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Reviews

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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Miguel Angel Zotto’s Buenos Aires Tango at the Peacock Theatre

I never thought I would say this: the best scene in Buenos Aires Tango is one with taped music. The latest show by dancer Miguel Angel Zotto has a mix of live and recorded music, dramatic scenes and simple dancing. The simplest, and loveliest, is a nostalgic scene with Zotto and his partners dancing to […]

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Sadler’s Wells Sampled 2008

“Only £5? Seriously?” Hip hop artist Jonzi D was compering Sadler’s Wells Sampled, but was still surprised when the audience told him how cheap their tickets had been. Back for a second year, Sampled is encouraging audiences to give dance a whirl: low prices, plenty of different styles on offer, a range of classes and […]

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Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Juanita Amaya Company

Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco – January, 2, 2008 Juanita Amaya and Company, Theatre de Grasse – November 17, 2007 Following the mixed bag of offerings at the Cannes Dance Festival, I had been looking forward to the new season by the Ballets de Monte-Carlo. I have been impressed over the past three years […]

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Pinocchio at the Linbury

Artists often seem to get away with murder, but just occasionally they are prevented. Notably, a couple of authors who hoped to kill off their protagonists have been stopped by an outraged public. Sherlock Holmes is the most notorious example, brought back from the Reichenbach Falls by a reluctant Conan Doyle. And Pinocchio, the puppet […]

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Ascendance Rep: The Chaps Theatre Tour

Wherever the Ascendance Rep dancers perform there is always an expectant atmosphere, indeed a collective hum of anticipation. The company delights and cheers. Its mission is to reach out and this it does, thoughtfully and entertainingly. The company has created its own audiences through performances in art galleries, museums, libraries, bookshops and even on railway […]

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The Joffrey Ballet in Cinderella

One has to grab any opportunity there is nowadays to see an Ashton ballet; even The Royal Ballet, which after the centenary celebration of 2004 might be thought to have restored his works to the ascendancy in its repertory that they deserve, now appears only grudgingly to offer a few performances of Rhapsody early in […]

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Ballet Nacional de Cuba at Sadler’s Wells

Following the success of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba’s visit to Sadler’s Wells last year, the company made a swift return visit to London in early September with a repertoire consisting of the full length Don Quixote and a mixed programme of ballet “lollipops” called Magia de la Danza. Part of the success of the […]

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Dutch National Ballet in Jewels

During the last ten years George Balanchine’s Jewels has gradually become one of the standards of the classical repertory to which any self-respecting troupe should aspire. More and more companies around the world acquire Balanchine’s 1967 plotless triptych and enchant new audiences with its evocation of precious stones subtly linked to the three dance cultures […]

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New York City Ballet in “Diamonds”

The New York City Ballet did some diamond mining at the New York State Theater (April 25-June 25), when performances featured the sixth Diamond Project, a sporadically offered series of premieres established in 1992 and named after the philanthropist Irene Diamond. Dancegoers, however, tend to regard the balletic “diamonds” as potential theatrical treasures, and they […]

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