fri 28/02/2020

dance

Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre review - a little piece of history

Jenny Gilbert

Mention Isadora Duncan and the best response you’re likely to get is “Wasn’t she that dancer who died when her scarf got caught in the wheels of a Bugatti?” The closing scene of the 1968 biopic starring Vanessa Redgrave seems to have blotted out everything Duncan actually achieved.

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Alina, Sadler's Wells review - I think therefore I dance

Jenny Gilbert

It’s common to see the term “vanity project” applied to self-produced shows by ballet stars, but Alina – the first such London venture by Alina Cojocaru – was quite the opposite of vain.

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Message in a Bottle, Peacock Theatre review - a hiphop singalong

Jenny Gilbert

It’s hard enough to imagine hip hop set to the songs of Sting, but a hip hop show in which 27 songs by Sting laid end to end are made to tell a story about refugees? That’s the unlikely latest offering from the choreographer Kate Prince.

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The Cellist/Dances at a Gathering, Royal Ballet review - A grand love affair with a cello

Jenny Gilbert

The cello is the stringed instrument most closely aligned to the human voice. It has a human shape, too, so in theory it was a short step for choreographer Cathy Marston to give it a living, breathing presence in her ballet about the legendary cellist Jacqueline du Pré. But what a giant leap of imagination that turned out to be.

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Bluebeard, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells review - bleak but ground-breaking

Jenny Gilbert

When Pina Bausch died at the height of her creative powers in 2009, no one knew if her work or her company would survive. A decade later, to judge by the scramble for tickets for this early, highly experimental piece, both seem to be doing just fine.

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Michael Keegan-Dolan, MÁM, Sadler's Wells review - folk goes radical

Jenny Gilbert

The Dingle Peninsula is a thumb of land that protrudes into the Atlantic as if trying to hitch a ride from Ireland to America.

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English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala, Coliseum review - a fine celebration

Sue Gaisford

Just when you thought Christmas was well and truly over, along comes another box of delights. And there isn’t a disappointment in it. If it were nuts, there’d be nothing but cashews; if chocolates, there wouldn’t be a single disgusting lime-cream. It would be all Ferrero Rochers, gift-wrapped. English National Ballet’s 70th birthday party opened and closed with class, in every sense.

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Onegin, Royal Ballet review - vivid and intelligent dance drama

Nadine Meisner

It’s no surprise that audiences love John Cranko’s Onegin, with its vividly economical narrative (close to Tchaikovsky’s opera), attractive decors by Jürgen Rose, and intelligent drama. True, it feels a tad old-fashioned – although that, as my neighbour observed, is part of the charm.

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Resolution 2020, The Place review - new dance for a new decade

Jenny Gilbert

Resolution! is an annual programme at The Place (home of London Contemporary Dance School), devoted to showcasing new choreographers. Over the past 30 years several have gone on to make it big, so there’s a reasonable chance that, somewhere among this year’s selection of 81 wannabes lurks a Wayne McGregor, a Hofesh Schechter or a Kate Prince waiting to be discovered.

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Le Corsaire, London Coliseum review - hugely entertaining

Jenny Gilbert

It’s unlikely that Lord Byron would recognise much about Le Corsaire. Beyond the characters’ names and the Ottoman location, there is little trace of the 1814 bestselling verse-novel on whose fame the ballet hitched a ride.

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