sat 13/08/2022

Dance

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

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...

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

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...

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

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.This new re-working of his 2000 dance-noir, The Car Man...

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

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;...

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

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-...

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

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...

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Classical CDs: Toyshops, begging gods and a good year for Austrian music

 Mahler: Symphony No. 4 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov,with Chen Reiss (soprano) (Pentatone)Semyon Bychkov’s Mahler 4 is the first volume of a projected cycle from an orchestra with a surprisingly small Mahler discography. Mahler...

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

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,...

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

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. The name Kyle Abraham is not  new to Royal Ballet...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet review - a magnificent revival

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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The unexpurgated Clement Crisp - in memoriam

To the international world of ballet, Clement Crisp was the British critic to fear for half a century. Crisp's dance reviews for the Financial Times – "the pink 'un" – from 1970 until 2020 were legendary for their passionate...

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

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. Director Fred Bailif definitely wants to be down with the...

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