wed 25/05/2022

Sadler's Wells

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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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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