sun 29/01/2023

Sadler's Wells

Julie Cunningham & Co, Sadler's Wells review - a fine piece of work, with added spice

At the arthouse end of contemporary dance no one expects a packed house, still less serial packed houses for more than a week. Yet Sadler’s Wells was fully confident when it invited the dancer-choreographer Jules Cunningham – one of its New Wave...

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Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, Sadler's Wells review - a gothic romance with loads of goth and not much love

Matthew Bourne is not the first choreographer to tinker with the story of The Sleeping Beauty and he won't be the last, such is the lure of Tchaikovsky's score and the potency of the plot.Good and evil, beauty and decrepitude, the suspended...

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English National Ballet: Ek, Forsythe, Quagebeur review - two masters, two marvels

Of all the classic musical scores that could appeal to a choreographer, three are catnip: Ravel’s Bolero, Bizet’s Carmen, and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Each has been set dozens of times and the veteran Swedish dancemaker Mats Ek has notched up...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet: Into the Music, Sadler's Wells review - a visual and aural feast

Carlos Acosta’s idea of putting live music first and foremost in BRB’s latest mixed bill was a no-brainer. The Midlands-based company, directed by Acosta since early 2020, is unique among British ballet companies in being able to call on its own...

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The Goldberg Variations, De Keersmaeker, Kolesnikov, Sadler's Wells review - keyboard harmony and atonal dance

Jean-Guihen Queyras and five dancers of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas company in the Bach Cello Suites was a thing of constantly evolving wonder. So too is Pavel Kolesnikov’s ongoing dialogue with Bach’s Goldberg Variations, different every...

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South Pacific, Sadler's Wells review - strong singing in Daniel Evans's fast-paced production

How old is Emile de Becque? Perhaps because my first Emile was the 1958 film version’s Rossano Brazzi, my vision of the lonely French plantation owner in the South Pacific during the Second World War has been coloured by that casting: a visibly...

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The Rite of Spring, Pina Bausch/École des Sables, Sadler's Wells review - explosive and disturbing

Superstition, herd instinct, brutality, base terror. Whatever the precise narrative themes of Pina Bausch's response to The Rite of Spring – the most admired of dozens of dance settings of Igor Stravinsky’s score – it’s clear that it concerns...

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Dance (1979), Lyon Opera Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - luminous minimalism

Dance has long had an association with jewels and jewellery, which is something of an irony given that so few of today’s dancers earn the kind of money needed to buy any. Historically, male ballet fanciers would offer expensive trinkets post-...

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

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...

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

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...

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

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.Matthew Bourne’s dance panto Nutcracker...

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

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...

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