Author: Siobhan Murphy

Siobhan Murphy is a freelance writer, reviewer and editor, based in London. Between 2005 and 2014 she was London Metro's arts editor. She also contributes to LondonDance and tweets sporadically at @blacktigerlily.

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs.
Colin Dunne in Concert.© Peter-Hallward. (Click image for larger version)

Colin Dunne – Concert – London

★★★★✰   Since leaving the Riverdance juggernaut, Dunne has taken a stripped-back approach to Irish dancing, exposing its deeply soulful side.

Dimitris Papaioannou's The Great Tamer.© Julian Mommert. (Click image for larger version)

Dimitris Papaioannou – The Great Tamer – London

★★★★✰   What a deeply strange – and strangely affecting – piece of work The Great Tamer is. You’d struggle to call it dance; Dimitris Papaioannou is intensely interested in bodies and how to move them, but this manifested itself in something quite different from sequences of steps.

Via Katlehong Dance in Via Kanana.© John Hogg. (Click image for larger version)

Via Katlehong Dance and Gregory Maqoma – Via Kanana – London

★★★★✰   This show was a blast of South African pantsula, a township dance movement that has drawn influences from everything from tribal dances to hip hop…

Wen Hui's Red.© Laurent Phillipe. (Click image for larger version)

Wen Hui – Red – London

★★★✰✰   It reminds you powerfully that the Chinese Cultural Revolution has a living legacy…

Carlos Acosta in Rooster.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta and Acosta Danza – Carlos Acosta: A Celebration bill – London

★★★✰✰   There was a lot here to enjoy. This may have been a celebration of three decades in dance, but there was no nostalgia here…

Avant Garde Dance in Fagin’s Twist.© Avant Garde Dance. (Click image for larger version)

Avant Garde Dance – Fagin’s Twist – London

★★★★✰   Tony Adigun’s smart street-dance reimagining of Dickens’s Oliver Twist switches the focus of the tale…

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

Carlos Acosta – Dancer, Directer, Choreographer: ‘I am a man on a mission – I always have been’

“That’s what it’s always been about for me – the necessity to connect with an audience and express myself.”

Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball (The Royal Ballet) in Bach Forms, choreography by Wayne McGregor.© Ravi Deepres. (Click image for larger version)

Dance@TheGrange – Curated by Wayne McGregor & Edward Watson – Grange Festival, Hampshire

★★★★✰   McGregor’s company dancers (in Bach Forms) brought a surging energy, buoying up jewel-like moments from the Royal Ballet stars…

Boy Blue in A Night with Boy Blue.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Boy Blue – A Night with Boy Blue – London

★★★✰✰   The annual celebration of all things Boy Blue fielded 138 dancers this year – Kenrick Sandy and Michael Asante’s company is one that can wow you through sheer force of numbers alone.

Boy Blue Entertainment in Karnival 2.0.© Belinda Lawley. (Click image for larger version)

Breakin’ Convention 2018 – London

★★★★✰   Jonzi D’s hip-hop dance festival reached its 15th birthday this year and its quinceañero was – eventually – a raucously joyful coming-of-age. Featuring performances by BirdGang, Zeljko Bozic & Miljan Nojic, Elsabet Yonas, UMA, Room 2 Manoeuvre, Compagnie Amala Dianor, The Locksmiths, The Ruggeds, Mufasa & Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Boy Blue Entertainment.

Phoenix Dance Theatre in Windrush: Movement of the People.© Brian Slater. (Click image for larger version)

Phoenix Dance Theatre – Windrush: Movement of the People, Calyx, Shadow – London

★★★★✰   Watson, a child of the Windrush generation, showed movingly here just what a “hostile environment” existed for these migrants from the moment they arrived.

DFS by Cecilia Bengolea & Francois Chaignaud.© Hervé Véronèse. (Click image for larger version)

Cecilia Bengolea & François Chaignaud – DFS – London

★★✰✰✰   Jamaican dancehall and traditional Georgian vocal polyphony are not two things you expect to see in the same sentence, let alone on the same stage.

Uchenna Dance in The Head Wrap Diaries.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Uchenna Dance – The Head Wrap Diaries – London

★★★★✰   Hair is a fraught subject for most women. For black women, the struggle with their locks (braids, weaves, relaxed or natural) can be titanic – getting your hair done can be a day-long ordeal…

Sutra, by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley with monks from the Shaolin Temple.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley, Szymon Brzoska with monks from the Shaolin Temple – Sutra – London

★★★★★   It still has the power to surprise and delight – and let the imagination fly.

Motionhouse in Charge.© Dan Tucker. (Click image for larger version)

Motionhouse – Charge – London

★★✰✰✰   The theme of Charge was energy – how electricity shapes our world and powers our bodies and minds; it was created with the input of scientists at the University of Oxford.

Nicolas Vendange, Megan Armishaw and Mickaella Dantas in Face In.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Candoco Dance Company – Face In, Let’s Talk About Dis – London

★★★✰✰   …the latest double bill from this company of disabled and non-disabled dancers was playfully discombobulating and mischievously rambunctious.

Ballet British Columbia in Solo Echo.© Wendy D. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet British Columbia – 16+ a room, Solo Echo, Bill – London

★★★✰✰   Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo, originally made for Nederlands Dans Theater, was the undoubted highlight of the evening. Built around two Brahms sonatas…

Compañía Rafaela Carrasco in Born a Shadow.© Beatriz Monclar. (Click image for larger version)

Compañía Rafaela Carrasco – Born a Shadow – London

★★★★✰   Born a Shadow: Compañía Rafaela Carrasco’s inspired show had a powerful narrative drive.

Ballet Flamenco Jesús Carmona.© Beatrix Mexi Molnar. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Flamenco Jesús Carmona – Ímpetus – London

★★★✰✰   Ímpetus promised a mix of modern ballet with traditional flamenco, a show shaped by new interpretations of classic Spanish music…

Jakop Ahlbom Company in Lebensraum.© Stephan van Hesteren. (Click image for larger version)

Jakop Ahlbom Company – Lebensraum – London

★★★★✰   There are some extremely demanding physical comedy routines incorporated into Lebensraum. Even some of the throwaways are wince-inducing…

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