sun 09/08/2020

dance

Tribe//Still I Rise, Brighton Festival 2019 review - an evening of poetic movement

Isabella Gallagher

Maya Angelou’s iconic poem Still I Rise is a good starting point for many things in life. But it’s a particularly good beginning for a piece of contemporary dance choreography, and Victoria Fox has done a great job of bringing the poet’s words to life.

It’s a rigidly structured one hour work – definite sections of movement working to a contained pace and spacing, split up by sections of music ranging from intense strings and solo opera voice to upbeat club music.

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Traptown, Wim Vandekeybus/Ultima Vez, Brighton Festival 2019 review - obscure to the point of ridiculous

Isabella Gallagher

It’s no surprise that Wim Vandekeybus is trying something new at Brighton Festival. The Belgian choreographer has a history of pushing dance in new directions, challenging concepts of choreography, creation and the notion of performance. But this new piece, locating film, movement, spoken word and music, might be a step too far.

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Within the Golden Hour/Medusa/Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet review - the company shows its contemporary face

Jenny Gilbert

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has come a long way since his early days as a hip hop artist, but the outsider status is obvious even before the curtain goes up on Medusa, his first commission for the Royal Ballet and the centrepiece of a triple bill showcasing the company’s contemporary side.

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Mitten wir im Leben sind, De Keersmaeker, Queyras, Rosas, Sadler's Wells review - Bach-worthy genius

David Nice

All Bach is dance, a teacher once told me. The justifiable exaggeration switched on a light; leaping to the Brandenburg Concertos followed. This great work of kinetic art is of a different order.

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She Persisted, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - a must-see triple bill

Jenny Gilbert

She does indeed persist, that remarkable Tamara Rojo. Dismayed by the fact that, in 20 years as a dancer, she had never performed a ballet made by a woman, she mounted a triple bill called She Said, featuring only work by and about women.

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Victoria, Northern Ballet, Sadler's Wells - A queen re-instated, once again

Jenny Gilbert

Given that the life of Queen Victoria spanned the best part of a century, the first task for any biographer is to hack a path through the mountain of facts. It ought to help that the queen was a prolific diarist. Too bad for choreographer Cathy Marston that Victoria’s youngest daughter got there first.

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The Thread, Russell Maliphant & Vangelis, Sadler’s Wells review – an inspiring marriage of old and new

Sarah Kent

In The Thread Russell Maliphant attempts what, at first sight, appears a foolhardy project – the juxtaposition of contemporary and traditional Greek dance. The two genres seem poles apart, the one being collective and in unison, the other more individualistic and expressive.

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Bon Voyage, Bob, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells review - interminable ennui

Sarah Kent

It's a decade since Pina Bausch sadly died, and during that time her company has kept her memory alive by revisiting her amazingly rich legacy. Inevitably, though, the time would come for them to embark on a new phase; but how?

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The Rite of Spring/Gianni Schicchi, Opera North review - unlikely but musically satisfying pairing

graham Rickson

Stravinsky acknowledged that his orchestra for The Rite of Spring was a large one because Diaghilev had promised him extra musicians (“I am not sure that my orchestra would have been as huge otherwise.”) It isn’t huge in Opera North’s production (★★★★★), and for practical reasons they're using the edition arranged by Jonathan McPhee in 1988 for a standard pit band.

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Swan Lake, English National Ballet, London Coliseum review - a solid, go-to production

Jenny Gilbert

Diversity, and the need for more of it, is a hot potato in the theatre arts. Kudos, then, to English National Ballet and its director Tamara Rojo for the 23 nationalities represented within its ranks.

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