s up to you to decide the Mayor of London. In the red corner, Ken Livingstone, who led the Greater London Council in 1981 before its building was turned into a Namco video arcade. In the blue corner, resident Mayor Boris Johnson and his cartoon hair. Polls put them neck-and-neck, with Lib-Dem Brian Paddick way behind.

April 6-8

9:/ Row Apr 7

You may think the only thing Oxford and Cambridge ever fight about is who’s at the top of the academic league tables. The boat race is just as competitive and this year marks the 158th race. Cambridge is currently edging ahead with 80 wins over Oxford’s 76.

10:/ Dance May 5-7

Catch Britain’s best break dancers in Breakin’ Conventions at Sadler’s Wells. Highlights include the Bboy champions Vagabonds Crew and ILL-Abilities who challenge misconceptions about people with disabilities. Workshops include DJ’ing, freestyling and aerosol art.


­— 6

The BIG QUESTION

Q: A:

Can men get eating disorders too? A personal account by — SIMON PARKER

When I was 18 I ate something that disagreed with me. I was violently and repeatedly sick. The next day I didn’t have much of an appetite and I felt unwell when I did eat. At the time this wasn’t a big deal, but weeks later I was still nauseous after eating and worried that it might occur again. The sickness feeling never really went away and the anxiety kept getting worse: before long this became an atypical eating disorder. I was in my last year at sixth-form when all this happened. I was getting good grades, playing sport, and was unbelievably fit and healthy. However, as the problem failed to go away on its own things started to get harder. I couldn’t concentrate in lessons and the nausea prevented me from enjoying my life. Despite this, I was able to hide the extent of how ill I felt and scraped the grades I needed for university. At uni things started well. I was always busy with work and socialising, and didn’t have time to think about the other stuff. Over time, however, I began feeling ill after eating and I was becoming increasingly paranoid about the hygiene of the kitchen in halls. In order to cope better with the nausea I began eating less. My Mum would comment when I returned home that I looked thinner, but I would just laugh it off and scoff a biscuit. By my final year it had become too difficult to cover up the problems. I had always been thin but the weight loss had made me almost skeletal. I was so weak that it was difficult for me to walk to classes, I felt ill all of the time and I had trouble sleeping. Most of my third year was spent hiding in my room. I moved back home after uni with things going downhill rapidly.

My parents dragged me to see our GP as I was unwilling to go. He immediately recommended that I see an eating disorder specialist at the Priory Hospital. Seeing him brought some comfort as I felt I was in good hands, but it also made me realise how ill I was.

failed to finish, so there was a lot of peer pressure to do well. We all knew that if we kept losing weight eventually we would be sectioned and force-fed. I saw one of the patients sectioned at the end of a difficult day, and it was definitely something to avoid.

A couple of weeks after we met he gave me a choice: either I voluntarily admit myself to hospital or he would wait until my weight fell low enough that he could commit me under the mental health act. In his opinion, without help I wouldn’t last a month. I reluctantly admitted myself, diagnosed with an eating disorder caused by emetophobia, depression and ‘I was the OCD. I was the only man only man on the eating disorder on the ward.

The next few weeks were bloody difficult: a mixture of unbearable peer-pressure, discussions about eating, and long hours of not much happening. People may imagine that a place like the Priory is full of celebrities and bacchanalian fun, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. We would eat, sit together for a while, and then go to group therapy sessions and repeat. Time passed slowly. Because of the repetition days and weeks were indistinguishable from one another.

eating disorder ward’

When I entered the Priory I weighed barely over 7 stone – and I’m 6ft 2. The first few days there were probably the lowest point of my life. The staff were so concerned about my low weight that I had to have 24-hour supervision, even when I was in the bathroom, in case I collapsed. To begin with all my meals were bananas and custard as there are risks with eating properly when you are so underweight. The meal plans are slowly increased to get you putting on weight safely and consistently. There is pressure put on you to eat; if you didn’t finish a meal you'd be given a disgusting calorific drink to make up for it (call me pretentious, but cherry shouldn’t taste of burning). All of the eating disorder patients ate together and the group suffered if anyone

Eating disorder patients tend to be there a long time so others came and went but my group stayed the same. It wasn’t all miserable, we joked and had fun together. The only notable events, however, seemed to be negative: that person you joked with in the morning would slash their wrists in the afternoon and it would all pass without real mention. We would never pass judgement on each other. We were labelled together but equally we accepted that we all felt different things and suffered in different ways. Our relationship with the staff was similarly dichotomous: you hated them more than anything in the world when they put pressure on you, but the rest of the time they were amazingly supportive and helpful and always ready to give you a hug. After eight weeks there and having put on a stone, I felt I had done what I could and asked to leave. I hated much of my time in hospital and


The Big Question

And I haven’t eaten sodding custard since. For advice about eating disorders, try www.nhs. uk/livewell/eatingdisorders or www.b-eat.co.uk. For male-specific advice, try www.mengetedstoo. co.uk.●

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seek help with a GP immediately; eating disorders cause more deaths than any other mental health illness. Beating them can be bloody hard, and after all this I’m still fighting, but I’m still here to fight.

O

If you are seriously underweight or struggling to eat at all I would urge you to

~

My advice for anyone experiencing the same thing is to talk to someone. It doesn’t have to be a GP, but you shouldn’t try to beat it alone. In 2004 around 1.6 million people in the UK had help for eating

problems, so you aren’t on your own at all. It is estimated that between 10-25% of sufferers are men, but it is hard to calculate as many are reluctant to come forward, believing an eating disorder isn’t something men suffer from. This simply isn’t true. Anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, and tragically an eating disorder can kill anyone too.

IC

cried a lot, but equally I am grateful for their help. I haven’t been able to rediscover a love of eating. In truth I treat meals much like a form of medicine, eating six doses a day. I will probably never be a gourmand but it’s good enough for now.

­— 7


—8

The Mission DANCE

...zumba With Manvir Mudhar

M

y new year’s resolution was to get into shape, join a gym and this time actually visit it. But a month after joining I had already found the cross trainers, treadmills and equipment repetitive. I had no motivation. I had heard my friends talk about an innovative and fun way of losing weight: zumba, which combines salsa, samba, latin, mambo and Bollywood. Plus it is popular with my favourite celebs: Victoria Beckham, Madonna and Shakira (left). So I went to a class to check out this fitness phenomenon. Each upbeat song had a different routine; some were fast, energetic and hard to keep up with, others thankfully were slower and focussed on stretching out the body. It was impossible to get bored and I certainly worked up a sweat. Unfortunately the wall-to-wall mirrors reminded me that my version of ‘sexy

Dance crazes Eva Stamler steps back in time ’60s – The Robot Dance

Originally created in the 1960s, this dance in which humans mimic the staccato movements of robots became a hit all over again in 1997, when Daft Punk released their video to Around the World. In a reversal of the craze, the big hit of this March’s CeBIT tech fair was a trio of scrap-metal robots mimicking pole dancers. ’74 – Kung Fu Fighting

The international number one

Pussycat Doll’ dance moves didn’t quite match the zumba instructors’. By the end of the class I learned how to swivel my hips, but to do this and remember to turn and carry out a step routine all at the same time? No way. Half way through the session sweat was pouring off me and my stamina was beginning to wear off. The great thing about zumba is that you don’t realise how much you’re actually exercising because you’re having so much fun. My instructor created such a vibrant, motivational atmosphere that I didn’t want to stop. My verdict: if you love dancing around your bedroom or like to take control of the dance floor in a club, this class is definitely for you. You don’t need a huge amount of coordination but a bit of stamina will help. It’s said that, depending on the intensity of the class, you can lose 500 to 1000 calories in an hour. I can’t vouch for that, but you’ll definitely lose your frown and your inhibitions along the way. Many Virgin Active venues run classes, see www. virginactive.co.uk

hit single, cashing in on Bruce Lee fever in the 1970s, brought kung-fu moves to the dance floor. They were not in fact usually ‘fast as lightning’, but it was ‘a little bit frightening’. ’77 – Saturday Night Fever

This small, gritty movie grossed $237 million and took disco global, thanks to the music of the Bee Gees and the hips of John Travolta – one of the few Hollywood stars to have a dance move named after them. Travolta subsequently sunk into Look Who’s Talking obscurity, only to be rescued by the knowing dance scene in Pulp Fiction.

’78 – YMCA

Four little letters and five men in crazy costumes – the ingredients to one of the most famous songs and dance numbers of the 20th century. It must be the only gay anthem to be heartily welcomed in the American Bible Belt, who didn’t

fully understand its references to the Young Men’s Christian Association. ’80 – Oops Upside Your Head

The so-called row dance is definitely one of the classics. Its origins are shrouded in mystery,


The Mission DANCE

...bollywood With Rupal Shah

S

o, picture the scene. The demure but beautiful bride sits patiently as henna is applied to her hands. The crowded room is decorated with a variety of colours. Suddenly the dishy groom appears expressing his love; the music begins and he starts to dance, joined by a troupe. The song ends flash-mob style with a pumpedup routine on the dance floor. And, amazingly, everyone knows the moves.

but it seems like it was actually the Brits who first came up with the moves. ’81 – Birdie Song

The dance pertaining to this astonishingly irritating song by The Tweets was the party hit of 1981. You beat your elbows like wings, make swing-like knee bends with your legs pressed together and then clap your hands four times in a row. ’80s – The Time Warp

‘It’s just a jump to the left…’ Thousands of fans dressed up like the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and re-enacted the dance in the aisles at midnight

Growing up, it puzzled me how everyone in Bollywood films could have so much fun and throw such energetic moves. To see if it was as easy as it looked, I decided to try it out for myself: I joined a womenonly Bollywood Fuzion class, which combines Indian folkdance, bhangra, hiphop and belly dancing moves. It’s essentially East meets West. Bollywood music is loud with a great pulsating beat, demanding you give your all. Dance instructor extraordinaire Taz Nino, possibly the most smiley person ever, runs through the basic steps before we start. Then it is a free-for-all. There are about ten routines to learn in one session, giving you time to catch your breath in between. Admittedly the first week was a bit of a muddle: sauntering in the opposite direction to everyone else, shimmying on the wrong side and tripping over my own feet. But as the weeks have gone on my confidence levels have rocketed. Bollywood dancing puts you in the limelight: it’s sassy and fast, and the combination of hip shaking and bellydancing gives it the ‘sex factor’. Plus it helps

­—9

that the routines are the same for each song every week, and that there are stock moves that are really quick to pick up: the classic twist-the-lightbulb move, the ‘hey hey’ bhangra shoulder-lifting move and the cowgirl lasso move. It gets everything moving from fingers to toes; there’s plenty of arm and shoulder raising, body rolling and quick leg work. It’s suitable for a beginner through to advanced level. The harder you work the more calories you burn. In every routine you tone the core muscles, strengthen your thighs, stomach and bum. I’ve found it’s made me more flexible, and as a result the moves become easier. I love that we end in a different final pose for each song, giving it a real dancer vibe. This style of dancing is a pleasure. I’m not watching the clock, waiting (and praying!) for it to finish. By the warm-down I feel like I’ve worked every single part of my body, but most of all my cheeks from smiling so much. Taz Nino teaches at various venues, Mon-Thur. bollywoodfuzion@gmail.com.

screenings. Try it for yourself, and join the ‘unconventional conventionalists’ at Leicester Square’s cheap and cheerful Prince Charles Cinema: there is a ‘sing-a-long-a’ screening on May 27. ’83 – Moonwalk

Although there is some dispute about who originally invented the Moonwalk (and don’t say Neil Armstrong), it was inarguably Michael Jackson who made it his own. Countless kids were wowed by the move when it was first shown during a performance of Billie Jean, and spent hours learning it – The Book’s editor included.

’83 – Thriller

No apologies for mentioning Mr. Jackson twice. The dance of the zombies from the music video for Thriller – at the time, the most expensive ever – still enjoys worldwide popularity and almost everybody knows at least a little bit of its iconic routine.

’84 – Agadoo

Often topping polls for the worst song of all time, this sold over a million copies worldwide, helped by the easy to perform dance: ‘Push pineapple, shake the tree… to the left, to the right, up and down and to the knees’.


— 10

The Mission DANCE

...tap dance With Dominic Wells

S

ince I was 15 years old I wanted to learn the drums, but couldn’t afford the kit. On my 18th birthday, I unwrapped a present from my mum: two drumsticks. I thanked her effusively, thinking it was like when American kids get car keys on their 18th, and go outside to find a shiny new motor in the driveway with a ribbon on top. But no – that was it. Two drumsticks. No kit. ‘You can hit cushions with them, or books,’ she said brightly. I never did learn to play. I think that’s why tap-dancing appeals. Ever since seeing the West End show Stomp, I realised that tap dancing is just drumming, but with your feet. Seeing the joyous tapdancing scene in The Artist (right) sealed the deal. Time to get myself down to Pineapple Studios and give it a shot. I turned up in a suit and tie, accessorised with a blue fedora hat. Everyone else would be in sweatpants, but I was determined at least to look the part. I only wish I had tap shoes like everyone else, but one step at a time. ‘Hands up who’s not done this class before?’ asks the teacher, Eilidh Ross. Only five hands go up of the 20-odd dancers. ‘Hands up who’s never done tap at all?’ This time mine is the only hand raised. So much for beginners’ class. But to my surprise, I manage to keep up. We start off with a Condos pattern,

named after tap dancer Steve Condos: four ball beats and four heel beats. We move on to a series that includes hand claps on the off-beats, which defeats most of the class at first. Then on to a ‘paddle and roll’, or as drummers would know it, a ‘paradiddle’:

‘I feel less like a gliding Jean Dujardin and more like a drunken centipede -– legs tripping over each other’ heel, brush, step, toe. By the end of the class, she’s got us putting all the sequences we’ve learned into a seamless routine to a Latin American jazz beat. At first, I feel less like a gliding Jean

Dujardin and more like a drunken centipede – legs tripping over each other. But when I stop thinking about whether heel or toe comes next, and give myself up to sound and rhythm, it all seems to flow. It’s as thrilling as when you learn to ride a bike… until the teacher shows us what those movements will become, once you learn to repeat them about a zillion times faster. Without seeming to move a muscle, her feet a blur, she taps out a rhythm that could give Lars Ulrich competition. Still, it clearly brings people together. I get talking to a young Kiwi couple on my way out. They’re regulars and are getting married soon. When they do, they’ll unveil their tap routine at the party. Aww. Pineapple Studios tap classes are Mon-Tue and Thur at 6pm & 7pm, Sat at 10am & 11am. www.pineapple.uk.com

’89 – Lambada

This sexy dance floor sensation was evoked by a single of the same name by the band Kaoma, a sensual piece of music that conjures up romantic evenings at the beach and eyes meeting over cocktails. ’90 – The Running Man ’86 – Walk like an Egyptian

This sideways-motion, palmoutstretched dance first performed in music halls was inspired by Egyptian tomb paintings, though the Bangles song was conceived when the author saw ferry passengers struggling to keep balanced.

’88 – The Loco-Motion

Back in 1988, fresh from TV soap Neighbours, Kylie had a number two hit with The Loco-Motion, a cover of Little Eva’s song with a cute little dance that had everybody bopping around whilst doing a choo-choo train motion.

With the video to U Can’t Touch This, MC Hammer introduced the legendary running man to the world. Britney Spears revived it on her 2007 tour, Scarlett Johansson did it at Hollywood parties, and a Utah Saints video in 2008 hilariously reimagined it as originating in Cardiff.

’90 – Voguing

With this song Madonna once more made herself top of a trend which was originally initiated by someone else: in this case, the Harlem gay ballroom scene of the 1960s, who by Voguing showed off their modelling poses. ’92 – Line Dancing

Line Dancing hit the big time with Billy Ray Cyrus’s Achy Breaky Heart, as it could be danced by anyone able to master a great line and rock their hips three times. Line dancing clubs sprang up all around the country, and are still going strong.


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— 12

The Mission DANCE

...streetdance With Kohinoor Sahota

It’s a third of the way into the class and I’m already sweating. A lot. ‘Let’s try it again, this time faster,’ instructs Lil’J, our street hip-hop dance teacher. Rihanna starts blaring out of the speakers, ‘so hard, so hard, so hard’. I do my best attempt at I’ve-gotattitude-and-I’m-not-afraid-to-use-it. I’m dancing my way through a routine that you could imagine Justin Timberlake doing, circa 2002. I’m jumping, hopping, sliding and, most of all, hoping I don’t make a fool of myself. Ever since I was a child I thought street dancing looked magical: dancers could defy gravity, spinning on their head, popping and locking like they were superhuman. More recently groups like Flawless (right, in Streetdance) and Diversity re-ignited my curiosity – they make street dancing look effortless. So joining the beginners’ class at Pineapple Studios was an easy choice, but also pretty terrifying. Pineapple can seem an intimidating place: the receptionist has a handlebar moustache, there are pretty young things stretching in the corridors, almost everyone is wearing the hippest sportswear, and I overhear a limber lady in the changing room say how she’s a professional dancer in the West End. ‘You have to remember, dancing is about having fun,’ says one regular. She’s right. Lil’J is a petite, ultra-stretchy and fun

teacher. She encourages us to clap and cheer each other on, and cracks a few jokes making everyone laugh. ‘That was a good interpretation of my moves,’ she ribs.

‘I’m jumping, hopping, sliding and, most of all, hoping I don’t make a fool of myself’ The toughest part comes when we do a mix of street tap. A nifty little move: jump onto your left foot, brush the right along the floor, and stamp the left down. Repeat but without the stamp. We carry out the routine to a mix of big R n B hits that include Jay Z, Beyoncé and

En Vogue. The speed of the class often changes: we learn a sequence, perform it with slow-paced music, and then again with fast-paced music. And again. And again, until it becomes second-nature. The class is popular: it’s made up of mostly under-25s and a few children who were oozing confidence. It even draws a crowd of tourists peering into the window hoping to catch a glimpse inside the famous studios. After one hour I’m still sweating. With all that bouncing around my thighs feel like they’ve had a huge workout, which is a lot more fun than going to the gym and working out by myself. Sure, I’m a long way off yet defying gravity, but I have just defied my fears. Street hip-hop, Mon-Sat, from £6, Pineapple Studios, www.pineapple.uk.com

people danced it at once in New York’s Yankee Stadium, and it had sold 11 million copies within a year. ’98 – Tragedy

’94 – Saturday night

The dance craze belonging to this song can’t be seen in Whigfield’s video, because it originated on a Spanish beach, where an aerobics instructor played this track during his fitness classes. This routine was later brought to the clubs by the

tourists who had taken his lessons. ’96 – Macarena

Originally recorded in 1992, Los del Rio’s Macarena didn’t become a worldwide hit until 1996, when English lyrics were added. That summer, 50,000

Although Tragedy was originally a Bee Gees song, it didn’t become a dance craze until Steps made it their own with some catchy moves. Even Prince Charles was infected, joining in when they performed in Hyde Park. 2001 – Cha-Cha Slide

DJ Casper’s Cha-Cha Slide is easy to perform as it has its instructions built into its lyrics. Originally it was developed as a

fitness workout in 1996. ’02 – The Ketchup Song

The Ketchup Song was the hit of summer 2002 and with it also came the dance of the year. Thanks to its very basic moves, which are only performed during the chorus, it quickly spread over the whole of Europe. ’08 – Single Ladies

Beyoncé’s video to Single Ladies has led to a downright dance fever on YouTube and a lot imitations, including Justin Timberblake on Saturday Night Live and Katy Brand for Comic Relief.


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— 14

Cover Star Naomi Shimada

Naomi Shimada photographed by Rachell Smith

Move over supermodels. Kohinoor Sahota talks to Naomi Shimada, who proves you don’t have to be thin to be in

M

ost models live on a diet of salads, cigarettes and air kisses. Naomi Shimada on the other hand got discovered whilst ‘inhaling a giant bowl of spaghetti carbonara’, aged 13 and living in Spain. She’s part of a new breed of models setting the example that bigger can be better. Just last year Models 1, one of the leading modelling agencies, launched their Excel division, to which Naomi was soon signed.

be reconceived. You can’t just take a size 8 and make it larger.’ As the fashion industry is something that so many people, especially young teens, look up to, surely it has a duty to represent a range of sizes?

Naomi is adamant that ‘modelling shouldn’t just be in a tiny size bracket’. The message seems to be spreading: Dita Von Teese used ‘curvaceous Using larger sized models in ‘I hope to be women and fuller-figured girls’ fashion has always been a to promote her new Von Follies controversial issue. Some able to say that collection, the likes of Daisy designers are reluctant, such as I helped “plus Lowe and Pixie Geldof have Donatella Versace who size” models be landed endorsements that reportedly cancelled a shoot of previously might have been the label’s line for H&M known just as taken by traditional models, because it was going to include “models”’ and Beth Ditto proved big can ‘real women’; others have be beautiful as she posed au embraced it, such as Mark Fast who regularly uses size 12 and 14 models in his naturel on the cover of Love magazine. catwalk shows. The new Naomi The common criticisms against using plus-size Naomi was originally a size six, weighing 50 models are that the clothes don’t hang as well kilos and modelling at London Fashion Week. and that they promote an unhealthy lifestyle. She was successful – Diane Von Furstenberg However Tim Gunn, a former mentor on TV’s even called her a ‘freaky genius’ – but she Project Catwalk, suggests that designers just don’t wasn’t happy. There were growing pressures to know how to design for larger sizes: ‘Have you lose weight. seen most of the plus-size sections out there? It’s horrifying. Whoever’s designing for plus- ‘I never had a problem with the way that I size doesn’t get it. The entire garment needs to looked,’ says Naomi. ‘It was people around me

that made me question myself. When you depend on how thin you are to pay your rent, it’s not healthy. I’m almost sure that every model during their career has felt the pressure by an agent, photographer, stylist or the client.’ She stopped modelling at 16. Every good model needs a back-up option and for Naomi it was journalism. She applied to university, and at 18 she started at Liverpool University studying a BA in English. She attended for one day but never went back. Clearly there were bigger things in the pipeline. She might have skipped university, but her modelling years meant that she graduated from the school of hard knocks. She re-joined the industry at 19 with a new-found confidence, and worked for ASOS, The Body Shop and Evans, and was also selected to take part in All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, part-founded by model Erin O’Connor, which aims to showcase a range of body types, ages and diversity in fashion. At 22 Naomi is happier now and more beautiful, too, which she credits to a healthy diet, hip-hop dance classes and great genes. She’s part Japanese, Dutch, English and Canadian (and knows four languages). On the one hand she’s so adorable that you can imagine her being your new bff, but on the other she’s mastered a take-no-crap attitude.


Cover Star Naomi Shimada

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— 16

Cover Star Naomi Shimada

And since having returned to modelling she is more comfortable with her body. She effortlessly pulls off different looks: one moment she’s like a real-life manga character, another a 1950s sex siren, and then with a big wide smile, which she says photographers are obsessed with, she’s the girl next door.

Elliot’s cafe in Borough market for a Sunday brunch, and the Seoul Bakery Cafe in Soho for a quick fix of cheap Korean food. She adds: ‘My favourite thing ever is an amazing bowl of ramen noodles from Japan. I also love soul food like homemade buttermilk fried chicken.’

Big ideas It was in 2006 that the term ‘size zero’, a UK Naomi’s style icons include ’50s pin-up Bettie size four, entered into the public consciousness. Page and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She When Luisel Ramos, a 22-year-old model, died also loves the supermodels, citing Cindy during Uruguay’s fashion week after apparently adopting a diet of lettuce Crawford, Iman, Linda and Diet Coke, it Evangelista and the ‘Plus-size models prompted other fashion other Naomi (Campbell), need to have the same weeks to ban size-zero as inspirations. chances: the best models. When the subject of food make-up artists, What does Naomi think is brought up she gets of the ever-present sizeexcited. The girl’s a full- stylists... otherwise zero debate? ‘Sometimes on foodie and not afraid we’ll never be on a par’ those girls are young to show it. She has started her own food blog with the uber-cute enough to actually be naturally slim, but most title Na-Yummy (www.na-yummy.tumblr.com) are starving and unhappy inside. It makes me and a Youtube series called Bitchin’ in the Kitchen. so sad. It’s a totally unrealistic and an She even chooses her holidays based on the unobtainable measure of beauty which to me type of food the country has to offer. ‘I love isn’t beautiful but sick.’ food, which is part of the reason I had to cross over to do what I do now,’ she says refreshingly. The term plus-size is used for any model who is size 12 or more. It’s a term that Naomi has Naomi’s favourite London restaurants include taken a strong dislike to. ‘I hate it because “plus

size” models aren’t really “plus size” at all. They are just normal sized, the size that average women are. I’m a UK 14 and the average dress size is a 14 to 16. ‘If I walk away with anything at the end of my career I hope to be able to say that I helped “plus size” models be known just as “models” because essentially that’s all we want to be, known for the great work we do instead of the size we are.’ It’s comments like these that make Naomi more than just a pretty face and popular amongst her 4,000-odd followers on Twitter, who leave her messages of support and find her inspirational. Does she think attitudes are likely to change? ‘People like the whole blank canvas look. With the economic downturn safe decisions are made,’ she sighs. ‘I’ve been hoping for years for things to shift. It’s happening at a snail’s pace. Plus-size models need to have the same chances, the best make-up artists, stylists and photographers, otherwise we’ll never be on a par. All these things have to start at the top and go all the way down.’ Pose and cons When asked if she has any advice for would-be models she continually repeats that you need a ‘strong disposition’. She says: ‘Don’t fall for any

The Photoshop diet

Think celebs are really that thin? Think again Adele Did Vogue Photoshop Adele on their March cover? If not, it was some very artful dark lighting, and maybe a corset. Fans complain that the poster-girl for ‘ordinary’ women was made to look ‘like a Barbie’. ‘I don’t want to be some Skinny Minnie with my tits out,’ she recently said. Now she is. Kate Winslet Way back in 2003, Kate Winslet complained her GQ cover made her look modellesque: ‘I don’t want people to think I was a hypocrite and had suddenly gone and lost 30 pounds, which is something I would

never do.’ She has lost weight since, but is still anti-Photoshop, and has vowed never to have plastic surgery. Kate Middleton Did you see Kate Middleton in that McQueen wedding dress? Oh my god what a porker! Couldn’t she have dieted a bit before her Big Day? If you think that way, congratulations! You should be working at Grazia. The fashion mag initially denied they had given her an even teenier waist on the cover, but later ’fessed up, blaming a technical error. Kourtney Kardashian Be wary of those weight-loss tales of the stars. Kim


Cover Star Naomi Shimada

scams, go visit agencies that belong to the Association of Model Agents.’ One of the biggest criticisms levelled at all models though is that it looks easy. Don’t you just have to stand in front of a camera all day, pout, pose and get paid? ‘I definitely wouldn’t say it’s easy at all,’ responds Naomi. ‘You need to understand lighting, poses and angles. You also make huge sacrifices living alone in a city or country you’ve never been to before. ‘All models have to fight to be where they are. There’s so much competition and you’re putting yourself up to being constantly judged by strangers on a daily basis. It’s pretty crazy when you think about it really: you’re loved by one person and totally hated by the next.’ How does she cope with the criticism? ‘You need to find that balance to love yourself no matter what and grow a super-super thick skin to stay sane. Also it is definitely a fickle industry, you could be hot one minute and forgotten about the next.’ There’s little chance of that happening to Naomi. ‘I have an important role now, to show people it doesn’t matter what size you are,’ she says passionately, giving role model a whole new meaning. ●

Kardashian’s sister Kourtney was pictured on American OK! in January 2010, looking thin despite holding her month-old baby. ‘My Diet Secrets: Lose 10lbs in 10 days’, screamed the headline. A similar undoctored pic shows how flagrant the Photoshopping was, while Kourtney herself denied losing the weight or speaking to the magazine. Oprah Winfrey Saintly Oprah was one of the first: in 1989, the year after Photoshop was introduced, her head was stuck onto white sex goddess Ann-Margret’s body on a TV Guide cover. She was furious then. But now, it’s said to be Rosie O’Donnell who’s

furious that Oprah was slimmed down on a cover of her own O magazine, while O’Donnell was left in wide-screen beside her. Kelly Clarkson The big-lunged American Idol winner was Photoshopped thinner on the cover of Self magazine in 2009. Ironically, it was on a ‘Body Confidence’ issue, in which she talked about how happy she was with her weight. Editor Lucy Danziger admitted the Photoshopping, but was unrepentant: ‘In the sense that Kelly is the picture of confidence, I think this is the truest photo we have ever put out there.’

­—17


­— 18

Music

‘Tracks splutter into life for mere moments of melodic beauty or demand submission to waves of interrupted distortion’

Believe the Hype

Ruth Saxelby delves into the duo formerly known as Hype Williams Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland, the London duo previously known as Hype Williams, make murky electronic music that is heavy with a pleasurable confusion, drawing on some of the most vital subcultures of our time – rave, dub and grime – all mixed up with soundbites, vocal hooks and general life audio plucked from their ether. They’re staunchly anti-press, which has led to countless rumours that have only added to their appeal – the latest being that they’ve split. The fact that they’re credited separately on this new album suggests the beginnings of a separation, and that shift in dynamic can be clearly heard on Black Is Beautiful. On last year’s critically acclaimed One Nation, the two were still one. However, 2011 also saw solo releases from both: an untitled four-track 12” from Copeland and Blunt’s Narcissist mixtape. Narcissist II recently surfaced, containing the stunning Track 2 (featuring Inga Copeland) with both on vocals. A clear successor to that, Black Is Beautiful is the album on which both Copeland

and Blunt raise their heads above the smoke, to sway separately within the same space. Out of 15 songs, only three break the threeminute mark. Tracks splutter into life for mere moments of melodic beauty or demand submission to waves of interrupted distortion for many minutes. They’re also all untitled, save the first (Venice Dreamway), which acts as a gateway into their world. It’s the friction between each of these songs that gives the album its magnetic pressure. Bouncing between drone and pop, they build a world that is rich with abstraction. On Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland Black Is Beautiful Release: April 16 Label: Hyperdub

Track 9, Blade Runner-esque acid rain and wailing police sirens pulse underneath a repeated refrain to ‘never look back’. Then a sampled male voice says: ‘When white people tell other white people they can’t have sex, they become teenage rebels.’ In a world dominated by racial stereotypes of which mainstream media is both denier and perpetrator, this astute shift of focus confirms an uncomfortable truth: more often than not it’s black not white culture receiving the judgemental eye. Blunt and Copeland both subtly and powerfully imagine an alternative reality. In a recent talk about his book Infinite Music, Adam Harper spoke of music’s ability to help us stretch our imagination, create new spaces, and, it thus must follow, expand our consciousness. This is the tender power of Blunt and Copeland, in their ambiguousness as much poets as musicians. Life is only knowable in flashes and moments. Black Is Beautiful embraces that and creates patterns from abstraction that make a new and invigorating kind of sense.


Reviews MUSIC

The Video M.I.A / Bad Girls Move over Madonna, M.I.A's driving, says Ruth Saxelby

The video to Maya Arulpragasam’s new M.I.A. single came out around the same time as Madonna’s latest in which she recruited M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, two of the toughest women in music, to play cheerleaders to her leading lady role; talk about reminding everyone who’s boss. Not that she pulled it off: the duo of Nicki and Maya owned the screen despite playing bit parts. Meanwhile M.I.A. was making her own commentary on status and gender in her video, and it couldn’t have been more different. By acclaimed French director Romain

Gavras, the video features ‘tafheet’ or Saudi drifting, which is a dangerous and illegal motorsport that originated in Saudi Arabia. It was shot in Morocco instead of Saudi Arabia because, as M.I.A. explained in a video response to comments on Youtube, she ‘didn’t want to go to jail’. It’s not the dangerous driving that would have got M.I.A. in hot water but the fact that she put veiled women in the driving seat in the opening shots of the film, Saudi Arabia being the one country in the world in which women are not allowed to drive. Then of course there’s the song: a sexually liberated ode to getting down in your car that

wouldn’t exactly wash with the strict doctrine of Islam. While the video has been seen by some as M.I.A succumbing to Orientalism, presenting a mishmash approximation of Saudi culture for the entertainment of a Western audience, it also poses some pertinent questions about gender and status in the world today. With 13.2m views and over 37,000 comments, the Bad Girls video certainly hit a nerve. One comment hit the nail of its quite brilliant appeal on the head: ‘I am very interested in the meaning behind this video?? Are you supporting this culture or critiquing it? Love this vid and can’t stop watching it.’

NTS Secret East London location April 28

CYMBALS Sideways, Sometimes Release: April 23

London band CYMBALS make guitar music that sounds like dance music with charm, wit and sincerity. Having released their debut album Unlearning in May last year, which was a humble triumph

Everyone loves a surprise, but what’s with the fad for secret locations? Is it to raise curiosity and spread Twitter gossip, or is it actually because they haven’t sorted it out yet? NTS, the Hackney-based online community radio station, celebrates its first birthday with a of sweet-hearted lo-fi pop, they now monster of a bash. A Guy Called follow it up with a new record written Gerald, Marcellus Pitman and Living Proof will all DJ among a and recorded on a boat in the host of predominantly dance acts in Thames. Sideways, Sometimes finds two separate rooms. NTS has them shrugging off the occasional sketchiness for something altogether gathered a following since it launched last April: check it out and more focused but, thankfully, their listen back to all the shows on www. original charm remains. While ntslive.co.uk. Tickets to the big Unlearning wore its love for Talking night are a whopping £22, but then Heads on its sleeve, Sideways, it is BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) Sometimes is the sound of a band which could make it a cheap night stepping confidently into their own out for drinkers! (BY) shoes. (RS)

­— 19

The Gig That Changed My Life Canadian electronica artist Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, on Animal Collective Probably the best concert I ever went to was Animal Collective in Montreal. That was in 2007 or something. Eric Copeland from Black Dice was opening and it was just the loudest show. I think I have permanent hearing loss from it. I was standing right in front of the speaker, it was against my left ear pretty much, and my hearing in that ear has been worse ever since. It was the sickest concert ever. Animal Collective played for two and a half or three hours and Eric Copeland played for an hour. It was insane. At the time Animal Collective were my favourite band of all time and Black Dice were my other favourite band of all time. When you see a band that you’re obsessed with at the height of your obsession... Also it was a $40 ticket. I never do that. I think it’s the only show of that size and that expensive that I’ve actually paid for myself. It was a big deal. I was really elated after. I think I went home and made music. It was around that time I was starting to work on shit. Animal Collective were a pretty big influence for me. A gig that size can either be the best or the worst. When it’s good it’s such a rush; it’s so insane. But when it’s bad it’s the single most humiliating thing. When I played in Toronto opening for Lykke Li, everyone just talked during the show. I was so embarrassed and felt so shitty about myself. I had a new booking agent and was crying in his arms, which was really funny. It sort of broke the ice pretty fast.


— 20

Reviews MUSIC

Jessie Ware Running Release: out now

Ruth Saxelby, Music Editor Song that gets me dancing: I need little encouragement to get on the dancefloor. If the track’s got heart and soul then I’m there. Favourite fitness activity: My bike is my friend. Favourite healthy food: I was brought up vegetarian but started eating fish when I was 19 and now love all kinds of seafood. Favourite dance sequence: It changes all the time. Right now it’s Grimes dancing in an American football stadium in her Oblivion video.

Revivals Various locations April/May

It’s that time of year again: when pretty much every band that ever existed hauls themselves out of retirement and back on the road for ‘one last time’. This year the revival fever is genre-blind, which means tons to tickle your fancy. If you ever harboured a passion for Factory Records (and if not, why not?), then there is both New Order (May 2, Brixton Academy) – sadly Peter Hook-less after his falling out with frontman Bernard Sumner – and

Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets (May 10, Brixton Academy) to choose from. If landscape-shaping dance music is more your thing, then you won’t want to miss Orbital (April 10, Brixton Academy) back together again. Prefer dark and twisted alt-rock? Bag tickets for Placebo (April 28, Indigo2). And finally, if your heart still belongs to Jordan/ Jon/Danny/Donnie/Joey or A.J./ Howie/Nick/Brian/Kevin (delete as appropriate) then you’ll no doubt be getting hot and flustered over the showdown between New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys (above, April 28, The O2). The show must go on, and on. (RS)

Join freeB and discover amazing stuff at the Barbican!

Brixton-based rising pop star Jessie Ware has been hard at work recording her debut album at the infamous Red Bull Studios in London. Running is her brand new record with Bristol producer Julio Bashmore with whom she collaborated on Sweet Talk. The singer describes the soulful new single as being about ‘the darker side of falling for somebody and being so entrapped by your feelings for them’. If you’re keen to hear more of Jessie’s phenomenal voice, you’ll be pleased to learn that she will be performing live at KOKO on April 14 alongside Joker, Monki and a DJ set from none other than The Streets as part of Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac’s night. (BY)

barbican.org.uk

Are you 16–25? Into theatre, art, music, film or dance? Grab yourself a ticket at the Barbican with freeB! FreeB is a membership scheme for 16–25 year olds that’s pretty hard to pass up. For a start, it doesn’t cost you anything. Yup, zilch! Think of it as an invitation, from us to you so that you can explore the most exciting and diverse range of arts entertainment you’re ever likely to find in one place. It’s a chance to discover new passions or indulge ones you already have. All you need is an open mind. And maybe a little sense of adventure.

The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre


Reviews MUSIC

­— 21

Nightlife

Light Asylum Light Asylum Release: May 1

Picking up where Eurythmics and Yazoo left off, Brooklyn’s Light Asylum breathe fiery new life into the grand tradition of synth-pop duos who pair searing, emotive production with powerhouse vocals. With Bruno Coviello manning the synths and Shannon Funchess packing percussive skills and her celebrated vocal chords, Light Asylum are a force to be reckoned with – live and on record. They’ve been around a fair while now and made us wait longer than is polite for this self-titled debut album, but all is forgiven the moment Shannon starts singing. While their predecessors were more concerned with the lighter side of synth-pop, Light Asylum nurture a gothic aesthetic, exploring the deeper, darker reaches of the genre with grace and tenderness. (RS)

Hip hop Karaoke, every Thur at The Social, W1W 7JD, free Karaoke is serious business here. Wannabe Eminems and M.I.As take to the stage and rap their hearts out. Prizes are awarded for the best performers. Watch or, better yet, take part and show off your swagger. Shake, Rattle & Bowl, every Sat at All Stars Lane, WC1B 4DA, free DJs take over the bowling venue with Motown and rock ‘n’ roll classics. Coiff your quiff and dress up. If you want to take advantage of the lanes, book in advance. I love the 90s, every fourth Fri, at the Jazz Café, NW1 7PG, from £4 Thought the ’90s were done and dusted? Not here! Get ready to squabble over who’s better, Oasis or Blur, and party like it’s 1999. Propaganda, every Fri at the Islington Academy, N1 0PS, from £5 Indie-kids unite. Propaganda has spread its message as far as Newcastle to Cardiff. Get those skinny jeans on and start shuffling.

Book Ahead: May Tinariwen

Friends

May 3

May 9

Now Tinariwen’s fifth studio album Tassili has won the Grammy for Best World Music Album, if you’ve not already discovered the stirring, deeply evocative sound of this Sahara Desert band, the time is definitely right. Support from Argentine modern folk artist Gonzalez.

Sharp, sassy and super-chilled, Brooklyn band Friends were one of the 12 finalists for the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll. Their funk-rinsed pop songs were made for lazy days and balmy nights, so here’s hoping that they’ll usher in an early summer.

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St Pancras Old Church Professor Green

02 Academy Brixton May 5

Still flying from the number one success of Read All About It, the rapper, freestyler and wordsmith is in the middle of a massive tour. This is his only scheduled London date until Hyde Park in July. Gig goers have already been giving the tour plenty of five-star reviews.

May 10

Seattle singer/songwriter Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, deals gracefully with a raft of emotions that often go unspoken. This gig is in support of his stunning album Put Your Back N 2 It and, given the austere location, is set to be an intimate night. Call dominos.co.uk Music previews by Ruth Saxelby and Bizu Yaregal

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Film

Plan B or not to be

Neil Clarke assesses Plan B’s move from music to movies You couldn’t accuse Ben Drew, the writer and director of Ill Manors, of a lack of ambition. As his better-known alter-ego Plan B, he’s also produced an accompanying album, to be released on May 7. The film is a London netherworld of users, pushers, pimps and prostitutes, in which only Riz Ahmed as a drug footsoldier comes close to having a functioning conscience. It’s admirable perhaps that Drew allows his characters to be so wildly unlikable, but the balance between meaningful commentary and laughable Harry Brown-style hysteria (in which Drew acted alongside Michael Caine) is one he does not always nimbly tread. Drew mostly misses the opportunity to really put the boot into the kind of situations the film dramatises, where everyone ‘is just another poster boy for David Cameron’s Broken Britain’. Instead he substitutes style for substance, throwing in tilt-shift-style lenses; time lapse; sped-up and split-screen sequences; grainy Super-8 childhood flashbacks; CCTV and pixellated cameraphone footage. It’s only in the rapped narration that the film wears its heart on

its sleeve, attacking the situations that led its characters to their squalid lifestyles. The late arrival of My Summer of Love’s Natalie Press is extremely welcome. However, in a thankless and almost dialogue-free role as a miscellaneous Eastern European prostitute she gets something of a bum deal, and, so far into the film, adds yet another role to an already sprawling cast. It’s here that Drew loses control of his material. The remainder of the film spirals into a slightly ludicrous baby-in-peril storyline, which comes out of nowhere. Equally problematic is the way it expects us to care about the death of a nondescript thug, simply because he didn’t leave a baby to burn to death. Bearing in mind this is a man who we previously see composing a rap about a girl bleeding anally while he’s forcibly pimping her out to fast-foodjoint workers, it’s hard to feel wildly sorry that he ends up smeared over a pavement. In failing to penetrate its characters’ psychological makeup, Ill Manors ultimately comes off as not far removed from the tabloid

‘Ill Manors ultimately comes off as not far removed from tabloid hoodie-demonising’ hoodie-demonising that Drew presumably despises. Attack the Block’s cast was more psychologically convincing, and that had neon-toothed wolf-bear monsters. There is hope, however. Where the film is structurally effective – and this can be a tricky device to pull off – is in the revisitations of previous scenes from different characters’ perspectives, like in Iñárritu’s Amores perros and Babel. If streamlined, with a more coherent plot and delineated characterisation, and maybe more made of the multi-perspective format, Ill Manors could have been a contender. But as a dramatisation of social issues on the ‘wrong’ side of the tracks, this is currently a long way from being a City of God for Lahhndahhn. Ill Manors is released May 4


Reviews Film

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S.O.S.

Eva Stamler on an unsinkable century of Titanic films

Rewind

A classic scene revisited

In April 1912 the crown jewel of Britain’s White Star Line, the RMS Titanic, collided with an iceberg. There weren’t enough lifeboats – the ship was thought to be ‘the Unsinkable’ – and more than two thirds of her passengers and crew lost their lives. Although it was a disaster of unique proportions, it is also a story of hope and aspirations, model for dozens of novels and James Cameron’s record-breaking blockbuster, now re-released in 3D on its 15th anniversary (best seen at the IMAX for maximum impact). The fictitious story of Jack and Rose – Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (pictured, with James Cameron) in the roles that made them megastars – is a catchy mix of destiny, romance, emotion, mystery and heroism, all bound up in a searing examination of class divide. But strangely enough, none of this is what inspired Cameron to make the movie. An undersea nut, he wanted to visit the wreck of the Titanic, and

Film: Holy Mountain (1973) Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky

figured a Hollywood studio was the only place with deep enough pockets to finance the expedition. The Titanic has inspired many others before him, as the BFI Southbank’s season demonstrates. The almost forgotten multilanguage epic Atlantic (1929) is a thinly-veiled retelling of the disaster – direct reference to it was forbidden by the White Star Line. Then there is a unique view from the propaganda machine of Nazi-era Germany, complete with fictional German hero; the first Hollywood version of Titanic from 1953; and of course A Night to Remember (1958) which, for many

filmgoers and historians, being well researched as well as highly poignant, remains the definitive screen portrayal. Other highlights are an illustrated lecture from author Join Charles Barr on Alfred Hitchcock’s abandoned Titanic project, a specially curated Mediatheque collection and a Mezzanine display. All this, and Julian Fellowes’ ITV drama too. A hundred years on, it seems the good ship Titanic is unsinkable after all. S.O.S. – The Titanic Centenary is at BFI Southbank, SE1 8XT, Apr 11-28, www. bfi.org.uk. Titanic 3D opens Apr 5

This Must Be the Place Sean Penn, Frances McDormand Release: April 6

Le Havre André Wilms, Kati Outinen, JeanPierre Darroussin Release: April 6

Would it be dereliction of duty to say that this has got a 98% Fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com, and leave it at that? What’s perhaps most impressive about the universal acclaim is that the story of an old man who unexpectedly forges a connection with an outsider has been so thoroughly essayed elsewhere (2008’s The Visitor similarly dealt with African immigrants). Yet the director

‘Wacky’ Aki Kaurismäki is famed for his idiosyncratically Scandinavian brand of lugubrious sentimentality mixed with a sardonic, wry absurdism, and this film has those attributes in abundance. It’s the first in a proposed trilogy showing port-town life, and there are suggestions from devotees that this is Kaurismäki on autopilot, but for newcomers to his oeuvre it should prove an excellent starting point. It may simply be the Normandy setting, but advance word indicates that it’s almost Amélie-like in its celebration of community spirit and fairytale rewarding of the kind-hearted. Albeit a dourer Amélie, perhaps as reimagined by Jim Jarmusch. (NC)

As a washed-up rock star channeling the Cure’s Robert Smith, Sean Penn delivers a performance of emotionallystunted impassivity from beneath hugely backcombed hair. An episodic roadtrippin’ exploration of America’s freaky underbelly is hardly groundbreaking, though the search for the Nazi persecutor of Penn’s father suggests an additional make-or-break level of eccentricity. The music is by David Byrne – earning him a cameo and the film its Talking Heads title. (NC)

Dave McKean, graphic novelist turned film-maker, on a divine madness There are a lot of screen depictions of the Passion of Christ that I love: the silent film The King of Kings, the Christ sequence in Ben Hur with that glowing two-strip Technicolor; and The Last Temptation of Christ is one of my favourite Scorsese films. But nothing beats Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain. It was hard to find for a very long time: the original prints were embargoed by the producer and it was only available in Japan in degraded and often heavily censored form: glowing orbs would appear over people’s genitals. But Jodorowsky finally got the rights back recently, and it’s an astounding film to look at, though it makes variable sense depending on who you are and how much you’ve had to drink. Jodorowsky has said he basically rounded up his actors and kidnapped them, kept them in isolation, broke them mentally, then put them back together on screen. In a key scene the Christ figure, who is a complete innocent, gets cast in papier mâché by his followers. When he wakes up, he sees a thousand versions of himself and is driven insane, smashes them all up, and the last sequence is him eating one, ripping great chunks out of it. My own approach to Gospel of Us wasn’t much more sensible. We basically raced down to Port Talbot, where Michael Sheen was re-enacting the Passion over 72 hours with a cast of a thousand locals, taking ten cameras with us to shoot what the hell we could. And it’s taken eight months to whittle it down to a two-hour film.

Gospel of Us opens on Apr 13


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Reviews FILM

Neil Clarke, Film Editor Best body transformations: Michael Fassbender getting skinny for Hunger, because no-one needs to hear about Raging Bull or The Machinist yet again. Best scene with food: That bit in La Grande Bouffe where Ugo Tognazzi eats himself to death whilst getting a handjob. Best sports film: This Sporting Life, only because Lindsay Anderson is a consistently ace director, and not for the rugby. My favourite fitness activity: My favourite… what?!

Vindaloo Empire Aunanda Naaido, Alison Titulaer, Ben Mitchell Release: April 13

The original title for this India/New Zealand culture-clash comedy was Curry Munchers, changed for its English release, presumably, because the phrase sounds so stupendously racist – akin to calling a light-hearted comedy romp, say, Towel Heads. And then adding insult to injury by writing it in Comic Sans. On the plus side, at least researching it turned up the existence of an actor with the entertaining name ‘Curry Kirkpatrick’. Nomenclature aside, its story of

JAIME WINSTONE

ANEURIN BARNARD

migration from Delhi to Auckland unsurprisingly hinges on mild Indian-Australasian cultural differences (namely, curry versus motorbikes), with a triumph-overadversity angle covered by entry into the ‘Auckland Metro Cooking Competition’. So far, so Working Title, but you could do worse for some undemanding light entertainment. Or, put it this way: if an Indian grandmother mixing up the words ‘hobos’ with ‘homos’ does it for you, then book now! (NC)

Damsels in Distress Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody

only three films in 20-odd years (Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco), has carved out a niche as a chronicler of the urbane, sophisticated upper classes from which he hails. Damsels in Distress is another dry comedy of manners, this time set in an East Coast University where socially underwhelmed student Greta Gerwig and her hairband posse set about bringing some much ignored social etiquette and a bit of tap dancing to their male-dominated co-ed environment. (CS)

Release: April 27

When Sandra Hebron stepped down as artistic director of the BFI London Film Festival last October, her final annual surprise film was this long-awaited offering from Whit Stillman – his first in 14 years. She introduced the screening with the words ‘a film that some will love, and some will hate’; which pretty much describes most people’s reaction to this ‘marmite’ of an American indie director who, with

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Reviews Film

Cabin in the Woods Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly

Book Ahead: May

Joss Whedon is the patron saint of geeks. A comics and sci-fi nut, creator of Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Angel and Dollhouse, and writer of the ultimate superhero team-up Avengers Assemble (which opens on April 27), Whedon now turns his hand to co-writing and producing horror – but can’t resist seeing the funny side. Cabin in the Woods has scares and twists aplenty, poking fun at the tropes of serial-killer splatterflicks (If you hear a strange sound outside, have sex… if something is chasing you, split up) without stooping to parody. More than that one can’t say: Whedon has begged fans not to find out too much about the film before going to see it. Cloverfield creator Drew Goddard co-writes and directs, and Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth plays one of the five teens who head off to that old abandoned cabin, despite the usual warnings from a weird old local. (DW)

Goodbye, First Love Release: May 4

Release: April 13

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai Kôji Yakusho, Naoto Takenaka Release: April 20

Takashi Miike is known variously as a gorehounds’ delight (Ichi the Killer, Izo), for his mammoth output (15 productions between 2001 and 2002 alone), and general dementedness (Zebraman 1 and 2, Happiness of the Katakuris), and he’s now carving out a nice line in samurai films. His latest is a remake of Harakiri (1962). A controlled, highly formalised style prevails – self-deafeatingly making its 3D release as redundant as an ashtray on a motorbike. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Miike has fully eschewed mind-bending

ultraviolence, though: a protracted self-disembowelment with a bamboo sword is particularly gruelling. Hara-Kiri lacks the unremitting action of 13 Assassins, Miike’s previous jidaigeki remake, and an extended flashback detailing the spiralling miseries of its protagonist isn’t an entirely satisfactorily exchange. The film is nevertheless a robust and handsome outing, despite the lack of burning cattle in this one. What the hell? Not to worry though; Miike has already made three more films. (NC)

Festivals 9th London Independent Film Festival, Apr 12-23 An eclectic programme at the Roxy and Shortwave cinemas, spanning documentaries, a Horror Night, and shorts.

Iron Sky

Release: April 4

Battleship

Release: April 11

Lockout

Release: April 20

Well, it must be summer. Of these spectacularly dumb sci-fi blockbusters, only Iron Sky includes, as one trailer has it, ‘motherf***ing space-Nazis’, and Udo Kier, and thus clearly wins hands-down in the stakes of brilliant ludicrousness. Enough said. Lockout, on the other hand, a) actually features a prison-in-space not unlike the magnetic-boot one in Face/Off, and, b) has the audacity to do a ‘rescuing the President’s

daughter’ plot, with, c) a protagonist who is actually described in the trailer as a loose cannon. And then there’s the bit where he says ‘We’re perfectly safe’, before falling through the floor. And everyone’s making all this fuss about Charles Dickens. Add to that Battleship and your faith in humanity is liable to become somewhat shaky. We’re used to films made from slender premises: adaptations from comic books, theme park rides (Pirates of the Caribbean), even bubble-gum cards (Mars Attacks) we can understand, but from a boardgame? Except this Battleship has Transformers-style aliens added, as the navy lark obviously isn’t exciting enough. At least it boasts everyone’s favourite strapping Viking vampire god, Alexander Skarsgård, in a leading role. Oh, and Rihanna (above). (NC)

Palestine Film Festival, Apr 20-25 There'll be new shorts, features, archive material and speakers investigating the thirtieth anniversary of the siege of Beirut, the Druze minority in Israel, and the effects of the Iraq war on Palestinian refugees. Sundance London Film Festival, Apr 26-29 Robert ‘Leather Muppet’ Redford is bringing 14 titles from the Utah programme to the O2, along with panels, speakers, and the festival’s trademark ‘Labs’. Sci-Fi-London Film Festival, May 1-7 This doesn't require much introduction. One of the films on the programme is called ‘Manborg’. The festival poster does have a nice snazzy Rocketeer motif, though.

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While the third film by Mia Hansen-Løve is predictably poised to straddle the ‘candidly heartfelt’/ ‘plotlessly pretentious’ divide, this radiantly naturalistic young-love story appears by turns sexy, bittersweet, romantic and angsty. So, quite... French. Dark Shadows Release: May 11

In bringing his gothic whimsy to bear on a remake of a supernatural TV melodrama, with Johnny Depp, Tim Burton isn’t exactly stretching himself. But this could be fun in an Addams Family way, especially with Michelle Pfeiffer playing one of her trademark steely bitches. 2 Days in New York Release: May 18

2 Days in Paris was a cynical yet charming antidote to cookie-cutter rom-coms, so a second helping with Julie Delpy again directing and co-starring is entirely welcome. Though can Chris Rock replicate the neurotic chemistry she shared with Adam Goldberg? The Dictator Release: May 18

Sacha Baron Cohen returns as a Gaddafi-cum-Hussein figure, this time ditching the mockumentary format. Fingers crossed it’s not as mirthless as the trailer. Co-star Sir Ben Kingsley should possibly know better. Then again, he was in Mike Myers’ The Love Guru. Moonrise Kingdom Release: May 25

Synthesising the best of Wes Anderson’s arch style, this will hopefully avoid the by-numbers laziness of The Darjeeling Limited. The cast sparkles: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and, of course, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. Film previews by Neil Clarke, Costas Sarkas and Dominic Wells


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Stage

Shaking up Shakespeare The Cultural Olympiad is celebrating the Bard. Christine Twite reports What do you think of when you hear the name William Shakespeare? Despite being the unofficial patron-saint of English Theatre, ‘The Bard’ still suffers from a bit of an image crisis. Even populist movies such as Shakespeare in Love or Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet have not really changed the opinion of the (wo)man on the street, who still associates Shakespeare with long, hot English lessons on a sleepy Wednesday afternoon, full of incomprehensible language and outlandish story lines. But a new festival will try to change all this, because, after all, there is a reason why Shakespeare remains such a popular writer: he is pretty darn good. This festival is fittingly launched on April 23, Shakespeare’s birthday. (And death day too, as a matter of fact. Wait, it’s also St George’s day, the patron saint of England. It’s as if he planned it!) The World Shakespeare Festival, part of the Cultural Olympiad, is shaking things up by programming a massive selection of productions, plays and talkbacks over this

Olympic year. The main message is, according to festival director Ruth Mackenzie, that Shakespeare is ‘the world’s playwright’. Shakespeare is not owned by any one society or race, but can be interpreted by anyone. In keeping with this, productions are planned all over the UK – in London, Newcastle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham, South Wales, Brighton, Edinburgh and the Vale of Glamorgan – and are produced by big hitters such as the RSC and The National as well as local groups and small-scale venues.

every single Shakespeare play performed, each in a different language and each by a different international company. The line-up is dazzling: it includes a production of Cymbeline by the South Sudan Theatre company in Juba Arabic (impressive since the country has only just come into existence), and a hip-hop version of Othello and Love’s Labour’s Lost by British SignLanguage company Deafinitely Theatre. Gateshead’s Sage will be showcasing a new version of West Side Story, and an ambitious textual and visual deconstruction of Hamlet called The Rest is Silence. Add to this a major new exhibition at the British Museum called Shakespeare: Staging the World. Shakespeare is no doubt smiling from his grave.

‘Shakespeare is not owned by any one society or race, but can be interpreted by anyone’

There are countless performances. The RSC has booked Romeo and Juliet (above) in Baghdad by the Baghdad Iraqi Theatre. It transports the play to contemporary Iraq, with Sunnis and Shias replacing Capulets and Montagues (in Arabic, with English surtitles). Shakespeare’s Globe has its Globe to Globe season all booked, which will see

The World Shakespeare Festival, various venues. From Apr 23. www.worldshakespearefestival.org.uk


Reviews stage

The power of BABEL

Passion trend: before BABEL there was The Passion at Port Talbot with Michael Sheen and locals

Christine Twite looks forward to a cast of a thousand

World Stages London is a once-in-alifetime celebration through theatre of the exhilarating cosmopolitan diversity of London’s people and culture. As the Olympic celebrations in the capital creep closer and closer, this festival reminds us that London is not just inviting the world over for 2012 – it’s a multicultural city in its own right, with an astounding variety of different cultures at its fingertips.

years to develop, and involves over a thousand Londoners (performers, local people and volunteers). London’s different communities will be brought together to explore the diversity of language, culture, ethnicity and human identity, as well as to celebrate a common thread. Based on the biblical story of BABEL, the show ‘tells of a gathering of the tribes. People who have been scattered are returning to finish what they started eons ago. They mean to create a new city. A welcoming haven for strangers.’ Director Bill Mitchell is now infamous for taking on these massive community pieces: most recently, The Passion at Port Talbot starred Michael Sheen, who was born in the area, and involved hundreds of cast members from the local community. It was also a

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‘BABEL will be one of the biggest shows of 2012’

The festival is a unique collaboration between ten top London venues, with productions including Wild Swans, Three Kingdoms and Wah! Wah! Girls. Yet the most anticipated of them all must be Wildworks and Battersea Art Centre’s BABEL, in collaboration with Lyric Hammersmith, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Young Vic. It’s an epic undertaking: it’s taken two

rewriting of a biblical story, which lasted 72 hours and saw Sheen camp out in the hills overnight as part of his performance (a film version, Gospel of Us, is out on April 13, see p23). The Last Supper was transposed to a local social club, and the garden of Gethsemane to a

patch of grass in a local estate. If this is anything to go by, BABEL will be one of the biggest shows of the festival and 2012. BABEL plays at Caledonian Park, N7 9PL, May 8-20, from £12.50. www. bac.org.uk

Comedy Boat Show Comedy, The Tattershall Castle, Fri, Sat, Mon, £8-13 Enjoy comedians on this paddle steamer moored near The London Eye. On the weekends it turns into a nightclub after the show, to which your ticket gains you free admission.

The kindest cuts

Under 25? Christine Twite says how to get stage-struck for less

One of the most common reasons for not going to the theatre, opera or dance is because it costs a lot. But what if you could go for less than the price of a movie? The National Theatre’s Entry Pass scheme for under-26s is one solution. Sign on online at www. nationaltheatre.org.uk/entrypass for access to a number of £5 tickets for every show. The Barbican goes one better, offering free entry to under-26s: www. barbican.org.uk/free_b. Even the top West End shows are eager to

attract young theatre-goers. Each month, Mousetrap Theatre Projects organise a different night out for under-24s for less than a tenner: www.mousetrap.org.uk. You should also keep an eye on the website for Theatre Fix, which has a host of ticket offers for under-26s: www.theatrefix.co.uk/ offers. Sign up for free and you’ll get a regular email detailing ticket offers and events. Even at the grand Royal Opera House (above), where some seats exceed three figures, tickets can be

had for a song. This season they are offering more cheap tickets than ever to students, at www.roh. org.uk/studentstandby. They have also introduced occasional nights in which the whole Amphitheatre section is reserved for students at just £2-£15. The next is the New Scarlett triple bill, an evening of cutting-edge contemporary ballet on April 18. And if that gives you a taste for dance, Sadler’s Wells has a number of tickets every night for students and the unwaged for just £8. When was the last time someone offered you a great night out for the price of a couple of pints? And there’s no hangover in the morning.

Pear Shaped Comedy, The Fitzroy Tavern, Wed, £4-5 The organisers of ‘London’s second worst comedy club’ freely admit that, brilliant though many of its acts are, it will occasionally go a bit pear-shaped. But they do promise you’ll have fun. Lyric Comedy Night, Lyric Hammersmith, Apr 29, £15-20 You’ll see both well known and up-and-coming comedians at this regular night. The line-up is handpicked by comedian Richard Herring. Jimeoin: Lovely, Bloomsbury Theatre, May 11, £15 The award-winning Northern Irish/Aussie’s show is strippeddown, no-frills, old-style, anecdote-driven comedy which The Scotsman dubbed ‘stand-up comedy at its best’.


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Reviews STAGE

Black T-shirt Collection

National Theatre, SE1 9PX, Apr 12-24, from £12. www. nationaltheatre.org.uk

Christine Twite, Stage Editor Favourite dance show: Wayne McGregor’s Infra is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen on stage. He uses ballet dancers but his choreography is unlike any ballet you’ll ever see: abstract, moving and shimmering. Favourite musical: I love Spring Awakening, but also Sondheim, especially Into the Woods (he had a Prom dedicated to him which was brilliant). Favourite fitness activity: Dancing! I do a lot of ballet, which is a brilliant way to strengthen your core muscles. When I want a cardio workout I do zumba, salsa or latin.

Inua Ellams is so multi-talented, it hardly seems fair. He published his first collection of poetry, 13 Fairy Negro Tales, at 22 and he is also a writer, teacher, performer and graphic artist. Now he brings a new one-man show to the National Theatre, in which he combines poetry, narrative and

performance into his own unique style of theatre. Black T-Shirt Collection follows the story of two brothers from Nigeria who start a T-shirt business in their local market, and make of it a world-wide success. But in turning it into a global brand, the brothers are forced to make tough choices which affect their relationship. Journey across the world from Nigeria to Egypt and sweatshops in China with Ellams – with the assistance of trendy production company Fuel, this is poetry for kids of the twenty-first century.

Wild Swans

Young Vic, SE1 8LZ, Apr 13-May 13, from £10. www. youngvic.org

When Jung Chang published Wild Swans in 1991, it became the best-selling non-fiction book in British publishing history. It followed Chang’s own experiences of life in China, alongside the two other generations of women in her family: her mother and grandmother. It is epic in scale, which perhaps is why this will be

the first time ever the story has been set to stage. Condensing a century of history must be daunting, but we are in safe hands with the Young Vic. In collaboration with Actors Touring Company and American Repertory Theater, it has cleverly revised the story into an evening – starting during the early days of communist rule and ending with China as a superpower. Katie Leung (who played Harry Potter’s girlfriend Cho Chang in the movies) plays the character based on Jung Chang herself.

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Reviews STAGE

Belong

Royal Court Theatre, SW1W 8AS, Apr 26-May 26, from £10. www.royalcourttheatre. com

When Bola Agbaje’s first play, Gone Too Far!, was shown as part of The Royal Court’s Young Writers Festival in 2007, it went on to win an Olivier award. Since then Agbaje’s career has gone from strength to strength. She now brings a new piece called Belong, which follows the story of a Black British MP who flees to Nigeria to escape controversy he has created during a lost election. It’s a satire that questions our notion of home and belonging. Look out for Agbaje’s successors at this year’s Young Writers Festival, which continues until April 14. Budding writers inspired by her example can find a writing toolkit at ywf. royalcourttheatre.com.

Big and Small

Barbican, EC2Y 8DS, Apr 13-29, from £16. www. barbican.org.uk

Long before Cate Blanchett became an international movie mega-star, she was treading the boards in her homeland of Australia alongside such celebrated actors as Geoffrey Rush. She has

recently returned to the stage, and comes to the Barbican this April as the star of the German play Big and Small (Gross und Klein) by Botho Strauss. In fact, Blanchett and her husband have taken over Sydney Theatre Company, who are producing the play, so it looks like Blanchett could be turning her back on film altogether. Hollywood’s loss would be theatre’s gain. The play is a twisting parallel of Alice in Wonderland, set in a surreal world where Lotte, played by Blanchett, is unable to fit in. Like Alice, Lotte feels confused and alienated by her surroundings – but unlike Wonderland, the world Lotte is fearful of seems to be real life itself. Given Blanchett’s star appeal, tickets will sell out fast, so you should book early to avoid disappointment.

Forest Fringe Residency

The Gate Theatre, W11 3HQ, Apr 9-21, from £11. www. gatetheatre.co.uk

For the last few years at the Edinburgh Festival, the place to be for any self-respecting artiste has been a dusty little venue where the Forest Fringe are resident. The company supports a range of experimental artists, offering unusual experiences, live art and kooky events. London be warned – now they are taking a troupe of merry performance makers down to the big city; a slice of Festival excitement right on our doorsteps. For two weeks in April, Forest Fringe are taking over the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, bringing some of their most celebrated artists, curated by headline acts Chris Thorpe and Dan Canham. Each evening will be like a mini-festival, with the headline act ‘alongside an array of talks, films, music, and work-in-progress performances’. Intrigued? You should be. Stage previews by Christine Twite

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Book ahead: May Three Kingdoms Lyric Hammersmith May 3-19

In the last issue we interviewed Sean Holmes, artistic director of the Lyric, and he said of Three Kingdoms: ‘If you’re up for a challenge, then this is your show.’ British writer Simon Stephens teams up with a German art-house director and an Estonian designer to create a piece exploring human trafficking and the vice trade. It’s performed by actors from all three countries, in all three languages. Cantina Southbank May 8-Sep 30

Circus and vaudeville are in vogue. London is full of newly-formed circus troupes, and now boasts a range of training schools. At the Circus Space in Dalston, you can even take a degree in the subject. And now the Southbank is offering a ‘sensational cocktail of glamorous vaudeville and scintillating circus’, with acrobatics,

magic, dance and some live music thrown in for good measure. Snow White Sadler’s Wells May 10-12

Not to be confused with Disney or pantomime: this Snow White is anything but. This is a revival of French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj’s sexy, sophisticated, contemporary ballet, with costumes designed by mischievous fashion icon Jean Paul Gaultier. Wah! Wah! Girls Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre May 24-June 23

Mix Bollywood fun with the grit and vibrancy of London’s East End and you get Wah! Wah! Girls. The story is familiar – some young Mujra dancers ‘uncover deep secrets and create unexpected dreams’ to the soundtrack of classic Bollywood tunes and with new Kathak choreography. This show is a great way to herald the fun and energy of the Olympics.

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See full festival line-up at www.breakinconvention.com


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Art © Damien Hirst. All rights reserved. DACS 2011. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

Lullaby, the Seasons Spring 2002; Sympathy in White Major - Absolution II 2006; For the Love of God 2007

A Hirst class exhibition

Faye Robson on Damien Hirst's biggest ever show It’s easy to be sceptical about Damien Hirst, and even easier to be sceptical about a gallery’s motives in holding his retrospective. After all, whether you think he’s an artistic visionary or a publicity-hungry charlatan, we can all agree that he grabs headlines and sells tickets. So, where do you stand? Will you be queuing up at Tate Modern for the ‘first substantial survey’ of Hirst’s work ever held in the UK, or staying at home to read the inevitably screechy reviews? Oddly, given his reputation for shock and provocation, I for one always felt strangely neutral when faced with images of, for instance, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (above, 1991, otherwise known as ‘the pickled shark in the tank’). It was only after seeing Hirst’s work in the flesh that I began to feel its strange, macabre power. This might seem a strange thing to say about a conceptual artist who famously leaves much of the actual art-making to his studio assistants,

but his most powerful works do seem to rely on precise formal decisions that force the viewer to get physically involved, and bring ‘life’ and ‘art’ within a glass pane of each other. When you walk ‘through’ a bisected cow (Mother and Child Divided, 1993) you can’t avoid thinking about your physical relation to the animal, or about the tension that Hirst is exploring between sentiment and brutal, physical fact. For a hands-off artist, known for cold and clinical works, Hirst has an uncanny knack for making you feel implicated in his vision.

down to a vague statement about ‘strong associations to life and death, and to belief and value systems’. That’s a pretty good description of most contemporary art since 1970. There are things to be said, however, and Tate are looking to elicit new reactions, showing works like In and Out of Love (1991), which has not been seen in its complete form since it was made. This exciting installation comprises two spaces – one in which live butterflies hatch from pupae pinned to the walls and surround the viewer, the second in which dead butterflies are embedded in beautiful brightly-coloured canvases hung around a table with ashtrays. Is this a meditation on the fragility of life within a delimited, enclosed environment, or just a gimmick? Hirst’s indisputable legacy is in opening up contemporary art to new audiences – so go along, get involved, and make up your own mind.

‘It was only after seeing Hirst’s work in the flesh that I began to feel its strange, macabre power’

Another strange thing is that, for all the column inches he has generated since the late 1980s, his actual work seems to leave many commentators tongue-tied. Even Tate Modern’s announcement of their new exhibition, containing over 20 years’ worth of work, boils

Damien Hirst, Tate Modern, SE1 9TG, Apr 4-Sep 9. Tickets from £12.20. www.tate.org.uk/modern


Reviews ART

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Photographed by Anderson & Low

Left to right: young athletes Hannah Whelan, Jenni Pinches, Beth Tweddle and Rebecca Tunney

spreadsheets to enjoy their moment in the sun. Still, it’s a worthy reminder of the vastness and complexity of the Games, and the sheer graft behind the glitz.

Heavy medal John Parton fires the starting pistol on Olympic exhibitions

The Olympics may be firing up the biggest rush for gold since the Wild West, but there’s more to it than winning medals, and there are plenty of exhibitions in the run up to the Games to remind us. The National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 project is a series of specially-commissioned photographic portraits, ongoing and currently travelling around the country, which reveals just how the athletes and the folks managing the

construction and running of the Olympic site have been preparing for the Games. We are given a curious mix of images: shots of honed and determined-looking athletes sit alongside portraits of anaemic-looking men in suits. The effect is odd; whilst most of the athletes look slightly bored of posing for their shots, as if they can’t wait to get back to their training, most of the organisers look very happy indeed to have stepped out from behind their

The Noble Art of the Sword: Fashion and Fencing in Renaissance Europe at the Wallace Collection looks in depth at one of only nine of the original Olympic events that has continued to be practised since the first Olympiad of the modern era. Featuring some very fine swords alongside a large selection of prints from the Howard de Walden collection, the exhibition explains how the status of the sword has changed over history, and considers fencing as a discipline where art and sport merge. If the above have not abated your gold-fever, Gold: Power and Allure is an ambitious exhibition of more than 400 items dating back to 2500BC. It’s held at, appropriately, Goldsmith’s Hall from June 1. Or you can drop by the British Museum, where examples of the actual 2012 Olympic medals,

Faye Robson, Art Editor Favourite self-portrait: So difficult to choose but I love Sam Taylor-Wood’s Self-portrait in Single-breasted Suit with Hare. Favourite nude: There’s an enormous Henry Moore sculpture of a female torso in the V&A – it’s so serene and beautiful, it’s breathtaking. Best fitness activity: Dance class. You get fit and learn every Beyoncé single by heart.

designed by David Watkins and Line Cheung, are on display. Marvel at them, but don’t be too disappointed to learn that the ‘Gold’ ones are actually 92.5% silver. Told . you it weren’t about the gold.

In the studio: Hannah Starkey

Where do you create your work? I don’t photograph in a studio at all; my studio is a place for my books and for me to think ideas through. I love the energy that comes from working on the street. Public spaces can be very unpredictable; people get involved and suddenly you’re flying by the seat of your pants. I’m always impressed by how generous people are. Are your scenarios carefully planned before you ‘set up’, or is there an element of spontaneity? Both. I have the initial idea – inspired by something I have witnessed first-hand and want to recreate for

the camera. I construct to a point and then relinquish control so that serendipity and chance can step in. Who are your influences? I’m naturally drawn to photography that depicts the human condition. Photographers such as Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Eugene Smith teach me the poetics and beauty in composition. Cindy Sherman’s Film Stills, Philip Lorca Di Corcia and Jeff Wall’s work all showed me the possibilities of restaging and the redefining of the real. Why is large-format work important to you? My photography deliberately contains a lot of information and detail that I want the viewer to be enveloped by. I want the viewer to study the photograph, and for the sensation of looking to expand as the narrative expands. A 10 x 8 field camera allows me to get this detail and quality of light. It’s a particular way of working: slower and more like a performance art.

© Hannah Starkey, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Internationally-renowned photographer Hannah Starkey is featured in the Saatchi Gallery’s forthcoming group exhibition Out of Focus: Photography. Over the last 15 years, the London-based artist has continued to refine her large-format, staged images, which often feature women in urban settings caught in moments of reflection.

Is London an inspiring place to work as a fine art photographer? Yes, I love London and it has been a very generous place to work as a photographer. I love the variety and energy on the street and it can be quite ambiguous in the way that

other cities like New York or Tokyo aren’t. It can be both anywhere and nowhere, a non-specific, general place. Out of Focus: Photography, Saatchi Gallery, SW3 4RY, April 25-July 22. Free. www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk


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Reviews ART

Hans-Peter Feldmann Nick Redman, UK, Open Shortlist, Smile, Sony World Photography Awards 2012

Serpentine Gallery, W2 3XA, Apr 11-Jun 3. Free. www. serpentinegallery.org

© 2011 Hans-Peter Feldmann

German conceptual artist Hans-Peter Feldmann could be described as an archivist of everyday life. Could be, if that dry description didn’t fail to convey the wild variety and humour of his work. This survey show features early work – photo-booklets obsessively documenting minute phenomena such as women’s knees – alongside displays of Feldman’s collections, including a set of women’s handbags, with contents.

RONE and Tom French

Zero Cool Gallery, 155-171 Tooley St, London Bridge, SE1 2JP, from Apr 26. Free. www.zerocoolgallery.com

World Photo London

Somerset House, WC2R 1LA, Apr 26-May 20. Prices vary. www.somersethouse.org.uk

AT TATE BRITAIN UNTIL 15 JULY BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW AT TATE BRITAIN UNTIL 15 JULY tate.org.uk BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW tate.org.uk

Win A pair of tickets SUPPORTED BY

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THE PICASSO AND MODERN BRITISH ART SUPPORTERS GROUP, THE SPANISH TOURIST OFFICE AND THE OFFICE FOR CULTURAL AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS, EMBASSY OF SPAIN

closing date 15 April

SUPPORTED BY

THE PICASSO AND MODERN BRITISH ART SUPPORTERS GROUP, THE SPANISH TOURIST OFFICE AND THE OFFICE FOR CULTURAL AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS, EMBASSY OF SPAIN

To enter, email your name and number before 15 April to:

Terms and conditions: Tickets valid 15 April –1 July Subject to availability Travel and additional expenses not included No cash alternative

offers@ thebookmag. com AT TATE BRITAIN UNTIL 15 JULY Pablo Picasso Nude Woman in a Red Armchair 1932 © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2011. Tate.

Pablo Picasso Nude Woman in a Red Armchair,1932 Tate © Succession Picasso /DACS 2011

Pablo Picasso Nude Pablo Woman Picasso in a Nude Red Armchair Woman in 1932 a Red © Armchair Succession 1932 Picasso/DACS, © Succession London Picasso/DACS, 2011. Tate.London 2011. Tate.

review sessions, lectures and technical workshops for all abilities. Graphic designers, look out for a workshop with top photobook designer Stuart Smith of SMITH design.

Pablo Picasso Nude Woman in a Red Armchair 1932 © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2011. Tate.

Not just an exhibition – though the Sony World Photography Awards are part of the programme – this month-long constellation of events for photographers and photo-fans in the capital will feature portfolio

One of Australia’s foremost street artists and a key member of Melbourne’s Everfresh Crew, 22-year-old RONE, joins forces with the UK’s Tom French for a joint show. They are both producing a number of new pieces for the show, in a variety of media from oils and charcoals to collage and linocut.

TATE TICKETS BRITAIN UNTIL BOOKATYOUR NOW15 JULY BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW tate.org.uk tate.org.uk

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Reviews ART

­— 33

Book Ahead: May Bauhaus: Art as Life

Barbican

May 3-Aug 12

This is the biggest Bauhaus exhibition in 40 years, showing masters such as Kandinsky, Klee and Gropius, and staging lectures, workshops, films and performances.

have responded to the royal visage. Sixty portraits, by artists including Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud and Cecil Beaton, are on show to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950

Victoria and Albert Museum The Other Art Fair

Titian’s First Masterpiece: The Flight into Egypt

The National Gallery, WC2N 5DN, Apr 3-Sept 2. Free. www. nationalgallery.org.uk

Following years of restoration, Titian’s gentle masterpiece goes on display surrounded by other Venetian works of the same period. It will be the first time this enormous, detailed canvas has been seen outside Russia since 1768. It looks a little leafy for Egypt, but then who are we to argue with the Renaissance?

Giuseppe Cavalli: Master of Light Estorick Collection, N1 2AN, Apr 18-Jun 17. Free. www. estorickcollection.com

Cavalli’s outstandingly beautiful black-and-white photographs, simple yet never simplistic, were made in the relatively short period from the mid-1930s until his death in 1961. The influential Italian photographer combines cool elegance – airy, subtly-balanced compositions – with a flair for Surrealist humour, making the show well worth a trip.

Framed This bold piece by Shok 1 gives a whole new meaning to hanging paintings. Based on a previous work that was censored in China, the mural can be found on the outside of the Pictures on Walls

Gallery, at 46-48 Commercial Street, E1. You can also find a video of the artist at work at hookedblog.co.uk. Seen some great street art? Send it to pictures@ thebookmag.com

P3 Ambika May 10-13

The Other Art Fair returns to London six months after its autumn debut. The fair highlights the brightest unrepresented talent working in Britain today.

May 19-Jan 6, 2013

The V&A’s newly-renovated fashion galleries open with 60 years’ worth of sumptuous ballgowns, evening wear and catwalk couture. Edward Burtynsky: Oil

The Photographers’ Gallery The Queen: Art and Image

National Portrait Gallery May 17-Oct 21

If you missed George Condo's somewhat deranged portraits of Queen Elizabeth II at Hayward Gallery earlier this year, here’s another chance to see how artists

May 19-July 1

The gallery reopens in grand style with a new education floor, twice the exhibition space, a renovated café, and this retrospective of Burtynsky’s mammoth documentary series on our fossil fuel dependency. Art previews by Faye Robson


­— 34

Payne and pleasure

Nigel Kendall opens a special games round-up with Max Payne 3 Perhaps Sega chose a hedgehog as its mascot because the video games industry goes into deep hibernation after Christmas, to re-emerge bright-eyed and spiky in the spring.

I’ve always had a particular soft spot for anything Rockstar. The two brothers who control the company bring a quintessentially British sensibility and humour to the adventures they set in their adopted American homeland, and the

And so it is this year. In the wake of the February launch of the Sony PS Vita (see overleaf for reviews), the games started coming thick and fast. If you bought Mass Effect 3 on release in March, you’re probably still too busy gawping at it to contemplate yet another interactive adventure. My advice is to finish ME3 quickly, because MP3 – that is, Max Payne 3 – is coming.

‘These are the people who brought the world Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and last year’s superb detective thriller LA Noire’

This is a game that should by rights have been out in time for Easter, but MP3 was held back for two months by its developer, Rockstar. These are the people who brought the world Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and last year’s superb detective thriller LA Noire, which set a new standard in interactive storytelling.

eyes through which they see the cities they depict are sharp in the way that only an alien’s can be. The amoral universe has filled sheaves of ‘why oh why’ pages in the Daily Mail, but if you're new to their work what’s likely to strike and impress you most is their unfailingly minute attention to detail. Rumour has it that

this multi-million-dollar title was still rough around the edges at its original launch date. As I write this, teams of programmers, writers and editors are no doubt working round the clock to bring it up to scratch. And from what I’ve seen of MP3, the wait will be worth it. Visually, the game is pure Rockstar, with the emphasis on realistically animated characters, married to a sharp script whose twists will keep you welded to your controller. Our hero, by now an ex-cop, is drinking himself to death in a Brazilian hotel room when a ghost from his dubious past offers him a protection job. We can expect lots of shooting and swearing as Max takes on the might of the tooled-up barrio gangs with little but his wits and his manly stubble to protect him. Max Payne 3 is out on Xbox and PS3 on May 18


Reviews Gadgets

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Lust Have

Sony 4K Blu-ray player £356

I used to think that if I won the lottery, I’d blow it on reopening an old cinema. This little marvel puts true cinema within the reach of all of us. 4k is the latest hot topic in the world of video, offering screen resolution twice as detailed as on the best current HD TVs. In a domestic setting, it’s virtually useless, since our eyes simply can’t handle that amount of information close up. But linked up to a projector, this could turn any one of us into programmers at our very own Cinema Paradiso. This is the first 4k machine from a major manufacturer, and it will go on sale this year.

Game Boy Nigel Kendall picks the best new PS Vita games

FIFA Football, the Vita version of the world's best-selling sports title, is also right up there. Thanks to the touch screen, I find this version easier to play than the console one, and the level of detail and complete inanity of the commentary are enough to make you believe you’re watching the real thing. Other launch titles such as Modnation Racers (above) and Everybody’s Golf are games to make you go ‘meh’, though Sony promises that once the Vita store is up and running there’ll be a plethora of cheap titles to keep casual gamers happy.

from £32.90

35 years after the first film’s release, the Star Wars money-milking machine is still in good working order. The latest product to put the squeeze on fans is the really rather enjoyable Kinect Star Wars (out April 3), which links up to the Xbox 360’s motion-sensitive Kinect system. And you know what that means: hot light-sabre action in your living room! So, grab a broom handle, remove all breakable objects from the vicinity and give it your all. Those not fond of the fight club might prefer dancing with ’droids.

Xappr Gun

Last issue I brought you early news of the PS Vita launch. As I said, if you're going to launch a portable games console that costs over 200 quid, you'd better have some pretty good games to play on it. So what are they like? There’s a little something for everyone, though in these early days, the emphasis is clearly on making new toys for the boys. Pick of the bunch for me is Uncharted: Golden Abyss (top), a new adventure for PS3's treasure hunter Nathan Drake. It's a cracker, which makes clever use of nearly all the gizmos that Sony has packed into the Vita, including the gyroscope, touch screen, cameras and rear touch pad. It's so immersive and fluid that you can forget you’re playing a portable game, right until the battery dies on you when you're halfway up a rope. Brilliant.

Kinect Star Wars

$30, www.xapprgun.com

Nigel Kendall, Gadgets Editor Favourite interactive game: Wario Ware Smooth Moves, a launch title for the Wii which gave me more laughs than any other game as it made you draw, jump and imitate an elephant. Dance Dance Revolution also appears to be enjoyed by many. Ultimate keep fit gadget: It’s got to be Wii Fit and the Wii balancing board, which has shifted more than 22.6million copies worldwide. A well thought-out programme married to a versatile piece of hardware. Favourite fitness activity: The long-distance pub crawl. Set yourself a distance target for a brisk walk. Map out all pubs along the route using Google Maps, then visit the ones you’ve never been to. Return by bus is highly recommended.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games from £19.99, Nintendo DS

There’s something undeniably trippy about competing in the Olympics as a blue hedgehog or red-clad plumber (or one of their many friends), but if you do have tickets for the 10.5 second event that is the men’s 100m final, this game on the portable DS should keep you entertained during the 90-minute wait for security, bag searches and seat finding that are such an important part of the modern British sporting experience.

What do you get the virtual assassin who has everything? This handy pistol, due out by June, snaps in a smartphone so you can free your fingers to tackle the important job of multiple murder while playing Time Crisis on your iPhone. Not sure I’d get it out on the tube, but in one’s bedroom, anything goes.

App Market

S08 Wizard for iPhone, 69p This app pays for itself. If you need to call an 0845 or 0800 number from your mobile, this will try to find an alternative, so you don't get charged through the nose by your conscience-less mobile phone company. Around 13,000 UK 08 numbers are in its database, so expect the odd failure. A free version, 0800 Wizard, restricted to 0800 numbers, is also available.


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Blogs Dickens Blog

www.dickensblog.typepad. com

As London celebrates Dickens’ 200th birthday this year, Gina Dalfonzo brings him bang up to date. Gina read Great Expectations in ninth grade and went on to hunt down all things Dickens. The site contains everything from graphic novels, Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham (below) and the more recent Dickens-tribute google doodle. www.melanieryding.com

Behind the Blog Melanie Ryding, 40, has gone from a size 16 to representing Britain in the triathlon: she competes in international ‘Age Group’ competitions, which pit similar ages against each other. Her inspiring blog often includes guest blogs from Olympic athletes. Why did you start your blog? Originally, it was simply a record of my thoughts and progress that I could look back and reflect on. I began to enjoy writing and realised that people were actually reading it! How do you maximise traffic? I have learned that a carefully worded title to a blog and tags, topic headers help with searchengine position. Otherwise, it’s still a personal love, though nice that so many people are interested too. I have recently started a blog connected to my new business venture, too – ryding2health. blogspot.com, where I talk about mind-set, nutrition and the like. Any tips for keeping fit and eating healthily? I have 50 ways to keep fit at home on my site, and I show you how to do gym-style strength work without extra equipment. I also do a Recipe of the Week: soups are easy, if you have a hand blender, some leftovers and some stock of some sort. Casseroles are, too, or ‘one pot wonders’ as I call them. Some leftover veg, some meat, tinned tomatoes and stock, hey presto.

What’s the Helmets Save Lives campaign on your site about? Last July I had a cycling accident. To this day I have no idea what happened, I have no memory of it. I was found unconscious by a passing motorist. I had sustained a head injury, and my cycle helmet was smashed into three. I had awful concussion for almost two months. It almost ended my chances to compete in the triathlon world championships in China, eight weeks after the accident. If you had the choice whether your head or a helmet was to bounce off the ground, which would you choose? What advice would you give to would-be athletes? Focus on what you will achieve, not what you will not or do not want. We are all too good at focussing on negatives! Had you said to me when I started on the fat-loss journey in 2005 that I would be representing GB at world level from 2009 I would have laughed. Look at the small steps you are taking to achieve your grand goal, and reward yourself all along the way. You were recently named an Olympic Gamesmaker. What does that involve? The 75,000 Gamesmakers will have a massive range of roles but I will be a Marshall at the Triathlon, road cycling and road Time Trial. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to volunteer and be part of the biggest sports event on earth.

Mic Costumes

www.miccostumes.com/ blog/

We’re big fans of cosplay here at The Book. As the bi-annual event happens at Expo on May 25-27, this site is a must. There are posts on how to create outfits, interviews with serious cosplayers, like Meltingmirror, and an endless amount of inspiring photos. Reviews by Kohinoor Sahota

Chris Jones’ blog www.chrisjonesblog.com

The in-your-face clapperboard header that greets you when you enter sums up the site: it’s all about action. Digital technology makes it possible for anyone to make a movie, and Chris Jones, author of the Guerilla Film Makers Handbook, is the British DIY guru. His blogs are packed with practical tips from camera equipment under £1,000 to crowd funding.

Follow the tweeter As the Mayoral elections approach in May, and the Olympics in July, all eyes are on London. Follow Boris for the highs and lows: @MayorofLondon: Bitterly disappointed that some people don’t seem to appreciate the precious right to protest & have decided to abuse it so recklessly If you haven’t heard of The Puppini Sisters yet, you’re in for a treat. The fabulous threesome ooze old-school Hollywood glamour and are touring Europe, including Shepherd’s Bush on April 20: @Puppini_Sisters: One leopard print dress, one little black dress, one pair of leopard print shoes, one pair of black jewels... Follow us on @

thebookmagazine for updates and exclusive offers.


Travel BORNEO

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24 hours: Borneo Going underground If you thought the Northern Line was an arduous underground trek, says Neil Simpson, wait till you squeeze your body through the caves of Borneo

E

veryday life is frequently bubblewrapped for us: if you bang your head on a low ceiling, you probably failed to read the sign; if you cross a road in London, the tarmac will advise you whether to Look Left or Look Right; with a smartphone, Uncle Googlemap will never let you get lost. Where does this leave the thrill-seeker? You could do worse than a trip to the jungle. If you’re on a budget, the Gunung Mulu national park in Borneo boasts mountain and rainforest treks, adventure caving and late-night nature walks at low prices. 7:30am: Wake up bright and early to

the cries of cockerels and a multitude of insects in your home-stay shack, situated on the edge of the park border and the rainforest. A river runs alongside and there are trees bearing fruits resembling huge vanilla pods, with a soft flesh encased within which tastes like ice cream; during my stay some young Malaysians let me in on this brilliant secret. The shacks are basic, roomy and populated with likeminded travelers. They are also incredibly cheap: 30 Malaysian Ringgits (MYR) or

£6 per night. If early mornings aren’t your thing, a shower will rouse you: washing facilities consist of a large bucket of cold water and a scoop, which certainly did the trick for me. 9am: Gunung Mulu’s Clearwater Connection excursion takes you on a journey through the Clearwater cave system, believed to be the largest in the world by volume. This seven-hour activity costs 170 MYR (£35) compared to, for example, £75 for a day of adventure caving in north Somerset. The trip begins with a 30-minute boat trip to the entrance of the cave. Upon entering, the thrills begin: steep slopes downwards, large boulders and rock faces that you must tackle with ropes, abysses dropping to certain doom, strange glittering spiders and big cave crickets. All of this is, of course, in total darkness aside from your head torches. And me with a fear of spiders. But not even that could prevent me having an absolute blast. The guides ensure your safety, but they don’t labour the point; the general attitude is that in choosing to come, you have acknowledged the risks and will accept the responsibility this implies. If you

are naturally adventurous, you will receive this level of autonomy with glee. 12noon: My lunch, 150 metres underground, involved peanuts, Bombay mix, chocolate biscuits and trying to avoid sitting in a wet patch. Bon appétit! I was surprised to find myself out of breath and perspiring so far below the earth; lunch is a welcome rest. 12:30pm: The descent continues. As well as slimy walls and crumbling, uneven ground, you will encounter what the guides refer to as ‘squeezes’: tiny openings that you must squeeze through, sometimes leaving you unable to move anything but your left foot as you clamber downwards. I found the challenge exhilarating, but I was glad my pet fear was arachnophobia not claustrophobia. 2:30pm: After so much humid groping in the gloom during your journey into the earth, you finally discover a wide, fastflowing river, 350 metres underground. The cool waters await, and as you slip into the river, the current will carry you along, back


— 38

Travel BORNEO

to the heart of the national park where you began. This journey has its perils, too: jagged rock formations rise up from below which you must sporadically dodge to save your shins. Swimming through subterranean rivers to emerge into vibrant green tropical rainforest is an experience beyond my wildest imagining.

12.30pm:

4pm:

4pm: If you still have the energy, take one

of Gunung Mulu’s boarded walkways through the jungle to Deer Cave, the world’s largest cave mouth and gargantuan home to three million bats. From here you can witness the bats soaring skywards in spiraling clouds to hunt, which occurs at dusk every day. Even from the home-stay shacks, the bats can be seen drifting across the sky in the distance, like swarms of bees.

7pm: Dining options are extremely limited

in Mulu (you are in the rainforest after all!) but the national park has its own restaurant, slightly undercut in price by another next to the park’s border. Both offer a selection of 12noon: Western or Malaysian food, including the staple dish nasi lemak: rice, crispy fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, hard-boiled egg, cucumber and a spicy sauce for 8 MYR (£1.80). Dinnertime gives you the opportunity to make friends with your fellow explorers. My travel buddy and I came to

Best of the festivals

Eva Stamler books ahead for a European summer of fun Verona Opera Festival, Italy: June 22-Sept 2 Verona is the city of Romeo and Juliet and – for two months each year – the grand opera. When thousands of lights bring a romantic glow to the Roman amphitheatre, goose bumps are guaranteed. Palio di Siena, Tuscany, Italy: July 2 & Aug 16 Il Palio di Siena is a very traditional and fairly dangerous horserace carried out annually between the 17 town districts of Siena. Accompanied by a lavish celebration against the

know people from all over the world during our ten days in Mulu, swapping stories about our experiences: aside from Gunung Mulu, northern Borneo has a wealth of natural beauties, such as the older Bako national park, famous for its wildlife. We met many who had come to see orangutans and rare proboscis monkeys in their natural habitats. 8.30pm: Once darkness descends, Mulu

9am:

slumbers. The electricity in the home-stays is turned off at 11pm, giving respite from insects the size of light aircraft smacking into the porch lights all evening. Take the time to appreciate the stars: I have not seen a night sky with such humbling clarity before or since. After spending the day out of breath, Mulu at night will snatch it one last time.

picturesque background of the city, this festival is for every culture lover.

Medieval Festival, San Marino: July 27-28 Calling all history buffs. Hear the sound of trumpets and drums in the distance as you watch Medieval theatre performances, archery and jousting competitions, parades and fire-breathers.

San Fermin festival (Running of the Bulls), Pamplona, Spain: July 6-14 The running of the bulls is only one aspect of the famous San Fermin festival. Other events include music, fireworks and the Running of the Nudes – a PETA-sponsored protest and fleshy Spanish Fiesta – that will attract adrenaline junkies and party animals to this nine-day celebration.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland: Aug 9-Sept 2 Enjoy three uplifting weeks with the best from theatre and comedy in this beautiful city. Anyone can perform, so expect the unexpected.

Bastille Day, Paris, France: July 14 If you have been wondering where to take your lover in summer, here is your answer. This national holiday leaves the whole of Paris buzzing. There are parades to see, fireworks to watch and hands to hold.

La Tomatina Fiesta, Valencia, Spain: Aug 29 This tomato-throwing festival made it into The Guinness Book of Records as the largest annual food fight. Nobody knows how it all started but it always ends in a big red mess.

Regatta Storica, Venice, Italy: Sept 2 There are over a hundred regattas in the water-bound city of Venice during spring and summer time, but none is more extravagant than the Regatta Storica. Festes Merce, Barcelona, Spain: Sept 24 This festival honouring Barcelona’s patron saint has parades, free concerts, swimming contests and shows, with a Spanish fire run and a human pyramid contest that make it one for the daredevils. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany: Sept 22-Oct 7 You definitely have to be able to hold your drink for this festival. If you can, pack your mate and the ‘Lederhosen’ and join the fun.


At Fiestavals, we believe there is only one thing better than a good party... An epic festival! We pride ourselves in offering affordable, quality tours, which are super well organised and pay attention to those little details - Our passengers are our number one priority. If you only get one chance to festival, do it in style. Fiestavals. OKTOBERFEST GERMANY PRICE: £299 20TH – 25TH SEPT 2012

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OTHER FESTIVALS INCLUDE: PAMPLONA, IL PALIO & SKI AUSTRIA READ MORE ABOUT OUR TOURS ON: WWW.FIESTAVALS.COM


— 40

Style Study COSMETIC SURGERY

More of us are seeking perfection at the end of a scalpel. But is cosmetic surgery really the answer, asks Dominic Wells?

T

here’s a cartoon you may have seen: a Western woman in bikini and shades walks past a Muslim woman in full robe and hijab. ‘Everything covered but her eyes,’ reads the pitying thought bubble from the Western woman, concluding: ‘What a cruel, male-dominated culture.’ The thought bubble from the Muslim woman is just as pitying: ‘Nothing covered but her eyes – what a cruel, male-dominated culture.’ Regardless of which view you most sympathise with, the body has never been more publicly scrutinised. Heat magazine pillories celebrities alternately for being too fat, or too thin. Lifestyle and fashion mags Photoshop even the most glamorous models and celebs into unattainable perfection. Is it any wonder that cosmetic surgery is on the rise? A poll of 3,000 women last year revealed that a quarter first considered plastic surgery between the ages of 10 and 15. A separate survey by Girlguiding found that half of young women aged 16-21 would consider cosmetic surgery. Men aren’t immune. When I was a teenager, I hated my big nose, and spent a while at uni talking to people through my fingers, hiding my face behind my hand. But you grow older. Happier in the skin you’re in. There’s no such thing as perfection: even supermodels will find something to hate about their looks. The solution usually

doesn’t lie outside, but inside. Cosmetic surgery patients are three times as likely to commit suicide, three times as likely to die from self-destructive acts such as bingedrinking or drug abuse. Yet according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons – yes, that is ‘BAAPS’ for short – 43,069 surgical procedures were carried out in the UK last year, a 5.8% increase on 2010. That’s without even counting non-invasive procedures such as Botox injections. The figure for America is 1.6 million – or a staggering 13.8 million if you include the likes of Botox. And it’s by no means a purely Western phenomenon. South Korea has the most procedures per capita in the world, the most common one in the Far East being surgery to make single-crease eyelids more Westernlooking. As far back as the second world war, Japanese prostitutes had primitive boob jobs to make themselves more attractive to US soldiers, injecting paraffin or polyether sponges into their chests. The science of plastic surgery actually originated in India, as far back as 600 BC. Criminals and adulterers then were punished by having their noses cut off. Sushruta, a doctor, pioneered the technique of replacing it with skin from the cheek or forehead. It was through examining Indian surgeons at work in the 18th century that British physicians first learned to perform rhinoplasties (nose jobs).

‘In Brazil it's long been common for well-heeled daughters to get a boob job as an 18th birthday present’


Style Study COSMETIC SURGERY

­— 41

This sort of work was painful and dangerous without modern anaesthetic and antibiotics, and restricted to reconstructive surgery. Its semi-casual use for reasons of vanity and body image is a modern construct – though not as modern as you might think. A three-page article in a 1930 issue of Photoplay describes how ‘Dr Ginsburg alone, in five years in Hollywood, has operated on no fewer than 600 movie people.’ Rudolf Valentino and Clark Gable both had their jug ears pinned back. Marilyn Monroe not only changed her name and hair colour, but also her nose and, some believe, chin. The difference now is that it’s come out of the closet. Michael Jackson repeatedly denied having plastic surgery, despite spectacular evidence to the contrary. (As


— 42

Style Study COSMETIC SURGERY

the old joke goes, he had a Roman nose – Roamin’ all over his face). Victoria Beckham refused to admit until recently that the two footballs on her teeny torso were man-made. But now, it’s become ‘so-what’. Hollywood hunk Ryan Gosling recently said, ‘I’m an actor, I’m supposed to get it [plastic surgery] done.’ Sharon Osbourne has spent about £150,000 on procedures, with Demi Moore investing an estimated £240,000 in sculpting the perfect body. For all the good that did her. The trickle-down effect from these celebrities is that cosmetic surgery is increasingly normalised. Some people think no more about it than putting on make-up. According to America’s Psychology Today magazine, ‘back-to-school surgery’ is a huge growth area. ‘I was going to buy my daughter a car,’ said one dad, ‘like my father did when I graduated [from High School], but this will last her a lifetime.’ 15 per cent of all cosmetic surgery in the States is performed on under-21s. In Brazil it’s long been common for well-heeled daughters to get a boob job as an 18th birthday present. And in Beijing, according to a Chinese study, up to 80 per cent of procedures last year were performed on students in their teens and twenties. ‘Il faut souffrir pour etre belle’ is an old French saying: ‘You have to suffer to be beautiful.’ They were thinking of diets and highheeled shoes, however, not of having your nose cartilage sliced with a scalpel and the bone literally chiselled off; nor of having your breasts cut up, silicone forced in, and the nipples moved up so reducing sensitivity and risking complications with breast-feeding. Let alone the potential for surgical error, such as the recent scandal in which 40,000 British women discovered they had received PIP breast implants with a dangerously low grade of industrial silicone. Happy 18th birthday, darling. Adrien Brody’s heroic hooter didn’t stop him winning an Oscar. Glee’s Lea Michele stood firm against pressure to get a nose-job, on the gounds that her idol Barbra Streisand never had to. Kirsten Dunst thinks her snaggly teeth give her character. And would Cindy Crawford ever have got so famous without her distinctive mole? It was airbrushed off her first Vogue cover, but she rightly insisted never again. When a million scalpels have made us all painfully perfect, and everyone wears exactly the same razor nose, doubtless we’ll see a new vogue in plastic surgery – to make us all look different again.l

A slice of life

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Sushruta rejoices in the title ‘The Father of Surgery’ and is credited for having performed the earliest dated rhinoplasty (nose job). His pioneering techniques, such as the forehead-flap rhinoplasty, spread to Italy in the fifteenth century (though they used elbow skin instead) and are still used today.

Jocelyn Wildenstein, aka The Bride of Wildenstein, is often bracketed with ‘plastic surgery gone wrong’, like Michael Jackson, Heidi Montag and Donatella Versace. But she wants to look this way. She started her £2million-plus of operations in a vain attempt to win back her cheating husband who loved exotic wild cats.

Thanks to Botox, Madame Tussaud's waxworks are now more lifelike than the original celebs. This paralyzing poison was originally used to prevent sweating, but was approved to remove wrinkles – and any semblance of normal human expression -- by the FDA in 2002. Ageing celebrities have never looked back. Or up.

Walter Yeo is the first solder thought to have benefited from plastic surgery. Whilst manning the guns on board a ship he suffered horrendous facial injuries, including the loss of upper and lower eyelids. In a pioneering operation, Sir Harold Gillies transferred skin from undamaged areas of Walter's body.

Elton John is the most famous recipient of what was then pioneering hair transplant surgery. He was mocked at the time, but so many men have followed suit (or hirsute?) that hairlines no longer made headlines: famous transplantees include John Cleese, James Nesbitt, Wayne Rooney and Gordon Ramsay.

This was also the year when ‘trout pout’ entered the modern lexicon. Collagen injections are meant to give kissable, perma-puckered lips, but for actress Lesley Ash, then starring in the TV series Cops, the operation went terribly wrong: she ended up less like Angelina Jolie, and more like the star of Finding Nemo.

The first woman to get modern silicone implants was Texan Timmy Jean Lindsey. She only wanted her ears done, but the surgeons said they’d fix them for free if she’d be their guinea pig. It took another three decades for women like Pamela Anderson and Katie Price to recognise the economic benefits of inflation.

Lolo Ferrari had the first of 22 breast enlargement operations (a Guinness world record) that would give her a 71-inch bust, TV fame and a series of medical afflictions. ‘All this stuff has been because I can’t stand life,’ she once said. ‘But it hasn’t changed anything.’ She committed suicide ten years later.

Not all cosmetic surgery is pure vanity. Ex-model Katie Piper is an ambassador for disfigured, disabled and burn victims. She had sulphuric acid thrown onto her face on the orders of her ex-boyfriend, and has since had over 100 procedures, including pioneering treatment on her left eye to restore her sight.


directory of

world

Intellect publishers of original thinking | www.intellectbooks.com

cinema World Film Locations New book series from Intellect

Directory of World Cinema: Iran

Directory of World Cinema: Germany

Directory of World Cinema: American Hollywood

Edited by Parviz Jahed

Edited by Michelle Langford

Edited by Lincoln Geraghty

ISBN 9781841503998 Paperback | £15.95, $25

ISBN 9781841504650 Paperback | £15.95, $25

ISBN 9781841504155 Paperback | £15.95, $25

This addition to Intellect’s Directory of World Cinema series turns the spotlight on the award-winning cinema of Iran, with particular attention to the major genres and movements, historical turning points, and prominent figures that have helped shape it. A wide range of genres are presented, including Film Farsi, New Wave, War film, art house film and women’s cinema.

From bleak Expressionist works to the edgy political cinema of the New German Cinema and the feel-good Heimat films of the postwar era, Directory of World Cinema: Germany aims to offer a wider film and cultural context for thefilms that have emerged from Germany - including some of the East German films recently made available to Western audiences for the first time.

Directory of World Cinema: American Hollywood lays out the cinematic history of Tinseltown - the industry, the audiences,and, of course, the stars - highlighting important thematic and cultural elements throughout. Profiles and analyses of many of the industry’s most talented and prolific directors give insights into their impact on Hollywood and beyond.

Intellect is an independent academic publisher of books and journals, to view our catalogue or order our titles visit www.intellectbooks.com or E-mail: orders@intellectbooks.com. Intellect, The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, UK, BS16 3JG. Telephone: +44 (0) 117 9589910.

Coming soon: Istanbul, Vienna, Madrid, Las Vegas and New Orleans.


— 44

Photo-story LONDON OLYMPICS

crown - Martine Rose


Photo-story LONDON OLYMPICS

­—45

Going for gold

The London Olympics can inspire fashion photographers as well as athletes. Rankin graduate Rachell Smith reveals the story behind our shoot

STYLIST: NICKQUE PATTERSON ASSISTANT: MIGUEL SANTOS MODEL: JUWON ABIOLA @ STORM MODELS

s


— 46

Photo-story LONDON OLYMPICS

s

I

live near the Olympic stadium and spend most of my time photographing the body, so I wanted to do a shoot inspired by the Olympian Gods. As a little challenge I thought instead of doing a story in London why not take it to the English coast line? I also wanted dramatic sea and for the styling to be minimal to show more body. And with a gorgeous model with athletic features... why not! The day we shot was freezing outside. Dealing with the cold was hard: I couldn’t have asked for a better model, he put on a brave face. We were a small team: my assistant helped me with equipment while I figured out the spots to shoot, and the stylist and assistant were looking after the model and dressing him. Even though it was freezing we had fun.

‘Rankin taught me that you must always have ideas for any shoot’

At 18, I moved to London to do a photography degree at The London College of Communication. The course was more theoretical than practical. The facilities were there but you have to learn yourself. Afterwards I was lucky enough to work with Rankin for three years. I’d done a week’s work experience at his studio in my second year at university, and thought I would never go back. But a few months after I graduated, I heard Rankin was looking for a full-time assistant and I jumped at the opportunity.

most important thing was how to be creative. Rankin once said to me that you must always come up with ideas for any shoot. I’ve tried to follow that since striking out on my own.

What I learned from him I could write a book on! He is the hardest working man I have ever met. I learned so many technical things about lighting and equipment, how to speak to clients and multitask, but the

If I had any advice for budding photographers it would be to work hard, and get work experience: this will prepare you for the future and the working world. Always come up with your own ideas and don’t copy others. Experiment with lighting and your techniques. It’s okay if you’re not sure what area of photography you want to go into straight away, this will come when you start working. And if you’re studying, don’t just rely on your lecturers: get hands-on with equipment, and get yourself out there!

s

It was my granddad who introduced me to photography. At school, when I was 13 or 14, I loved art class. I painted watercolours

of landscapes and people. But because of him I started to take photographs of local people and places to paint from. Soon I fell in love with the photographs themselves and the paintings became less important.

black rather top - J W Anderson

gold top - BALMUNG @ Primitive


top worn as scarf - James Long

Photo-story Photo-story ­—47 LONDON LONDON OLYMPICS OLYMPICS


— 48

Photo-story London Olympics

s ∂Dress, Versace for H & M, H & M, £149.99 ∂Heart and pin crystal ladies’ watch, Vivienne Westwood, Selfridges, £199

∂Limited Edition Swarovski Crystal Court shoes, Karen Millen, £295 ∂Nike Air Royalty High w

bottoms - Horace

∂Limited Edition Swarovski Crystal iPhone Case, Karen Millen, £105


Photo-story STREET DANCE

­—49


— 50

Inside Job PERSONAL TRAINER

Personal trainer —NICOLA ADDISON

Nicola Addison, 31, ditched university to become a personal trainer. She now co-owns and runs the Eqvvs exercise studio in Harrods, and re-shapes celebs such as Daisy Lowe. How did you get into personal training? I was always massively into sport at school, and I felt at the end of my A-Levels I was being a bit of a sheep and going with the flow towards university. So I researched and did career days, and one was on vocational qualifications. While my friends were ‘You taking a Gap Year, I ended up doing can lose a YMCA diploma. It was fantastic weight because it applied everything I had learned at A-Level doing Biology, by Psychology, Sports Science and Sociology. eating

more’

Any advice for would-be personal trainers? A lot of people go to uni and back to a vocational course. YMCA are amazing. When I did it it was £1,000, but now it’s £3,000. NASM is a really good course, some of it is home study, some in groups, and only about £500. You end up with a great qualification, and you can do it as a hobby if you like, alongside other studying. And how do you find a job? I always advocate, go to the health club you really want to work in and find out about them. Have a coffee with whoever looks after recruitment. I get just blanket CVs, sometimes I call the people up and they don’t even know who I am. That’s not the way to go. As this is our Body issue, what’s the key to keeping fit? Sometimes we set ourselves up to fail. People think it has to be three times a week, for an hour, or you’ll be banished from the gym. Even a brisk 20-minute walk is something. I have an 80-20 rule: eat and sleep well for 80% of the time, and the other 20%, just have fun. There are so many exercises you can do at home without

equipment. On our website, we have blogs of workouts and ten-minute sessions. And activity is just as important as exercise: walking, hoovering, kicking a football. Get up and do stuff! Daisy Lowe says your sessions are ‘more like a school PE lesson than a strict regime’. What does she mean? We have fun! To train back muscles you can always do a lat pull-down, but we might do a tug-of-war. When we started, Daisy said I’d be lucky to get her for six weeks. That was a year and half ago. I taught her that you can lose weight by eating more: too much of a calorie deficit sends the body into starvation mode, conserving fat. And if you exercise with weights, not just a treadmill, muscle is an active thing that carries on burning calories after you stop training. You’ve helped create the Mayesbrook Park Sports Arena in Dagenham for the Olympics. Tell us about it. It’s a sports hall you could park three Boeing 747s in, and integrates sport and health and fitness under one roof. I’ve been involved with it for three years. I’m incredibly excited about the Olympics: for two weeks over Wimbledon you cannot get on a tennis court in London. In the same way, the Olympics will really drive fitness and sport through in this country, and create amazing athletes in future. More tips can be found at www.eqvvs.com


For more information visit ymcaclub.co.uk or call 020 7343 1700 quoting reference: The Book

scan to see the

virtual tour

Ts and Cs apply

Registered charity number: 213121


london 1st June 8pm, 2nd June 7pm www.stratford-circus.com

poole 12th June 7.30pm, 13th June 7.30pm www.lighthousepoole.co.uk

oxford 8th June 8pm, 9th June 7.30pm www.oxfordplayhouse.com

Cardiff 16th June 7.30pm, 17th June 3pm www.shermancymru.co.uk

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Photos by Heli Sorjonen. Printed on recycled paper.

www.cryingoutloud.org


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