sat 25/05/2024

dance

Saturday Night Fever, Peacock Theatre review - crowd-pleaser stays true to its roots

Gary Naylor

Wind the clock back 45 years and the Big Apple was bankrupt, the lights had gone out and many native New Yorkers were packing their bags. Gangs controlled whole neighbourhoods, drugs were the currency of choice and, for a kid with no college, prospects were strictly limited.

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Acosta Danza, Sadler's Wells review - here comes the sun

Jenny Gilbert

If Carlos Acosta could have bottled the year-round sunshine of his native Cuba, he would have. Instead he did the next best thing and founded Acosta Danza. Seven years later, years which included a UK tour kiboshed by the first lockdown, when the company only narrowly made it on to the last plane back to Havana, the troupe is sleeker, slightly smaller, but if anything even more ebullient.

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Kontakthof, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch review - struggling to make contact

Jenny Gilbert

Twelve years may have passed since her earthly demise, but you still hear people say they saw Pina Bausch the other night. Bausch remains synonymous with the company she founded, Tanztheater Wuppertal, and with a style of dance theatre that launched an entire new category.

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Raymonda, English National Ballet, Coliseum review - a creaky old standard, lavishly restored to health

Jenny Gilbert

Neglected classics, whether books, plays or ballets, are usually neglected for a reason, and so it is with the three-act ballet Raymonda. A hit in 1898 for the Imperial ballet in St Petersburg but unperformed in this country since the 1960s, its ineffectual heroine, fuzzy sense of geography and offensively silly plot have made it impossible to stage in full – at least in Britain.

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Best of 2021: Dance

Jenny Gilbert

It was never going to be a bumper year, just a bumpy one. With theatres dark until May or later, the usual 11 or 12 months of potential live-dance going was reduced to four or five. There was one bright shaft of optimism in late spring, and another in the autumn, when the gloom-clouds parted to allow a few weeks of almost-normality. But now we seem to have come full circle.

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Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker!, Sadler's Wells Theatre review - new candy, but the nuts are off

Ismene Brown

The legendary quip of a sophisticated ballet critic that we are all one Nutcracker nearer death never rang so true as now. One goes to the theatre with one’s heart in one’s mouth, behind the partypooping mask.

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Starstruck, Scottish Ballet review - smart, sassy and cinematic

Jenny Gilbert

How do you picture Gene Kelly? Most likely in his effervescent screen persona, either as the burly ex-GI of An American in Paris, or as the hoofer without a raincoat in Singin’ in the Rain.

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Past Present, Linbury Theatre review - historic, but very much alive

Jenny Gilbert

Not so long ago, a few decades at most, anyone with a passing interest in dance knew what “modern” looked like. It was earthbound, usually barefoot, and it focussed on mundane movements such as walking or lying down as often as it looked like dance. It sometimes even turned up its nose at being seen in a theatre. 

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Ballet Black, Linbury Theatre review - an essential part of the landscape

Jenny Gilbert

The colour of a shoe might seem a trivial thing. But when in 2018 the dancewear manufacturer Freed launched the UK’s first range of pointe shoes to match darker skin tones, true equal opportunity in British ballet came a big step closer.

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Curated by Carlos, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - a star turn

Jenny Gilbert

When a great performer takes on the running of a ballet company, the effect on its dancers can be transformative. It happened when Mikhail Baryshnikov took on American Ballet Theatre in the 1980s. It’s been happening at English National Ballet since 2012 under Tamara Rojo.

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