wed 24/04/2024

Dance

All You Need Is Death review - a future folk horror classic

Music, when the singer’s voice dies away, vibrates in the memory. In the hypnotic new Irish horror film All You Need Is Death, those who search for long-unheard songs crave a certain melody that works a terrible magic on the living. In this...

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MacMillan Celebrated, Royal Ballet review - out of mothballs, three vintage works to marvel at

Triple bills can be a difficult sell for ballet companies. Audiences prefer big sets and costumes, and a storyline they can hum. It’s not hard to see why Kenneth MacMillan’s full-evening hits Romeo and Juliet and Manon have turned out to be such a...

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Carmen, English National Ballet review - lots of energy, even violence, but nothing new to say

The story of Carmen is catnip to choreographers. No matter how many times this 180-year-old narrative has been tweaked and reframed in art, theatre, opera, dance and film, they keep coming back for more – which is curious when you consider that...

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WAKE, National Stadium, Dublin review - a rainbow river of dance, song, and so much else

In what feels like the beginning, or at least the Old Testament, there was Riverdance. Now, ready to flow through the world once the world knows it needs it, there’s a rainbow-coloured river of just about everything musical and choreographic that’s...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet review - grand, eloquent, superb

In uncertain times like these, the single thing that every flagship ballet company needs is a convincing iteration of a 19th-century blockbuster. New works are all very well and necessary, but they don’t have the pulling power of Swan Lake, or the...

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First Person: Ten Years On - Flamenco guitarist Paco Peña pays tribute to his friend, the late, great Paco de Lucía

There are moments that forever remain imprinted in our consciousness, engraved on the general map of our lives. I cannot forget the excitement of seeing snow for the first time in Córdoba, aged three or four, rushing to walk on it only to slip...

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Dance for Ukraine Gala, London Palladium review - a second rich helping of international dancers

It’s tempting to see the second gala created by Ukrainian-born Ivan Putrov as a reflection of the shift in Ukraine’s fortunes since his first one in March 2022. Somehow, just weeks after Ukraine was invaded, Putrov and his fellow student in Kyiv,...

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Nelken: A Piece by Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells review - welcome return for an indelible classic

Perhaps the most memorable of the stage designs Peter Pabst created for Pina Bausch is back in London after nearly 20 years: a sea of erect pink silk carnations, the Nelken of the title. It’s canonical that there are 8,000 of them, but only the...

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Dark With Excessive Bright, Royal Ballet review - a close encounter with dancers stripped bare

The word “immersive” is overused. When an immersive experience can be anything from a foreign language course to a trip down the Amazon on a headset, what might immersive dance involve? Not watching from a plush-covered seat, probably, and the dance...

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La Strada, Sadler's Wells review - a long and bumpy road

Federico Fellini’s 1954 classic La Strada ought to be a gift to a choreographer. The film has pathos, good and evil, a bewitchingly gamine heroine, and incidental music by the great Nino Rota, a composer who can find melancholy in the music of...

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First Person: pioneering juggler Sean Gandini reflects on how the spirit of Pina Bausch has infiltrated his work

I am a juggler. My wife Kati Ylä-Hokkala is also a juggler. Our life for the last three decades has been juggling. We have been fortunate to be practising this art form at a time when mathematical and creative developments meant that our vocabulary...

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Manon, Royal Ballet review - a glorious half-century revival of a modern classic

It’s 50 years since the first, damning reviews of Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet Manon declared it to be too long and lumbered with terrible music. One of them also said that the title role was an appalling waste of the ballerina who, in the title role...

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