sat 18/05/2024

dance

Requiem, Opera North review - partnership and diversity

Robert Beale

Innovation is always a risky business. Opera North’s vision and ambition for this production is to create, in effect, a new genre: a combination of staged choral-orchestral performance with contemporary dance.

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Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT1), Sadler's Wells review - an extinction rebellion in dance

Jenny Gilbert

The timing was impeccable, though almost certainly accidental. As protesters lay prostrate in The Mall in a mass “die-in” on the day designated as Earth Day, and as many thousands more urged action against climate change outside the Houses of Parliament, Nederlands Dans Theater was giving its final London performance of a powerful new ballet called Figures in Extinction [1.0].

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Jungle Book reimagined, Sadler's Wells review - a doomy revision of the Kipling stories

Helen Hawkins

Akram Khan Company promises “a magical dance-theatre retelling of Kipling’s classic”, and that’s more or less what you get. The choreography is striking and inventive, the dancing and staging superb.

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Cinderella, Royal Ballet review - the first British ballet learns the language of flowers

Jenny Gilbert

The urge to redesign a heritage ballet is a curious one, given not just the expense but the fact that the main draw of an old ballet is the steps and the music, which stay the same whatever the stage dressing.

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Tom Dale Company, The Place review - immersive and genre-busting

Jenny Gilbert

With all the talk – and, frankly, fear – around AI and the increasing dominance of the digital world, it’s fascinating to see what dance has to say about it.

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Turn It Out with Tiler Peck, Sadler's Wells review - America's ballet wonder-woman raises the barre

Jenny Gilbert

She can do anything. That’s what choreographers say about Tiler Peck, the peppy New York City Ballet principal who has launched a stream of projects above and beyond the day job. You want speed? Wham, you get it. You want complexity? She can learn a tricky phrase in seconds then reverse it and riff on it. You want nerve, verve, musicality? Those choreographers are right, this dynamo has it all.

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

Helen Hawkins

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. It is the mark of an instant modern classic.

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The Sacrifice, Dada Masilo, Brighton Dome review - eye-popping dance from South Africa

Jenny Gilbert

The Soweto-born dancer-choreographer Dada Masilo has made her name  telling classic European stories in African dialect. The last piece she toured in the UK was a striking Giselle in which the avenging Wilis were not undead brides but ancestral spirits led by a witch doctor. In his hand, instead of the traditional myrtle branch, symbol of chastity, he carried a fly whisk.

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

Helen Hawkins

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 director Asif Kapadia of Akram Khan’s Creature, made for English National Ballet in 2021, has transformed the original live version into a moving drama.

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Julie Cunningham & Co, Sadler's Wells review - a fine piece of work, with added spice

Jenny Gilbert

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 Associates – to premiere a new work on its main stage.

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