tue 11/08/2020

dance

Kaash, Akram Khan Company, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

This new run of Kaash is an interesting test case for Akram Khan Company as its eponymous founder approaches his retirement from stage performance (forecast for next year). Kaash was Khan's first full-length work, created in 2002 and widely acclaimed at the time. But can Khan's older work stand up after 14 years in which Khan has consistently supplied the British dance scene with some of its most riveting shows (DESH, Gnosis, Sacred Monsters)?

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Giselle, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

One of the secrets to enjoying life is mastering the creative use of disappointment. Many in the Covent Garden audience last night were no doubt deeply disappointed not to be seeing Natalia Osipova's legendary portrayal of the title role in Giselle, injury having removed the Russian superstar from the opening night cast.

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Voces, Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Claims to embody the spirit of flamenco, or to be born with flamenco in one's blood, abound in the programme of the annual Sadler's Wells flamenco festival. Sara Baras, whose show Voces opened the two week festival on Tuesday, doesn't make such a claim in writing: she doesn't need to.

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Wheeldon Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Jenny Gilbert

Christopher Wheeldon's new ballet Strapless scores a first on a number of counts. It’s the first co-production between the Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi (London gets first dibs – Moscow doesn’t get the goods for another 12 months). It forms part of the first ever triple bill the Royal Ballet has devoted to its most famous son. It’s the first ballet music Mark-Anthony Turnage has written to order.

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The Odyssey, Mark Bruce Company, Circomedia, Bristol

mark Kidel

Mark Bruce did very well with his last dance theatre production Dracula, but this time around he has reached a little too far.

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"...como el musguito...", Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Sitting near the front at a Pina Bausch piece always provokes anxiety.

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The Return, Circa, Barbican

Hanna Weibye

If you thought circus acrobats and Shostakovich were a daring combination, try circus acrobats and Monteverdi. While the spiky harmonies and vivd dynamics of 20th-century Russian string quartets sit pretty nicely with circus show-offery, surely Baroque music, with its steady continuo basses, its measured rise and fall, is a world away from tumbling tricks and strongman stunts?

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Rhapsody/The Two Pigeons, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

Perhaps the director of the Royal Ballet is a pigeon fancier?

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Le Corsaire, English National Ballet, Coliseum

Jenny Gilbert

It’s being sold as the ideal ballet for first-timers, but I would blush to introduce even my neighbour’s cat to this Carry On Up the Harem hokum. Worse, its silliness verges on offensive. When, in Rudolph Nureyev’s 1990s production of La Bayadère for Paris Opera Ballet, a chorus of blacked-up picaninnies appeared for about three minutes, you blinked and put it down to an unwise attempt at historical accuracy.

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Until the Lions, Akram Khan, Roundhouse

Hanna Weibye

As its first gift to dance fans, the new year has delivered not one but two chamber pieces about extraordinary women. Down in Covent Garden this week, Will Tuckett's Elizabeth for Royal Ballet dancers is exploring the life and loves of Queen Elizabeth I, while up in Camden Akram Khan's Until the Lions takes a fresh look at the story of princess Amba, from the Indian classical epic the Mahabharata.

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