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Alfio Agostini

The founder and editor-in-chief of BallettoOggi since 1980 (then BALLET2000 as an international dance magazine) he has also contributed to daily newspaper Il Corriere d’Informazione, weekly Il Mondo and various international dancemagazines (Danse, Avant-Scène, Taniec, Danser, etc.). He was the co-author, with Mario Pasi, of an encyclopaedic volume (Il Balletto, repertorio del teatro di danza, Mondadori, 1979), translated and published in France, Spain, Germany and in the USA (as The Simon&Schuster Book of the Ballet, 1980), and penned contributions to the European Encyclopaedia and both the Garzanti and Rizzoli-Larousse encyclopaedias of music. He has had his own TV programmes – including a series on "Dance and Education" for Channel 3 of Italy’s national broadcaster RAI (1984), a long series on opera and ballet on Swiss cultural TV channel "Musimag" and various programmes and reportages on TelePiù Classica (1997-98). He has received several awards, including the "Positano Prize for the Art of Dance" and the "Criticism & Culture of Ballet Award" at the International Ballet Festival of Miami (USA), and has been a jury member for various choreography competitions. As well as delivering lectures and holding conferences and seminars in Italy and around the world; he has, as an artistic advisor, collaborated with major theatres and international festivals and presented various companies and artists.

Erik Aschengreen

Danish dance critic and historian. From 1964 to 2005 he was the dance critic for daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende in Copenhagen. As a professor at the University of Copenhagen from 1969 to 2000, he was head of the Dance Department and founder of the Dance History and Aesthetics programme. From 1971 to 1993, Aschengreen was also a lecturer on ballet history at the Royal Danish Ballet School. He has delivered lectures at many universities around the world and has been a correspondent of many international magazines. He has written a series of books, including The Beautiful Danger (1974), which is about the Romantic ballet in France and Denmark, Jean Cocteau and the Dance (1986) and Der går dans (1998), a 700-page book on the history of the Royal Danish Ballet between 1948 and 1998. His latest publication, in 2005, is a biography of Danish choreographer Harald Lander – Mester. Historien om Harald Lander, which has also been published in English (2009).

Leonetta Bentivoglio

Leonetta Bentivoglio graduated in philosophy from the University of Rome, the city where she lives and works as a writer and journalist. She has been a consultant for various festivals and theatre and music events, both in Italy and abroad, and has has been a cultural reporter for daily newspaper La Repubblica since 1992. Mainly writing about dance, music, opera and movie, Leonetta Bentivoglio also published many interviews with art and cultural celebrities. She is the author of La danza moderna (1977) and La danza contemporanea (1985, with numerous subsequent re-printings, published by Longanesi), Il teatro di Pina Bausch (1991, translated into three different languages, published by Ubulibri) and of an essay on Verdi’s operas, Il mio Verdi (published by Socrates). In 2007 another book of hers on Pina Bausch was published in France and in Germany, by Franco-German publisher L’Arche; it was later also published in Italy (2008, Ed. Barbès) under the title Vieni, balla con me. Her book Corpi senza menzogna, on the actor/director Pippo Delbono, was published in 2009 (Barbès).

Donatella Bertozzi

Donatella Bertozzi studied modern dance in Rome and dance and ballet theory and history in London. She has contributed to numerous publications and worked on radio and television. For many years, her principal activity has been that of dance critic for Rome’s daily newspaper Il Messaggero.

Valeria Crippa

Born in Milan, Valeria Crippa graduated in Modern Languages and Literature with a thesis on “Rudolf Nureyev and the English Ballet”.  In 1986, aged twenty, she began her career in the ballet world as editorial assistant at BALLET2000 whilst pursuing her studies at university and in modern and contemporary dance (Graham, Nikolais, Cunningham and Limòn techniques). From 1988 to 1992 she was Rudolf Nureyev’s press officer and tour manager. She became a journalist and critic and, since 1993, has been writing about dance,  the musical theatre and fashion for Italy’s leading daily. Il Corriere della Sera. Since 1997 he has also been contributing to  “Io Donna”, Corriere della Sera’s women’s magazine, reporting from all over the world – from Cuba to South Africa and the USA – on dance and the musical theatre. Valeria Crippa is the author of “Nureyev” (published in 2003 by Rizzoli in Italy and Rizzoli International in the USA) and “Savignano, anomalia di una stella” (Rizzoli, 2006) and, in more recent years, wrote the accompanying texts of two photograph books: “Roberto Bolle alla Scala” (Rizzoli, 2008) and “Eleonora Abbagnato” (published in 2013 by Skira in Italy and Rizzoli International in the USA). A specialist on body anthropology and oriental culture, following a Y.A.N.I. (National Association of Yoga Teachers) 4-year training course, in  2006 she was responsible for the publishing project that led to “Yoga Journal”, the first Italian yoga magazine, of which she was also the editor.


Clement Crisp

Educated at the Universities of Oxford and Bordeaux (France), Clement Crisp has been ballet critic for The Spectator (1966-70) and The Financial Times (since 1970) and is one of Britain's most renowned critics. He has been librarian and archivist of the Royal Academy of Dancing since 1985 and taught at the University of Notre Dame in London. Crisp is the author of Ballet for All (with P. Brinson, London, 1970, 1980) and of the following (written with Mary Clarke): Ballet:An Illustrated History (London, 1973, revised edition, 1992); Making a Ballet (London, 1974); Ballet in Art (1976); Design for Ballet (London, 1978); Introducing Ballet (1978); History of Dance (London, 1981); The Balletgoer's Guide (1981); Dancer (1984); and Ballerina (1987). He has received the following awards: Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, Royal Academy of Dancing, 1992; Knight of the Order of Dannebrog, Denmark, 1992.

Gerald Dowler

Educated at the University of Oxford, Gerald Dowler has been writing on dance for over twenty years.  He is a main contributor to Dancing Times, the UK’s oldest dance publication, writing reviews, conducting interviews and contributing articles on aspects of dance history.  He is also a regular reviewer for The Financial Times, travelling frequently within Europe, and has developed dance coverage for the respected classical music website Gerald writes programme notes for the major dance companies and houses in the UK and is well-known as a lecturer and interviewer at Anna Pavlova’s house Ivy House, the London Ballet Circle amongst others.

Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino

graduated in philosophy from Turin University and has been writing on ballet and contemporary dance for daily newspapers (at present Il Giorno La Nazione Il Resto del Carlino), international magazines (Tanz International, Classic Voice) and theatre programmes (Milan La Scala and others) for over thirty years. She is the author of books on Maurice Béjart, Jirí Kylián, Pina Bausch, Futurist dance and today’s globalised dance (Altre scene, altre danze, 1991), as well as on the subject of which she is considered an expert, i.e. dance on video and multimedia (La musa dello schermo freddo, 1996). She has been on radio, especially Rai 3, directed TV programmes for cultural channels (Tele+3, Rai Sat Show, Rai 5) and curated exhibitions, such as La Danza delle Avanguardie at the MART, Rovereto-Trento (Italy). She has many devoted pupils as a consequence of her teaching Dance History at Bologna University – Music and Performing Arts Department (DAMS), at professional dance schools, such as the Ballet School of La Scala, Milan, and at the Music and Performing Arts School (MAS) where she is now director of the Contemporary Dance section. She has inspired debates and held conferences, but – most importantly – she continues to dance for her own pleasure: Argentinian tango, of which she is also a teacher.

Marinella Guatterini






Marc Haegeman

lives in Ghent, Belgium and, apart from being a critic, is also a dance photographer. He travels extensively, out of love for the Art of Terpsichore and, especially, to follow the Russian ballet. He has been writing for BALLET2000 since 2002 but also contributes to magazines such as Dance View and Danceviewtimes, Ballet Alert (Washington DC), The Dancing Times (London), Dance Now (London), Dance International (Vancouver), Dance Magazine (USA), Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Moscow), and Brolga (Australia). His photographs are published in those magazines, in theatres programmes and in many other publications about dance. Some of Marc Haegeman’s photographs and articles are available on his website:

Anna Kisselgoff

was Chief Dance Critic of the New York Times from 1977 to 2005, leaving the staff in 2006. She continues to contribute to the paper while freelancing elsewhere and lecturing. Over the years she has reviewed ballet, modern dance, folk dance, ethnic dance, tap dance, Michael Jackson and ice dancing. She began studying ballet  as a child in New York, first with Valentina Belova and, later, with Jean Yazvinsky (a former dancer with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes). After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she received an M.A. in European History from Columbia University and an M.S. from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She then worked in Paris on the English desk of Agence France-Presse and for the International Edition of the New York Times before joining the Times in New York.  Anna Kisselgoff was editorial consultant for  Bronislava Nijinska: Early Memoirs and taught at Yale University and Barnard College in New York. She was made a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government, and was awarded the Order of the Falcon by the President of Iceland.

Dieudonné Korolakina

Cultural journalist Dieudonné Korolakina lives and works in Lomé (Togo).  His début in dance journalism was the result of a workshop given by French critic and theoretician Marie-Christine Vernay (Libération) at the 2005 Choreographic Encounters in Carthage (Tunisia), following which Dieudonné has followed dance festivals in various African countries, France and the USA. In the course of his activity he met New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff who has become his principal advisor.  He is the editor of bi-weekly Togo Matin which devotes ample space to culture, the arts and, of course, dance. Dieudonné has been a contributor to BALLET2000 since 2017.

Kevin Ng

Dance critic Kevin Ng lives between Hong Kong and London. He writes about dance for many newspapers, such as Hong Kong Economic Journal, The Financial Times, St. Petersburg Times, BALLET2000, Dance Expression (UK), Dance Now (UK), Ballet Review (USA), and Shinshokan Dance Magazine (Japan).

Jean-Pierre Pastori

He says he is a writer of "dance-related stuff" and, in addition to this, a critic and journalist. After contributing to many newspapers and magazines he now contributes solely to BALLET2000, and to Swiss daily newspaper 24 Heures. He is the autor of about fifteen books, including: La Danse (a dance history manual, Gallimard 1996-97), L’Homme et la danse (1980), A Corps perdu (1983), Soleil de nuit - La Renaissance des Ballets Russes (1993), Serge Lifar, la beauté du diable (2009). Jean-Pierre Pastori is the founder and president of the Swiss Dance Archives. He lives between Lausanne, his home-city, and Berlin.

Martine Planells

After being a news desk journalist with Quotidien de Paris (1979-1985), Martine contributed to magazine Pour la Danse and then worked for Danser (1989-2006). From 1986 to 1991 she contributed to Atouts, 7 à Paris, Théâtres-Théâtre, and coordinated and wrote various dance entries for L’Encyclopédie Atlas. In 1991 she joined the cultural staff at LÉvénement du Jeudi where she was responsible for the dance column until  1995. She took part in France3’s programme Entrac’tes (1993-1994) and, from 1996 to 2007, as a producer for France Culture and France Musique made programmes on Claude Bessy, Serge Lifar, Jean Babilée and Rudolf Nureyev. She is the author of four stories in Mes 15 plus belles histoires de danse with a preface by Paris Opéra étoile, Agnès Letestu (Hachette Jeunesse, 2012). Martine lives and works in Paris.

Olga Rozanova

Born in Leningrad, Olga Rozanova now lives in… St Petersburg. She studied at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy and graduated as dancer and teacher of dance, while continuing her studies at the National Theater Academy. Now she teaches Dance History and Theory at the Academy of Saint Petersburg. Olga Rozanova has written many essays, above all on the history of Russian ballet and Marius Petipa’s work, but also about Soviet avant-garde choregraphy. She contributes to many dance magazines, Russian and international.

Roger Salas

was born in Cuba and lived in Milan before moving to Madrid, where he has been dance critic for the famous daily newspaper El País since 1985. So he is in fact the pre-eminent Spanish-writing dance journalist in the world. Professor of Dance History at Madrid University, he has penned numerous essays and contributed to encyclopaedias (including Enciclopedia Treccani in Italy and Enciclopedía de la Transición in Spain), organized cultural events (including – of fundamental importance to Spanish dance studies – the World Congress of the Bolero School, Madrid, 1992). He is the editor and founder of the Periodico del Arte (Spanish edition) and has been the Spanish Ministry of Culture’s dance consultant and co-director of the "Madrid en danza" festival; Besides his work as a dance critic, Roger Salas is also noted for his theatrical activity, as a scenery and costume designer: in that capacity he has worked for (among others) the Kirov Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, the Víctor Ullate’s Ballet in Madrid and Dutch company Introdans. As an author, he written several books of short stories and a novel (Florinda y los boleros de cristal).

Sonia Schoonejans

was born in Flanders and lived and studied dance in Brussels, during the golden years of the Maurice Béjart’s Ballet du XXe Siècle, with whom she also occasionally collaborated. She lived in Italy where she dedicated herself to literature and cinema: she was a pupil of Alberto Moravia and worked with Federico Fellini (later writing a book about this experience entitled Une année avec Fellini). She subsequently moved to Paris, where she still lives today. Sonia Schoonejans writes about dance for several publications, has been editor-in-chief of the "L’Art de la Danse" series (published by Actes Sud) and of "Territoires de la Danse" (Éditions Complexe), and is also the author of Le geste de Lacan (2008). She has made films, videos and television programmes on dance; her travelling exhibition La Danse du siècle, presented in many European cities, has been highly successful.

René Sirvin

René Sirvin has been the dance critic for French newspaper L’Aurore since 1959 and for daily Le Figaro since 1979 and also writes about dance on the Internet ( He has contributed to many periodicals and books on dance, appeared on TV programmes and held conferences, etc. He also writes about opera and edits theatre scripts, while continuing his various dance critic activities. He lives between Paris and his home in Britanny (France).

Isis Wirth

was born in Havana, Cuba. She graduated in history of art from the University of Havana, she has collaborated on the texts for the National Ballet of Cuba for several years. She worked for Ballet, a programme on the Cuban national broadcaster, and contributed articles and essays on dance and ballet to several Cuban publications. She subsequently became a dance critic for daily newspapers ABC (Spain), Listín Diario (Dominican Republic), El Nuevo Herald (Miami, USA), for the Latin-American review Tiempos del Mundo and contributes to various cultural reviews in Spanish. Her book Después de Giselle (2008) is an anthology of her articles and essays, written over a period of thirty years. She has lived and followed dance in many countries – Swtizerland, Syria, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Germany – and is at present living in Paris.

BALLET2000's contributors forever fondly remembered:
Clive Barnes
Ann Barzel
Natalia Chernova
Bengt Häger
Irène Lidova
Vittoria Ottolenghi
Mario Pasi

Freda Pitt
Emmanuèle Rüegger

Horst Kögler


editorial staff


Cristiano Merlo
Editorial Assistant.
Cristiano Merlo graduated from the Ballet School of La Scala, Milan, has a degree in French Literature and obtained a research doctorate in Comparative Literature. He has had an assistant university lectureship and, as a journalist, has written extensively about ballet, literature and cinema. He has been a member of the editorial staff of BALLET2000 since 1999.


Simonetta Allder
Editor and Chief Translator of the BALLET2000 International English Edition.
Born and raised in London, Simonetta Allder now splits her time between her homes in Rome and London. She studied in England and Italy, as well as in France and Portugal, and graduated in Modern Languages from the University of Rome. Press Officer at the Canadian Embassy in Rome for many years, she also pursued a career in journalism as a dance critic for several Italian newspapers (L’Umanità, Momento Sera, Italia Sera) and magazines (including Ballando, La Danza, La Rivista del Cinematografo). Author of and consultant for various TV/radio programmes, Simonetta Allder is an expert on ballet music and wrote and hosted the following RAI3 radio programmes on Italy’s national broadcaster: Musica sulle punte, Musica da balletto nella tradizione inglese and Mezzo secolo di musica per balletto in Francia.


Luca Ruzza
Photo coordinator, Layout, Graphics.
Luca Ruzza graduated in Design from the University of Architecture, Venice. He studied ballet and modern dance for several years and now applies his acquired skills to the visual component of BALLET2000.