Begoña Cao: interview

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English National Ballet dancer Begoña Cao, star of ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘The Nutcracker’ is one of Time Out’s 40th birthday heroes

  • See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

    Who are your London heroes?

    ‘The parents and professionals who run Down’s South London and Small Steps providing speech and physical therapy for disabled children in south London.’

    What’s the biggest thing that’s happened in your field in London in the past 40 years?

    ‘The influence of choreographers such as George Balanchine (although he’s American), Ashton and MacMillan have among others contributed to the development of British choreography and ultimately the development of ballet from pure classicism to more neo-classical forms. Also, figures such as Fonteyn, Nureyev, Dowell, Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope have raised the significance of English dancers in dance history. And the rebuilding of the Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells in the late ’90s has been quite an important event.’

    What’s your favourite place or thing in London?

    ‘Tate Britain. My father used to take me and my sister there when we were little and make up stories about the paintings.’

    What’s your personal favourite moment in London? Where were you and what was happening?

    ‘Dancing at Wembley for last year’s Concert For Diana.’

    What does Time Out mean to you?

    ‘Time Out means I don’t miss out!’See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

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