sat 13/08/2022

dance

theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival 2022 - body and soul in perfect balance

David Nice

For once, a festival theme has meaning. “Tra la carne e il cielo”, “Between flesh and heaven”, is how Pier Paolo Pasolini, the centenary of whose birth we mark this year, defined his early experience of hearing the Siciliana movement of Bach’s First Violin Sonata (adding that he inclined to the fleshly). It provided the perfect epigraph to the four Ravenna Festival performances I attended this year, three of them as stunning as any hybrid event I’ve ever witnessed.

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The Rite of Spring, Pina Bausch/École des Sables, Sadler's Wells review - explosive and disturbing

Jenny Gilbert

Superstition, herd instinct, brutality, base terror. Whatever the precise narrative themes of Pina Bausch's response to The Rite of Spring – the most admired of dozens of dance settings of Igor Stravinsky’s score – it’s clear that it concerns aspects of behaviour deep-rooted in the human animal.

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The Car Man, Royal Albert Hall review - grand scale drama and decadence

Katie Colombus

Ever since his re-staging of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Matthew Bourne has managed to update the art of storytelling through dance steps and gesture in a way that others have struggled to achieve.

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Like Water for Chocolate, Royal Ballet review - confusing and ill-conceived

Jenny Gilbert

When George Balanchine said that “there are no mothers-in-law in ballet”, he wasn’t just stating the obvious. He meant that there are some things that simply cannot be expressed in dance. Emotion and nuance are a story-ballet’s native territory; factual complications are a no-go.

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Carmen, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - a flawed but fascinating retread

Jenny Gilbert

When Natalia Osipova comes a-calling, a choreographer doesn’t say no. The Bolshoi-trained ballerina, having commandeered all the prime roles in her nine years at the Royal Ballet, is always looking to conquer new territory. In a string of self-curated solo shows she has made forays into contemporary dance as well as staking out her supremacy as a dance-actress, often commissioning new work.

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Sacre, Circa Contemporary Circus, Brighton Festival review - an astonishing assortment of lifts and throws, daring and strength

Katie Colombus

Sacre isn’t your average big-top show. Created by Brisbane-based company Circa, this is modern circus meets contemporary dance – a conceptual deconstruction of the traditional experience, represented in a show of impressive strength, with real people reacting and responding to one another’s energies and intentions.

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Dance for Ukraine, London Coliseum, online review - a gala to remember

Jenny Gilbert

What do top ballet dancers keep permanently in their back pocket? Answer: a fully rehearsed, ready-to-go gala item, to judge by a one-off fundraising  event mounted in double-quick time at the Coliseum last month and now available to stream, raising more funds for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

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The Weathering/Solo Echo/DGV, Royal Ballet review - the dancer as chameleon

Jenny Gilbert

Of all the expectations one might have of a new ballet from a choreographer raised on street dance who has made work about the American prison system, serene loveliness isn’t one of them.

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet review - a magnificent revival

Jenny Gilbert

In a week that saw the Royal Opera House lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag and its orchestra playing the Ukrainian national anthem, many theatres and concert halls found ways to express their sympathy for that country’s desperate plight.

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La Mif review - Swiss docu-drama focuses on troubled teens

Saskia Baron

La Mif is French slang for family  - it’s the cool kids practice of reversing key words known as ‘verlan’ (itself l’envers backwards) to create their own language.

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