wed 30/11/2022

dance

The Ballets Russes Return to Russia

Ismene Brown

Ninety-nine years ago, there were sights and stars seen upon the ballet stage as had never been dreamed of. A young genius of 32 was the driving engine of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes - the choreographer Mikhail Fokine, who created fantasies of radiant Blue Gods, of murderous and erotic goddesses, and tapestries that came to life and sucked dreamers into them. His stars were to become immortals: Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Tamara Karsavina, Ida Rubinstein… the most beautiful divinities of...

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Q&A Special: Choreographer Javier de Frutos

Ismene Brown

Born in Venezuela 48 years ago, de Frutos has never been the fairytale type, at least not overtly. His 20-year career of choreography has been a career of unstoppable fecundity, violent flamboyance, extreme, even grotesque exhibition, outrageous passion. To many he’s a shock jock of contemporary dance.

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Q&A Special: Photographer Colin Jones

Ismene Brown

Colin Jones was part of a legendarily painful triangle. Married to one of the greatest of ballerinas, Lynn Seymour, but constantly edged aside by the brilliant choreographer who was obsessed with her, Kenneth MacMillan, Jones left ballet to become a photographer, and used his unique access and friendships with people such as Rudolf Nureyev to document in unheard-of intimacy and freshness the golden era of the Royal Ballet.

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Review and Q&A Special: Flawless, Chase the Dream, Royal Festival Hall

Ismene Brown Flawless in 'StreetDance 3D', the movie, the moment they hit international visibility

When not one but two street dance crews blasted into Britain’s Got Talent 2009, it felt like a pressure cooker blowing. An ardent, physical and excitingly exact form of dance that had been bubbling away, compressed and hidden, under the surface of British public entertainment exploded. Of the two, Diversity (the eventual winners) and Flawless, it was Flawless’s 10 men who had the almost scarily precise look of a serious dance company, and last night they crowned a massive year for...

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Q&A Special: The Late Merce Cunningham

Ismene Brown

Tonight the company dedicated to the greatest radical of modern dance, Merce Cunningham, opens its farewell tour to London, a valedictory odyssey that will end next year. Last year Cunningham died, aged 90. He had just premiered a work called Nearly Ninety, and this is fittingly the last thing we will see of his company as it blazes one final circuit before closing down in December 2011.

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Q&A Special: Writer-composer Richard Thomas

Ismene Brown 'Outraged complaints, not family joy - that's Thomas's area': So what will 'Shoes' be like?

Richard Thomas wrote Jerry Springer, The Opera, as everyone knows - and he is soon to unveil Anna Nicole, the opera. Can this be the same Richard Thomas who’s written a dance show at Sadler’s Wells, with a cheesy poster, called Shoes? It hardly seems likely. Flames, expletives, scabrous lines, suppurating satire - that’s what makes a Richard Thomas show, not (surely) tap-dancing in platforms and ballet-dancing in flip-flops?

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theartsdesk Q&A: Stage Designer Es Devlin

Hilary Whitney

For the past five years British stage designer Es Devlin has been creating extraordinarily ambitious and imaginative sets for some of the biggest crowd-pullers in the music industry, from Take That to Lady Gaga. But this week she returns to her theatrical roots with a new play, Pieces of Vincent, by David Watson at the small but prestigious Arcola Theatre in London.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Impresarios Victor and Lilian Hochhauser, Part 1

Ismene Brown

When the words "commercial" and "art" come together - as they do with the Bolshoi season currently at the Royal Opera House - odds are the glue between them is a three-word phrase "Victor Hochhauser presents". Victor and Lilian Hochhauser are the impresarios behind most Russian ballet seasons UK-wide, and they have a reputation for solid box-office commercial taste, which is easily dismissed as the safe option. But they are in their eighties now, and conservatism is forgivable.

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Q&A Special: Choreographer Slava Samodurov

Ismene Brown Slava Samodurov: 'Choreography doesn't have laws so far. It's a more unstable and free creative art'

Choreography is a mystery art. How it happens - or indeed what happens - is as elusive to define as pinning down a brainstorm. There is no solid stuff, no rules, no pre-formed maxims, everything moves; the choreographer goes into a studio, finds some dancers, finds some music, finds some moves, finds some light and atmosphere - and this agglomeration of variables goes out on stage all too often to fall flat, a soufflé that didn't rise. It was insufficiently skilled, or its ingredients were...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Meeting Pina Bausch

Ismene Brown

This week the world-renowned Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch arrives in London - for the first time, without its towering creator. Last summer the German choreographer died at the age of 68. The company intends to continue, despite the dodgy track record for troupes formed around one singular giant vision to survive long without that magnet at the core.

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