MY STORY Crossing boundaries with Kathak

British-born dancer Sonia Sabri founded her own dance company with her husband Sarvar in Birmingham
14 years ago. her work is India-inspired within a British context, and has earned an international reputation

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CULTURE CAPITAL Carry on regardless

Leeds is the bookies favourite for Europe Capital of Culture in 2023 – a prize that might not be awarded. But the city’s leaders aren’t worried. Patrick Kelly reports

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FESTIVALS Blackpool lightpool

Blackpool’s famous illuminations are not just about nostalgia – contemporary artists are on the prom-tiddly-om-pom-pom, too, as Patrick Kelly discovers

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GOOD PRACTICE Highfliers meet the Swans

Bromley-based Magpie Dance supports people with learning difficulties through dance, and this year embarked on its biggest ever tour with its training company. Operations co-ordinator Jessica Lucy Richards reports

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THE WORD Reliable structures need dependable foundations

Christopher Gordon  argues that the current crisis in local authority cultural funding, highlighted by the plight of the new art gallery Walsall, could have been avoided – two decades ago

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DEA BIRKETT Our ring of confidence

Dea Birkett invites us all to join
 her in the big top

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HERITAGE Charterhouse, London’s medieval secret

The Museum of London is about to open a new museum inside a little known historic building that is a direct route through London’s story to the Black Death. Simon Tait reports

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AI PROFILE Making a Mark

Mark Dobson, Royal Exchange Theatre

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A cathedral for design

The Design Museum has opened in Kensington in the former Commonwealth Institute, in a minimalist “retuning” of the building that gives three times the space of the museum’s former home. Simon Tait reports

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PARICK KELLY'S Back page

 AI's choice of the best to come

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SIMON TAIT'S DIARY Teddy bird

The film director Ken Russell (Women in Love, The Boyfriend, The Devils) was “someone who thought with his eyes”, said the critic Mark Kermode, and it turns out that
it was not just through the lens of a movie camera.

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FIRST WORD The Rice stuff

First Word is a new AI occasional feature in which young practitioners give their views on major arts issues. In the first First Word, Rachel Ruth Kelly asks what message the dismissal of Emma Rice, the Globe’s artistic director, sends to young women in theatre

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