sun 07/06/2020

dance

Circa, Barbican Theatre

james Woodall Brisbane acrobats Circa: 'These lunatics know exactly what they are doing'

One of the daily tragedies of being human is that notions in our heads of unaided flight, levitation - any thought of lift-off from our material horizon - lie in drastic disproportion to what flesh and muscle permit. As children, we dream of flying, or living, say, on ocean floors without gas-tanks. As adolescents, we dream of many things, most of them impossible. As adults, sportspeople and dancers strain to defy nature, but never do. Most of us go on to live resignedly alongside, or inside,...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet 1990-2010, Birmingham Hippodrome

ismene Brown

What should a choreographer set before a Prince for a Royal Gala performance when his finest hour is a portrayal of Royal buggery with a hot poker? Well, possibly (sotto voce) clogdancing cobblers and pegleg pirates might be found more suitable, and plenty of children on stage. So peglegs and clogdancing is what Prince Charles will duly be served tonight at the celebration of 20 years of Birmingham Royal Ballet. These are not times to be challenging any more.

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Richard Alston Dance Company, Sadler's Wells and touring

ismene Brown

Tim Henman - brilliant and unfairly treated, or... not? Even when John McEnroe passionately enumerates Henman’s qualities, do you both nod hopefully and realistically shake your head? Because, yes, our lad may be a rare craftsman of the grass court game, but if the point is giving us the shock of unexplained genius that is, say, Federer's (or McEnroe's) habit, then no chance, mate.

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As One/ Rushes/ Infra, Royal Ballet

ismene Brown

Someone sharp as a whip thought hard about the price-fun balance of the latest Royal Ballet triple bill. An accountant, probably.  Deep inside the cloisters of the Royal Opera House, they said: “Now top price stalls are £97 each for Romeo and Juliet, that’s nearly £200 a pair. Interval wine at £6 a glass, £24. A programme, train fares from - say - Windsor at £15 each, plus taxis. That’s £260 for their evening.

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Havana Rakatan, Peacock Theatre

sue Steward Havana Rakatan, on stage, Peacock Theatre, London.

Ballet was never meant to be like this: the London production of Havana Rakatan at the Peacock Theatre last night shattered all definitions and formalities and left the audience uttering squeals and sighs of delight (and sexual ecstasy) in response to the Cuban dancers’ remake of classical poses and lifts and pelvic-thrusting salsa moves.

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Compagnie Ieto, LIMF, Purcell Room

ismene Brown

Compagnie Ieto are two modest Frenchmen with immodest circus skills - modesty in all the right proportions. Jonathan Guichard and Fnico Feldmann teamed up in 2006 and were finalists in the 2008 Jeunes Talents Cirque with this show Ieto, last night's hugely entertaining offering at the Purcell Room by the London International Mime Festival.

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Giselle & Men Y Men, English National Ballet, Coliseum

james Woodall

It's a short run, in London, but a sweet one. At the Coliseum, English National Ballet's revival of a 1971 Giselle is a showcase for a company on exceptionally calibrated form, offering audiences a taste of its myriad talent over six more shows after Wednesday's opening [the cast changes each time - Ismene Brown reviews a second cast below].

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Romeo and Juliet, Royal Ballet

ismene Brown

There are times when critics sheathe their quill tips, others when they don’t. Rupert Pennefather, the tall blond Englishman who has been earnestly promoted by the Royal Ballet as hard as they can to be the next Jonathan Cope, has attracted some devastating notices, and last night’s emergency outing as Romeo isn’t going to fatten his cuttings file.

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The Snow Queen, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

David Nice Daria Klimentova's icy siren, decked out in Swarovski and flanked by her wolves

If your heart feels frozen while the ice glitters outside, warm it by reading Hans Christian Andersen's sharp, witty and enchanting fairy-tale The Snow Queen, or listen to the best bits of Prokofiev's erratic but often characteristic late ballet The Stone Flower. You could also drag yourself out into the cold to face Michael Corder's full-length choreography based on the Andersen story, selectively fitted to chunks of the Prokofiev score and interspersing them with other...

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Dance 2000-9: From Ballet to Hip Hop

ismene Brown

The Noughts were a bonanza time for builders, scientists and bureaucrats in the dance arena, throwing up numerous fine dance venues and bases, collaborating intellectually with modern choreographers, or targeting social minorities, but the blazing new trend that captured public imagination dodged all of those - it came up from the street.

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