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Reviews

Sankai Juku in Kinkan Shonen at Sadler’s Wells

I do wonder what they did to the peacock. In Kinkan Shonen, a 1978 work by Japanese butoh group Sankai Juku, a man dances with a live bird tucked under his arm. It seems to be in a trance. Even when he lets go of its neck, it sways its head from side to side, […]

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Nuevo Ballet Espagnol at the Preacock Theatre

Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez are natural partners. Having jointly won the title of Most Outstanding Dancer at the National Spanish and Flamenco Dance Competition in 1994, the Madrid-born pair founded Nuevo Ballet Español the following year, and the have since toured a host of productions featuring their unique approach to Spanish and flamenco dance.

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21st Festival International de ballet de la Havana

Imagine an animated breakfast table where terpsichorean topics are discussed vigorously in five different languages at the same time. That’s the festival of dance in Cuba. Aficionados from around the world are invited to spend ten dance-filled days in the heart of this Caribbean island where poverty is rampant and recent hurricane damage is very […]

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Zurich Ballet in La Sylphide

Zurich Ballet is certainly adaptable. Also presently dancing William Forsythe’s Artefact, it says a great deal that they can not only turn to La Sylphide, the most enduring of Romantic ballets, but dance it with such conviction and in such authentic style.

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Pacific Northwest Ballet

In his “Director’s Notebook” programme note for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s recent all-Tharp triple bill, artistic director Peter Boal refers to his own memorable dancing experiences working with Twyla Tharp. Now that he is choosing experiences for his 50-dancer troupe, Boal wanted more Tharp. When he sat down with the choreographer about two years ago to […]

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The Sleeping Beauty in Oslo

This was my second visit to the wonderful new Opera House in Oslo. My first was to attend the opening of the National Ballet season in May when the company presented an all Kylián programme and I now wanted to see them perform a classical work. The Sleeping Beauty is a challenge for any ensemble […]

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Matthew Bourne’s Dorian Gray

Matthew Bourne’s dance works have undoubted popular appeal, and his latest production, a version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is no exception. The show broke box office records when it was premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival and its season at Sadler’s Wells from September 2-14 was completely sold out. I saw […]

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Jah Wobble-Chinese Dub at Bush Hall

With the Olympics looming, cultural exchanges with China are everywhere. Jah Wobble-Chinese Dub cheerfully crams British musicians, Chinese dancers and singers onto the small stage of the rock and pop venue, Bush Hall in West London. The atmosphere is charmingly laid back. Traditional dancers from Hangzhou step carefully over the cables of Jah Wobble’s bass […]

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Gravity and Levity in Shift

Shift, by aerialist company Gravity and Levity, starts by explaining what it isn’t. “None of that new circus here,” says dancer Guy Adams, in tones of utter scorn. “No Lycra, no sequins, no unitards. This is high art.”

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Peter and the Wolf at the Hackney Empire

Everything should have worked with this production of Peter and the Wolf: it is admirably designed and well costumed, the musicians are from the Philharmonia Orchestra no less and it has Brian Blessed as the predictably larger-than-life narrator. However, as a danced piece, it falls short. Not that anything is bad, just not quite good […]

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Bounce in Insane in the Brain

Coming from a music culture with built-in swagger, hip hop should be good at rebellion against authority. For their latest show, the Swedish street dance company Bounce has adapted One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. But the dancers’ hearts seem less in the story of psychiatric patients’ revolt than in the feelgood numbers they have […]

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Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour at The O2

Having enjoyed the quick-stepping action of “Strictly Come Dancing” both from the comfort of my own sofa and live from the BBC studio itself, I wondered how the O2 Arena – with it’s whopping 20,000-person capacity – would compare in terms of intimacy. Can the simmering intensity of Argentine tango really come across in full […]

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