Ballet Hispanico in If Walls Could Speak.© Paula Lobo. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Hispanico – If Walls Could Speak – New York

A sparse, small apartment contains much of the drama in Fernando Melo’s If Walls Could Speak, an evening-length premiere for Ballet Hispanico.

Members of Kidd Pivot and students from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Dance in Crystal Pite's Polaris.© Kevin Yatarola for Lincoln Center. (Click image for larger version)

Thomas Adès: Concentric Paths — Movements in Music – Works by Armitage, McGregor, Pite, Whitley – New York

While this is a generalization, it’s safe to say the most hotly anticipated work of the night was Pite’s Polaris, set to Adès’ work of the same name.

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 Petite though it is, Richmond Theatre doesn’t proffer much of a sense of intimacy: its ornate…

Aakash Odedra in Murmur 2.0.© Sean Goldthorpe. (Click image for larger version)

Aakash Odedra Company – Murmur 2.0 – London

Odedra undoubtedly feels passionate about dyslexia …and succeeds here in making what might seem an unlikely subject into a compelling account of struggle and wonder.

Beata Giza and Beniamin Citkowski in Phaedra.© K Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – Phaedra, The Tempest – Gdansk

It seems now to be a given that any new work by Izadora Weiss will combine dramatic, narrative-based dance theatre with a profound visual impact, danced to challenging, powerful music.


Akram Khan – Kaash – San Francisco

In Khan’s choreography, kathak’s warp-speed spins and fierce gestures are immediately recognizable yet subverted and sculpted by contemporary weightedness and extended lines.

Paco Peña.© and courtesy Paco Peña, Columbia Artists Management Inc. (Click image for larger version)

Paco Peña – Flamencura – New York

Peña’s show, which came to the The Town Hall for a single performance, uses an extremely spare model – flamenco performance as family gathering.

Royal New Zealand Ballet in Anatomy of a Passing Cloud by Javier de Frutos.© Evan Li. (Click image for larger version)

Royal New Zealand Ballet – A Passing Cloud 4 bill – London

The solemnity of the middle section of the programme is alleviated by irreverent visions of heaven and hell…

Jean Butler, with cellist Neil Martin, in this is an Irish dance.© Ian Douglas/courtesy Danspace Project. (Click image for larger version)

Jean Butler – this is an Irish dance – New York

Butler is making a very obvious departure from the stringent formalities of traditional Irish dance.

Valeri Hristov, Marianela Nunez and Edward Watson in Monotones II.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version

Royal Ballet – Monotones I & II, The Two Pigeons – London

Monotones II: Audiences are now accustomed to the manic acrobatic contortions of modern choreography, so it is rewarding to see the rigour with which the three performers (Marianela Nunez, Valeri Hristov and Edward Watson) control their elasticity.

Christian Rizzo's d'apres une histoire vraie.© Marc Domage. (Click image for larger version)

Christian Rizzo – d’après une histoire vraie – London

Watching a group of men “erupt on stage”, as he describes it, had a profound effect on Rizzo – this 60-minute piece is his attempt to explore why.

Rika Okamoto and Matthew Dibble in Yowzie publicity image.© Ruven Afanador. (Click image for larger version)

Twyla Tharp – 50th Anniversary Tour: First Fanfare, Preludes and Fugues, Second Fanfare, Yowzie – New York

…one can’t help but admire the torrent of ideas bouncing around Tharp’s brain…

Sylvie Guillem in Akram Khan’s technê.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Sylvie Guillem – Life in Progress – New York

More than one dancer has been dubbed a “punk ballerina” but no one deserves it more than Sylvie Guillem, who has ruffled feathers at the world’s best companies, and at 50 years old is still on top.

Fog Beast in CHANGE.© Jessica Swanson. (Click image for larger version)

Fog Beast – CHANGE – San Francisco

If you’re ever within earshot when a member of Fog Beast yells out, “Hey, kids, let’s put on a show!” – fasten your seatbelt. Because a performance by this underground San Francisco dance-theater duo is guaranteed to be a wild night.

Antony Hamilton Projects in NYX.© Byron Perry. (Click image for larger version)

Antony Hamilton Projects – NYX – Melbourne

NYX is inspired by the classical goddess of night: in mythology, Nyx is an ancient deity from Gaius’ generation of archaic gods and goddesses, an omnipresent but shadowy figure…

Jeffrey Van Sciver and Courtney Henry perform with singer Lisa Fischer in The Propelled Heart.© Quinn B. Wharton. (Click image for larger version)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet – The Propelled Heart – San Francisco

The Propelled Heart is a full-immersion experience, a wading into the waters of dance as a spiritual practice.

Phoenix Dance Theatre in Until.With / Out.Enough.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Phoenix Dance Theatre – Until.With / Out.Enough, Tearfall, Bloom – London

One essential factor in the current success of Phoenix is a cohort of excellent dancers…

Tamisha Guy, Penda N'Diaye and Jeremy Jae Neal in Absent Matter.© Sharon Bradford. (Click image for larger version)

Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion – The Quiet Dance, Absent Matter, The Gettin’ – New York

If there was an award for the most likely New York dance troupe to be compared to a sportscar, I’d give it to Abraham.In.Motion. The choreography is, like the best supercars, all torque and velocity…

Anastasia Turchina in Don Quixote.© Marina Vatanskaya, Russian State Ballet of Astrakhan. (Click image for larger version)

Russian State Ballet of Astrakhan – Don Quixote – Guildford

The company, based on the shores of the Caspian Sea, successfully toured the UK in 2013 and has returned again with 37 (from its full company of 65) dancers, offering the popular favourites including its latest “Don Quixote”, which made for a most enjoyable evening.

Northern Ballet in The Nutcracker.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – Nutcracker – Woking

Seeing Northern Ballet’s Nutcracker is a lot like going to a favourite local trattoria. It’s not incredibly fancy but the base ingredients are rather good – in this case the dancers and music…

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