mon 08/02/2016

Dance Features

Best of 2015: Dance & Ballet

Hanna Weibye

It was business as usual in the British dance world in 2015. Looking back over the year, theartsdesk's dance critics see the industry's many talented, capable people continuing to do their jobs well...

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Yolanda Sonnabend: designer of MacMillan's 'neurotic' ballets

Ismene Brown

Ever since Diaghilev’s day the relationship of dance movement to its visual design has been a lively, sometimes combative affair. Sometimes people leave whistling the set, saying shame about the...

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Ex Kirov ballet chief takes not-so-Bolshoi job

Ismene Brown

The great Bolshoi ballerina Ludmila Semenyaka once told me that you need the claws of a tiger and the hide of a rhinoceros to survive at Moscow's iconic theatre. Her bitter words came to mind...

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An Open Book: Michael Hulls

Ismene Brown

The occupation “lighting designer” is too workaday to describe Michael Hulls. The artistry with which he casts illumination or shadow on some of the great dancers of our time make the idea of...

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Bolshoi Ballet acid attack leader loses his job

Ismene Brown

Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director whose sight was maimed two years ago by an acid attack organized by a disgruntled dancer, will lose his job when his contract expires next spring....

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Gavin Higgins

Graham Rickson

Composer Gavin Higgins and choreographer Mark Baldwin’s Dark Arteries is billed by Rambert as “the world’s first brass band dance work” and has its premiere this week at Sadler’s Wells. Higgins was...

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Maya Plisetskaya, 1925-2015

Ismene Brown

The great Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, renowned for her deathless Dying Swan and a performing career that lasted more than 60 years, died suddenly of a heart attack at home in Munich at the...

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Best of 2014: Dance & Ballet

Hanna Weibye

You usually know a good piece or performance when you see one, but sometimes you only identify a great one as such significantly after the fact. What better way to test a work's durability, then,...

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Opinion: Too Strictly? Battle in the ballroom

Marianka Swain

Ballroom dancing, that most civilised of pastimes, may seem an unlikely target for controversy, but a proposed rule change by the British Dance Council (BDC) has thrust our nation’s waltzers into a...

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Extracts: John Tusa - Pain in the Arts

Ismene Brown

In the midst of ferment as the arts world faces fast-shrinking public subsidy, Sir John Tusa, former managing director of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Arts Centre, publishes this week a...

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Hofesh Shechter: My Brighton Festival So Far

Hofesh Shechter

On a lovely sunny Saturday morning the Children’s Parade was a really amazing start to things. The Brighton Festival team, the mayor and I started the parade, leading from the front for a few streets...

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The Bolshoi acid trial begins - vitriol promised

Ismene Brown

Even by the grand Guignol standards of Russian ballet 2013, this week has been eventful. The trial of the Bolshoi dancer for attacking his boss with acid finally began on Tuesday, and with incredible...

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Technology's New Fields of Dreams in Dance

Ismene Brown

Technology and dance have long been ardent bedfellows. No other theatrical art gobbles up illusions and tricks quite as greedily and spits them out quite as intriguingly altered. Gaslight was a new...

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theartsdesk in Perm: To Russia With Romeo

Natalie Wheen

If you look at a map of Russia, you will find the city of Perm just west of the spine of the Ural Mountains which divides European Russia from Asia, about 720 miles north-east of Moscow. Just under...

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Still Shocking - The Rite of Spring 100 Years On

Ismene Brown

Victims driven to death by the mob, women and men violently rutting in animal costumes, a black comedy about a snatched baby, a naked man dancing alone in his own fantasy - many and varied are the...

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Sylvie Guillem on resurrecting Marguerite & Armand

Ismene Brown

There's grand larceny afoot in the Royal Opera House. Two of today's stars are stealing Fonteyn and Nureyev's signature ballet, and they're leaving some spectators' cherished beliefs shattered in...

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Dance: The Best of 2012

Ismene Brown

Offstage dramas made more waves than onstage, where dance-followers have much less to see, and a prospect of still less in this arid immediate future. The on-dit revolved around the Olympics...

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Black-Out Ballet: The Invisible Woman of British Ballet

Ismene Brown

In 2006 an elderly dancer died in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. She was 88, and had once been one of Britain's most recognised ballerinas. Why did she die in obscurity? Why is the great ballet company that...

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Royal Opera House chief Tony Hall to the BBC - now what?

Ismene Brown

So Tony Hall moves from heading the Royal Opera House to taking over the BBC as its new Director-General. I can't for a moment imagine a rerun of that crucial mini-conversation between Helen Boaden...

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Kenneth MacMillan Died 20 Years Ago

Ismene Brown

It's 20 years since the death, backstage at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, of a man who scripted high-wire emotions and extreme psychological states in a theatrical language that had widely...

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