sat 18/05/2024

contemporary dance

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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Best of 2023: Dance

Dance lovers have had a better time of it this year as the performance sector starts to find its feet again. In the wake of a general cull of independent dance companies, 2023 has seen signs of fresh growth.Lively enterprises have sprouted in...

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Edward Scissorhands, Sadler's Wells review - a true Christmas treat, witty and beguiling

The story of Edward Scissorhands may not seem an obvious Christmas subject, but it couldn’t be a more overt call for goodwill to all men. And there’s a hint of The Nutcracker about Matthew Bourne’s dance version, too.Created in 2005 and last seen in...

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Ailey 2, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury review - young, black and fabulous

Dance lovers with no access to a major city could feel genuinely hard done by were it not for Dance Consortium. This sainted organisation works to bring a company from overseas each autumn to a dozen or so large-scale theatres across the UK and...

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Gravity & Other Myths: Out of Chaos, Brighton Festival 2023 review - eye-boggling acrobatics

With acrobatics at this level, they make it all look so easy, it’s possible for an audience to become complacent. By the time the show Out of Chaos, by the troupe Gravity & Other Myths, from Adelaide, Australia, has finished, the Brighton Dome...

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Woolf Works, Royal Ballet review - Wayne McGregor's modern classic impresses all over again

The more Wayne McGregor’s superb Woolf Works is staged, the richer it seems to become. It has started a third run at Covent Garden since its premiere there in 2015, which, considering the house lost over a year of performances, is some achievement....

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Creature review - Asif Kapadia shines light on a dark dance piece

Filmed ballets involve a different way of watching: you may know a piece well, but you aren’t used to staring into its lead dancers’ eyes as they perform their roles. Not all dancers give good close-up, either. But a new film by the Oscar-winning...

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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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