wed 24/07/2024

dance

Shoes, Sadler's Wells Theatre

Ismene Brown The Health and Safety number: You too can leave your 'shoe-fession' on the Sadler's Wells site

Every time I go to Sadler’s Wells now I come out wondering if there’s something wrong with my hearing, so loud and numbing are their speakers. It’s a blight on a lot of shows, but on none more so than Shoes, because this is the first major London production written by that celebrated musical witsmith Mr Richard Thomas since his Jerry Springer, The Opera, and last night I missed probably half the words that I’m guessing should be the chief merit.

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theartsdesk MOT: Dirty Dancing, Aldwych Theatre

Ismene Brown 'Dirty Dancing': a class-crossing romance where the Fifties meet the Sixties with alarm

I suspect that more than half the audience that goes to see Dirty Dancing on stage has seen the 1987 movie, and that quite a few of them have seen the stage version more than once. There’s a strange feeling of being at a party where everyone knows everyone, and the party’s held nightly at the same house. It surely is not the misleading title that accounts for the wildly enthusiastic flow of fans - there’s nothing dirty about this squeaky-clean story, and there’s not that much...

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Le Cirque Invisible, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Ismene Brown Some of the stars of 'Le Cirque Invisible': locking down children and adults in two hours of rapture

Charm is as invisible as the circus but as undeniably present in Le Cirque Invisible, an adorable little presentation for which parents should go miles with children to see this month. Charlie Chaplin’s fourth daughter and her husband are not young things any more, and their two-person show is at least 40 years old in its various guises - but they simply keep adding and subtracting gags, costumes, dressing-up box illusions, magic tricks, rabbits, soap-bubbles, locking down a hall of...

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Cinderella, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Ismene Brown The ball scene designed by David Walker: 'the inky blue court theme allows Cinderella to arrive in her silvery tutu like the full moon in the night'

English National Ballet turns 60 next week, and nowadays just enduring has to be enough. Smelling of greasepaint and tour buses from the very first, it also smelled of stars - Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin who began it, Rudolf Nureyev and Natalia Makarova who created splendid productions for it, and extraordinary late-career performances by Lynn Seymour. Stars have been born in ENB too, even if they burst into full gleam elsewhere - Trinidad Sevillano, Tamara Rojo, and more than likely the...

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Tanguera, Sadler's Wells Theatre

Ismene Brown

Strange listening to Sadler’s Wells chief Alistair Spalding timidly defending “cutting-edge” dance on yesterday’s Radio 4 arts debate - having just been to the current SWT dance show, Tanguera.

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After A Dancemaker Dies, BBC Radio 3

Ismene Brown

Two giants of dance died last year: Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham. Right now audiences aren’t being deprived of seeing why their names are written permanently in lights in dance history (Bausch’s company performs in Edinburgh and London later this year, Cunningham’s is in London in October), but after 2011 they may be. Cunningham’s company will close, while Bausch’s will be in its last of an uncertain three-year grace period.

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Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Javier De Frutos

There is a moment when you see dancers at their absolute peak that notches a bit of history in your memory - you never forget when you see it happen. In my area of contemporary choreography you can’t measure it in those terms but you can with classical ballet, and a Don Quixote performance like I saw at the Bolshoi last night sets the bar. This level of performance is Olympic-sized, it erases everything else you have seen.

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Le Corsaire & Paquita Triple Bill, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Ismene Brown

After all the encomia for Natalia Osipova it’s time for a paean to another Bolshoi ballerina, whose witty underplaying and conquest of style makes her the lady I’d choose to see shipwrecked in full tutu, diamonds and pink satin pointe shoes on any desert island I fetched up on.

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Carlos Acosta, Premieres, London Coliseum

Ismene Brown

Great stars get lost sometimes. Up there in outer space, ringed with adulation, when they get a mid-life crisis sometimes they get sucked into a vanity black hole. No light emits, just the tatters of an angel who lost his way in his own legend.

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Serenade & Giselle, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Ismene Brown

We’re getting used to expecting the extraordinary from Natalia Osipova - and then getting some more. With her impish face and farouche capriciousness, with a spring like a high-jumper and shoulders like a swimmer, she is without doubt the most explosively delightful comedienne and virtuoso around at the Bolshoi, but could she be a Giselle?

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