wed 01/12/2021

Sadler's Wells

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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The Midnight Bell, New Adventures, Sadler's Wells review - dance theatre at its most compelling

The British author Patrick Hamilton is best known for two highly successful plays, Rope (1929) and Gaslight (1939), which in turn became highly successful films. But it’s Hamilton’s novels, set among the fog-bound pubs and clubs of 1930s Soho, that...

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Creature, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - bombastic and unreadable

If a new ballet can be doomed by the weight of expectation, then Creature didn’t stand a chance. First scheduled to appear in the spring of 2020, then again last autumn, the publicity drive over the past weeks has had the air of marketing a used car...

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Hofesh Shechter Company, Double Murder, Sadler's Wells review - a well-intentioned but misjudged double bill

If I had to sum up in a single impression the work I’ve seen of Brighton-based, Israeli-born choreographer Hofesh Shechter (now OBE), it would be that of a rock gig. His shows are noisy, populous affairs, and he writes his own drumbeat-driven music...

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Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet review - back on stage and fabulous

You could hardly call this back to normal at London’s premier dance house. For a start, there was too much red plush visible in the stalls, not all of it the result of COVID-safe spacing. There were prefatory onstage speeches and a filmed thank you...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - onward and upward

It was a night of multiple firsts: the first live performance at Sadler's Wells in seven months (the place hasn’t been dark for so long since the War); the official first day of Carlos Acosta’s tenure as the new director of Birmingham Royal Ballet;...

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Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch’s 'The Rite of Spring' review - an explosive African rite

There’s sun and sand, and both are golden – but this is no holiday beach. Distantly, out of focus, you can make out a man with a donkey and cart. Off-camera, some locals kick a ball. A square of sand about the size of a tennis court has been...

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The Thread, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - Greek folk and contemporary unite

The latest Sadler’s Wells digital offering is 2019’s The Thread, a luminous collaboration between choreographer Russell Maliphant and Oscar-winning composer Vangelis (Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner) for the Athens-based production company Lavris. It...

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Rumpelstiltskin, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - spins an engaging yarn for young audiences

The latest in Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage programme – an impressively assembled online offering to keep audiences entertained during the shutdown – is balletLORENT’s family-friendly dance-theatre production Rumpelstiltskin. It was...

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Notes on a no-show - Nico Muhly

The following is adapted from a programme note for a show which was to have premiered last Thursday – the very day Sadler's Wells went dark. Nico Muhly – Drawn Lines was part of an occasional series featuring composers who are making an impact...

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Richard Alston Dance Company, Final Edition, Sadler's Wells review - farewell and thank you, Sir Richard

Hard as it is to imagine the British dance landscape without Richard Alston, we’re going to have to get used to it. The touring company that for the past 25 years has been the chief purveyor of his uniquely lyrical brand of contemporary dance...

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Alina, Sadler's Wells review - I think therefore I dance

It’s common to see the term “vanity project” applied to self-produced shows by ballet stars, but Alina – the first such London venture by Alina Cojocaru – was quite the opposite of vain. If the opening item (a duo for violin and cello, with no...

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