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Benji Reid in The Devil Has Quentin’s Heart

The opportunity to see the Manchester-based performer Benji Reid is always one to be taken. A fine exponent of body popping and other hip hop and break dancing styles, Reid’s exceptional facility lies in the ability to take his slim, lanky body – it appears at times almost goofy and rubbery – and craft movement […]

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Gauthier Dance in Eightwatchers

Eightwatchers is the title of a programme that the choreographer Eric Gauthier and his company, Gauthier Dance, presented at the Schauburg Theatre in Munich at the end of March. Seven of the eight pieces presented could all be characterised as short, entertaining and funny works with a strong storyline. It is a description that applies […]

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Tchaikovsky Ballets in St Petersburg

St Petersburg in winter is truly magnificent – crystal-clear days (if you are lucky), frozen canals and plenty of snow, which means near-empty museums and restaurants – all made for an unstressful life. In contrast, the cultural life of this great city continues unabated, theatres full of eager audiences.

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The Nutcracker in Tallinn

As the snow came down in London and much of Europe last December, a group of Thomas Edur and Agnes Oaks’ friends travelled to Tallinn for the opening night of the Estonian National Ballet’s new production of The Nutcracker.

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The Nutcracker in Shanghai

Shanghai and Nutcracker are not two words that simultaneously spring to mind, but Shanghai Ballet presented it twice before Christmas and twice again in the New Year at the impressive Grand Theatre in the heart of Shanghai.

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La Fille mal gardée in Budapest

A new acquisition for the Hungarian National Ballet, A Rosszul őrzött lány secured a rousing reception on its first night – Frederick Ashton’s delightfully sunny La Fille mal gardée has gone Magyar. The ballet was danced with aplomb, and Alexander Grant, the work’s custodian and the original Alain in 1960, was there to oversee final […]

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Zurich Ballet on Reminiscences from the Realm of the Dead

Thomas Hauert’s new Il giornale della necropoli (Newspaper of the Cemetery), created for the Zurich Ballet, had its premiere at the Opera House in Zürich on October 30.

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BalletLORENT in Blood, Sweat and Tears and Northern Ballet in Swan Lake

Liv Lorent is not a choreographer afraid of dealing with intensely personal emotions. Her company’s new work Blood, Sweat and Tears, which premiered in Newcastle in January and is now embarked upon a national tour, took shape from her own experiences of becoming a first-time mother and tells of those early joy-and-terror-filled stages of parenthood. […]

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Birmingham Royal Ballet in Stravinsky! A Celebration and Romeo and Juliet at Sadler’s Wells

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Stravinsky programme was the unexpected hit of this Sadler’s Wells season. Triple bills are proverbially hard to sell, but ticket sales were brisk, audiences friendly. This season has brought a crop of new dancers, including the Estonian Linnar Looris, whom I saw as Balanchine’s Apollo. This was a sure, confident performance. Like […]

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Bare Bones in The 5 Man Show

To mark the fifth anniversary of Bare Bones, the contemporary dance group based at Birmingham’s Dance Exchange, the company have been touring the country with a new triple bill of works by Arthur Pita, Liam Steel, and artistic director David Massingham under the title The 5 Man Show. I caught the company on November 7 […]

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Dance at Edinburgh 2010

By Robert Penman Founded in 1982 and now well-known and widely respected throughout Europe and North America, the appearance of San Francisco-based choreographer Alonzo King LINES Ballet at the Festival Theatre on August 26 was a Festival first for the UK. With King’s ballets already established in the repertoires of major companies on both continents, […]

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PIED PIPER by Blue Boy Entertainment, Birmingham Hippodrome

With its backdrop of graffiti-covered walls, the convincingly grubby-looking set is littered with the detritus of urban life: a traffic cone, a shopping trolley, a decrepit sofa. So far, so predictable. But the stereotype works precisely because it is a stereotype, and that is the crux of this captivating piece of dance theatre.

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