wed 01/02/2023

contemporary dance

Julie Cunningham & Co, Sadler's Wells review - a fine piece of work, with added spice

At the arthouse end of contemporary dance no one expects a packed house, still less serial packed houses for more than a week. Yet Sadler’s Wells was fully confident when it invited the dancer-choreographer Jules Cunningham – one of its New Wave...

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Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre review - bombastic musical let down by its songs

What do you mean you haven’t heard of the newsboys’ strike of 1899? It’s a classic David and Goliath story: a group of New York kids selling newspapers for Joseph Pulitzer (him of the prize), who take a stand when their boss tries to charge them 20...

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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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Dance (1979), Lyon Opera Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - luminous minimalism

Dance has long had an association with jewels and jewellery, which is something of an irony given that so few of today’s dancers earn the kind of money needed to buy any. Historically, male ballet fanciers would offer expensive trinkets post-...

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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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Acosta Danza, Sadler's Wells review - here comes the sun

If Carlos Acosta could have bottled the year-round sunshine of his native Cuba, he would have. Instead he did the next best thing and founded Acosta Danza. Seven years later, years which included a UK tour kiboshed by the first lockdown, when the...

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Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker!, Sadler's Wells Theatre review - new candy, but the nuts are off

The legendary quip of a sophisticated ballet critic that we are all one Nutcracker nearer death never rang so true as now. One goes to the theatre with one’s heart in one’s mouth, behind the partypooping mask.Matthew Bourne’s dance panto Nutcracker...

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Past Present, Linbury Theatre review - historic, but very much alive

Not so long ago, a few decades at most, anyone with a passing interest in dance knew what “modern” looked like. It was earthbound, usually barefoot, and it focussed on mundane movements such as walking or lying down as often as it looked like dance...

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Hofesh Shechter Company, Double Murder, Sadler's Wells review - a well-intentioned but misjudged double bill

If I had to sum up in a single impression the work I’ve seen of Brighton-based, Israeli-born choreographer Hofesh Shechter (now OBE), it would be that of a rock gig. His shows are noisy, populous affairs, and he writes his own drumbeat-driven music...

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theartsdesk in Hamburg: Ghost Light - a ballet in the time of corona

So the Royal Ballet is to make a live comeback, for one night only, on 9 October. Fielding the entire company of 100 dancers, suitably distanced, the enterprise is being hailed as a triumph of logistics. And so it is. But the fact remains that the...

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Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch’s 'The Rite of Spring' review - an explosive African rite

There’s sun and sand, and both are golden – but this is no holiday beach. Distantly, out of focus, you can make out a man with a donkey and cart. Off-camera, some locals kick a ball. A square of sand about the size of a tennis court has been...

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The Thread, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - Greek folk and contemporary unite

The latest Sadler’s Wells digital offering is 2019’s The Thread, a luminous collaboration between choreographer Russell Maliphant and Oscar-winning composer Vangelis (Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner) for the Athens-based production company Lavris. It...

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