Author: Sara Veale

Sara Veale is a London-based writer and editor who has studied both dance and literature. She is chief dance critic for Auditorium Magazine, an editor for Review 31 and her work also appears in Fjord Review, Exeunt and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter @SaraEVeale

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs.
Isaac Hernandez and Alina Cojocaru in Giselle.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Giselle – London

★★★★✰   The magic in this production isn’t simply its bewitching ambience but also its harnessing of centuries-old themes in a way that resonates today.

Corey Annand in Arthur Pita's The Little Match Girl.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Arthur Pita – The Little Match Girl – London

★★★★✰   The Little Match Girl is small-scale, but it’s pretty spectacular all the same – a sweet and witty alternative to the typical Christmas family fare.

Hetain Patel in American Man.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Hetain Patel – American Man – London

★★✰✰✰   American Man, sets racism and sexism in its sights – “somewhat contradictory” subjects for Patel, he noted in his follow-up talk…

Solene Weinachter and John Kendall in Plan B for Utopia.© Nicole Guarino. (Click image for larger version)

Joan Cleville Dance – Plan B for Utopia – London

★★★✰✰   This hour-long work …poses in its opening lines the following question: “Why is it easier to imagine the end of the world than the world changing for the better?”

Nitin Sawhney at the RAH.© Morah Geist. (Click image for larger version)

Nitin Sawhney with special guests Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang – Concert – London

★★★★✰   It’d be a misnomer to call the evening a dance show – I was hoping Wang Ramirez would have more stage time than they did …but it was a cohesive production in any case, with some bracing, if fleeting, choreography on offer.

The Finale of Dance Proms 2016.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Proms 2016 – Royal Albert Hall, London

★★★★✰   …the event is less about showing off the talents of dancers and their teachers than celebrating their hard work and dedication.

Wang Ramirez - Honji Wang and Sebastien Ramirez.© Filine Fink. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang, choreographers, performers and collaborators – now with Nitin Sawhney

Interview – Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang are about to collaborate with composer, and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist, Nitin Sawhney at the Royal Albert Hall. We wanted to know more about the dynamic and well connected pair…

Tobias Batley in Jonathan Watkins' 1984.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – 1984 – London

★★★★✰   …an excellent reminder of how enduring Orwell’s work is, and how powerful a channel ballet can be for complex human emotions like distrust and defeat.

Hofesh Shechter Company in Political Mother.© Gabriele Zucca. (Click image for larger version)

Hofesh Shechter Company at IDFB – Political Mother – Birmingham

★★★★✰   Hofesh Shechter created Political Mother in 2010 as a rebuke to totalitarianism and oppressive propaganda.

Carlos Acosta as Actaeon.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta at IDFB – A Classical Farewell – Birmingham

★★★★✰   Winks, finger wags, flamboyant leaps in a criminally short leather skirt – Carlos Acosta gives the people what they want in this winsome bill, a mix of variations he’s assembled to mark his retirement after more than 25 years on stage.

Cecilia Lisa Eliceche in Unison.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Cecilia Lisa Eliceche – Unison – London

★★★✰✰   Alongside her work as a dancer and choreographer, Eliceche is a political activist and a student of critical theory, both of which influence her approach to dance.

NDCWales in Alexander Ekman's Tuplet.© Rhys Cozens. (Click image for larger version)

National Dance Company Wales – They Seek To Find The Happiness They Seem, Tuplet, Folk – London

★★★★✰   On show were three contemporary pieces: a rep work by rehearsal director Lee Johnson, a selection of Alexander Ekman’s Tuplet (originally choreographed for Cedar Lake Dance Company), and the premiere of new artistic director Caroline Finn’s first piece for NDCWales.

Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November in Arthur Pita's Cristaux.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – Cristaux, To Begin, Begin, Storyville – London

★★★★✰   I’ve long admired Ballet Black’s efforts to make ballet a more accessible art form to both dancers and audiences who’ve historically been excluded from it.

The Palest Light publicity image.© Jesus Ubera . (Click image for larger version)

Pepa Ubera – Wild Card invites The Palest Light – London

★★★✰✰ If the thought of getting out of your chair during a performance alarms you, Pepa Ubera’s The Palest Light is not the show for you.

Marc Stevenson in Quests.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Tara D’Arquian – Quests – London

★★★✰✰ The action is arranged around a meta-narrative: the emotional breakdown of the trilogy’s fictitious stage director (Marc Stevenson) as he tries to write its first piece while dealing with the aftermath of his wife’s murder.

The 7 Fingers in an extract from Triptyque.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sadler’s Wells Sampled, the dance taster festival – London

★★★★✰ 2016 marks the tenth annual “Sadler’s Wells Sampled,” a January taster of the London dance house’s upcoming season.

Nancy Nerantzi and Liam Riddick in Martin Lawrance’s Burning.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Espresso Vivace, Mazur, Burning, Brisk Singing – London

Richard Alston Dance Company Espresso Vivace, Mazur, Burning, Brisk Singing London, Richmond Theatre 19 November 2015 www.richardalstondance.com Petite though it is, Richmond Theatre doesn’t proffer much of a sense of intimacy: its ornate…

Birmingham Royal Ballet in Balanchine's Theme and Variations.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Themes & Variations, Enigma Variations, The King Dances – London

The 28-strong cast rose to the challenge of Themes and Variations, with its tricky footwork and complicated formations…

Bradley Waller and Andrea Carrucciu in Young Men.© Stephen Wright. (Click image for larger version)

BalletBoyz – Young Men – London

The episodic format works nicely: there’s ample scope to explore each scene’s premise, which in turn lends the piece the weight and substance its desolate theme requires…

Latitude Festival© Marc Sethi. (Click image for larger version)

Dance at the Latitude Festival 2015 – Faraway Forest: A Weekend at Latitude

Dance at the Latitude Festival 2015 – Sara Veale with a full report…

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