wed 30/11/2022

dance

An Open Book: Michael Hulls

Ismene Brown

The occupation “lighting designer” is too workaday to describe Michael Hulls. The artistry with which he casts illumination or shadow on some of the great dancers of our time make the idea of switches and bulb wattage seem humdrum. Pellucid, occluded, darkling - this is Hulls’ palette of twilight effects. Too often, he says, people do not understand the difference between seeing the dancer and seeing the dance.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Stephen Mear

Marianka Swain

From Singin’ in the Rain and Anything Goes to Hello, Dolly! and Mary Poppins, Olivier Award winner Stephen Mear has done more than any other British choreographer to usher classic musicals into the modern era. But adept as he is at razzle-dazzling ’em, there’s more to Mear, as recent excursions like City of Angels at Donmar Warehouse and Die Fledermaus for the Metropolitan Opera prove.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Akram Khan

Hanna Weibye

Akram Khan is unexpectedly softly-spoken.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Wayne McGregor

Hanna Weibye

How do you know Wayne McGregor? Dance-goers with long memories might remember Wayne McGregor as the wunderkind who founded his own company and became resident choreographer at The Place aged just 22.

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10 Questions for Choreographer Wim Vandekeybus

Thomas H Green

Wim Vandekeybus (b. 1963) is the man behind Ultima Vez, a theatrical-choreographic powerhouse in Brussels. With his guidance they have sped to the forefront of European multi-media performance with such works as Monkey Sandwich, Oedipus/Bêt Noir, NieuwZwart and Booty Looting, each combining music, dance, visual arts and theatre in different ratios to startling effect.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Lighting Designer Michael Hulls

Ismene Brown

Last night the Olivier Awards handed their top honour for dance not to a dancer but to the man who shines the lights on the dancers. Michael Hulls, winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Dance award, paints the dancing of Sylvie Guillem, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and the Ballet Boyz with atmospheres and illuminations that seem to reach beyond the visual and into some paranormal place.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Hofesh Shechter

Hanna Weibye

Israeli-born choreographer Hofesh Shechter has had a meteoric rise. Ten years ago, he was a dancer in somebody else’s company who had just taken a couple of steps into choreography. Now he has his own full-time company, can pack out Sadler’s Wells twice a year, and gets invited to stage his creations for top international companies like Nederlands Dans Theater.

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How Ratmansky exited the Bolshoi, in Flames

Ismene Brown

The Flames of Paris, given its London premiere by the Bolshoi Ballet this weekend, was Alexei Ratmansky's farewell present to the Moscow company which he directed from 2004 to 2008. In his final months at the Bolshoi he talked with me in his office about his approach to revising this landmark historical ballet, and the conditions inside the theatre that he would soon be leaving after a turbulent five years.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Ballerina Leanne Benjamin

Ismene Brown

It's the uniqueness of the Royal Ballet ballerina Leanne Benjamin that tomorrow night at Covent Garden, aged nearly 49, she will be playing a sex-mad teenager, and no one will have the slightest difficulty believing it. Then she'll retire. Not for her a soft swoop into long dresses and matronly gestures, easing decorously into the sunset, but an all-out assault on physical and emotional extremes that is typical of the career of this tiny stick of dynamite from the Australian outback.

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10 Questions for Ballerina Alina Cojocaru

Ismene Brown

For the Royal Ballet's exquisite star Alina Cojocaru her dream is performing some of the most physically demanding movements ever devised for a human being - for a paralysed 52-year-old man in Romania, the dream is to go to the park and look at the sky. Cojocaru's dream is realisable; Marius's is not. Romania is not a country where you would want to be ill, says the ballerina of her native land.

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