sat 04/07/2020

dance

Chroma/ Tryst/ Symphony in C, Royal Ballet

ismene Brown

A Balanchine on a mixed bill is a reminder of what a choreographer should desire to offer his audience: a specific new experience of art each time,  not a repeated thumbprint in every ballet. Balanchine grew up in a borderless theatre country - jazz, music hall, Broadway, Cubism, Russian imperialism, folklore, classical piano studies, all soaked his personality and fed his imagination.

Read more...

Christopher Wheeldon premiere, New York City Ballet

Roslyn Sulcas

What is going on at New York City Ballet, home of the abstract, neo-classical, pared-down, no-scenery, no-story, nothing-extraneous aesthetic that George Balanchine made into an artistic religion? So far, three out of the four pieces commissioned for the company’s ambitious “Architecture of Dance” festival have been - more or less - story ballets (only Wayne McGregor has resisted the lure).

Read more...

The Art of Touch/ Rainforest/ A Linha Curva, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

ismene Brown Pieter Symonds and Jonathan Goddard in 'Rainforest': 'stirring themselves amid the LSD landscape of silver floating pillows'

There are occasionally pieces of dance that you just want not to have to scribble notes about, just to watch and enjoy through your senses, not perming it all through the verbal brain. Siobhan Davies’s The Art of Touch is one of those, and when her company went into something of a creative abeyance to focus on producing a new dance community centre, this was one of Davies’s...

Read more...

BABEL (words), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Antony Gormley, Sadler's Wells

ismene Brown

Collaborations for dance, theatre and other things are coming thick and fast at Sadler’s Wells nowadays - these are not halcyon days for pure choreography.

Read more...

Wayne McGregor & Alexei Ratmansky premieres, New York City Ballet

Roslyn Sulcas

In the New York City Ballet’s grand tradition of ambitious festivals of new work, its current offering, Architecture of Dance, is a big, ambitious deal: seven new ballets; four of them to commissioned scores; five sporting sets by the famed architect Santiago Calatrava.

Read more...

Mathilde Monnier and La Ribot, Queen Elizabeth Hall

ismene Brown La Ribot and Mathilde Monnier: can't live with each other, can't live without each other, just like the election

These past five days in May have seen some fairly oddball goings-on labelled as "New Dance at the Southbank Centre". Accidentally coinciding with other oddball goings-on on the national scene, since it was booked up long ago before elections were called. But no double-act in politics is likely to be quite as peculiar and weirdly stimulating as that between the Spanish cabaret artiste La Ribot (often to be found nude) and the postmodern French choreographer Mathilde Monnier, playing two sides of...

Read more...

Electric Counterpoint/ Asphodel Meadows/ Carmen, Royal Ballet

ismene Brown

Wonder of wonders - a really cracking triple bill at the Royal Ballet last night. The best of the year, by a country mile, and probably the best for several years: a top-notch beauty from Christopher Wheeldon, the love-it-or-loathe-it Marmite of Mats Ek’s Carmen, and in between a comely and reverberant new ballet from a very young Royal Ballet choreographer who looks set to go places.

Read more...

Les 7 Doigts, Peacock Theatre/ Cie Deborah Colker, touring

ismene Brown

As we look on the strictly dieting future that undoubtedly waits for the more esoteric arts after Thursday’s election, it’s evident that the dance landscape has already been blighted - and self-blighted, at that. Somewhere in the past few years a loss of confidence in dancing itself has allowed expressive and aesthetic exploration to become increasingly replaced by undemanding scenic gimmicks and numb circus derivations, subtle matters by dim clichés. My depressed thoughts after watching two...

Read more...

Gnosis, Akram Khan, Sadler's Wells Theatre

ismene Brown

Gnosis means spiritual knowledge, or recognition. Surely Akram Khan has some unusual intuition about what it means to die, since his latest creation is truly a dance of death and the gods certainly seem to have been bent on preventing it.

Read more...

Pictures from an Exhibition, Sadler's Wells

ismene Brown

I’ve seen raping Popes, I’ve seen more naked guys dancing with waggling penises than I can count, I’ve seen naked breasts on dancing girls for what feels like all my adult life. But a man with a blood-stained prosthetic cock that looks like a baby’s bottle? A teacher munching a testicle off his pupil? Well, lor' love a duck.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

theartsdesk Q&A: filmmaker Mike Hodges

Mike Hodges arrived in cinema through television, including a stint on the rightly revered Granada Television current affairs series World in...

Album: The Jayhawks - XOXO

If one song best captures the overall mood of XOXO, it's the Beatles-meets-country strains of "Living in a...

Dom Joly/ Daniel Sloss, Brent Cross reviews - UK's firs...

It was a weary and frustrated Dom Joly (**) who left the stage after performing the first drive-in comedy show in the UK. Sadly...

Les Blancs, National Theatre at Home review – triumphant rev...

Lorraine Hansberry’s debut, A Raisin in the Sun, was the first drama written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, where it opened...

Back Roads review - nice cheekbones, not much else

Back Roads has languished largely unseen since its completion in 2017, and one can see why: lurid to the point of absurdity, this...

Family Romance, LLC review - the chameleon blues

Werner Herzog’s appearance in The Mandalorian paid for this deadpan,...

Toast, Lawrence Batley Theatre online review - pungent adapt...

I knew what a Howard Hodgkin painting would look like before I ever saw one because of...

Album: Polly Scattergood - In This Moment

A decade ago, Polly Scattergood was Mute Records’ newest, most-likely-to signing and, while she never crossed over like similar unconventional...

Theatre Lockdown Special 12: An American rarity, a British s...

Can this weekly lineup really now be three months old?  As we move towards at least some degree of relaxation on the social restrictions that...