Reviews
Matthias Sperling, Now That We Know.© Artwork - Victoria Ford. Image - Wellcome Trust Images. (Click image for larger version)

Matthias Sperling – Now That We Know – London

★★✰✰✰   Matthias Sperling’s Now That We Know explores a long-running preoccupation of dancemakers and academics alike: how performance invokes and reflects the mind-body connection.

Delia Mathews and artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in Ignite.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Fire and Fury: The King Dances, Ignite – London

★★★✰✰   David Bintley, who steps down as director of Birmingham Royal Ballet at the end of the 2018/2019 season, describes the current double bill as ‘two ballets fuelled by power and politics’.

Miami City Ballet in Serenade.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

City Center Balanchine Festival – Miami City Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet

★★★✰✰   It’s fascinating to see how Balanchinean charm and wit are interpreted by dancers for whom the Balanchine repertoire is more of a foreign language.

Federico Bonelli and Laura Morera in Mayerling.© Alice Pennefather, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Mayerling (Bonelli, Morera) – London

★★★★✰   The partnership in Mayerling between Morera and Bonelli is a fine example of how experience can illumine the nuances of a dramatic ballet.

Isaac Hernandez and Jurgita Dronina in rehearsals for Manon.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Manon – Milton Keynes Theatre

★★★★✰   English National Ballet can once more reflect triumphally on another significant success.

Joaquin de Luz in Watermill.© Rebecca Greenfield. (Click image for larger version)

Jerome Robbins / Luca Veggetti – Watermill – New York

★★★✰✰   I was happy to discover that, yes, in fact, something about this more intimate, immersive setting did alter the work’s energy and rhythm, its overall feel.

Jasmin Vardimon's Medusa.© Simon Clark, graphic design Raanan Gabriel. (Click image for larger version)

Jasmin Vardimon Company – Medusa – London

★★★✰✰   Jasmin Vardimon’s latest work uses mythology to make a powerful point about gender issues in the present day with an overt relevance to the #MeToo movement.

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.

Le Patin Libre in Threshold.© Romain Guilbaul. (Click image for larger version)

Le Patin Libre – Threshold – London

★★★★✰   If there is a major difference between Le Patin Libre of 2014 and now, then surely it lies in this merger of these skaters’ extreme skills with the same elite capability in their artistic collaborators.

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.

Takako Suzuki and Sigal Zouk in Körper.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sasha Waltz & Guests – Körper – San Francisco

★★★★✰   In English, körper means ‘body’, and so, as one might guess, the ninety-minute tour de force, directed and choreographed by Sasha Waltz, turns its eye to the body in space.

I Infinite 2018 promotional image.© Tom Dale and Barret Hodgson. (Click image for larger version)

Tom Dale Company – I Infinite – London

★★★✰✰   Dale and his collaborators have succeeded in creating a highly unusual ambience for dance; a place of quiet reflection and arresting imagery…

Sonja Dale in A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will.© Stephen Texeira. (Click image for larger version)

Liss Fain Dance – A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Liss Fain Dance knows how to set a mood. As I walked into Z Space on Friday night for the opening of “A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will”, I was completely transfixed by the environment – both visuals and sound.

ABT in Jessica Lang's Garden Blue.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Fall Gala + Symphonie Concertante & Garden Blue 3bills – New York

★★★✰✰   The fall season is too brief, particularly because it always feels as though it takes the company a few days to warm itself up. The dancing at the gala on Oct. 17 was a little slapdash, but by Friday things had begun to settle.

Jennifer France and National Dance Company Wales dancers in Pascal Dusapin's Passion.© Clive Barda. (Click image for larger version)

National Dance Company Wales/Music Theatre Wales – Pascal Dusapin’s Passion – London

★★★★✰   Pascal Dusapin’s dance opera Passion is a minimalist affair. There are no ornate sets or costumes, no crowds of characters or elaborate plotlines to consume them. Instead we’re presented with a snapshot of two anonymous lovers…

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…

Sasha Milavic Davies' Everything that Rises Must Dance.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sasha Milavic Davies – Everything that Rises Must Dance – London

★★★★✰   One of the highlights of Dance Umbrella’s 40th anniversary was watching 200 women perform Everything that Rises Must Dance…

m/y by Julie Cunningham.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Julie Cunningham, Botis Seva and Alesandra Seutin – Reckonings bill – London

★★★✰✰   Reckonings celebrates the 20th anniversary of the reopening of Sadler’s Wells after its rebuild. Rather than commemorate previous successes, it presents three new works commissioned from emerging UK choreographers as a deliberate statement of belief in the future.

Eleanor Hullihan, Lee Serle, Jin Ju Song Begin and Marc Crousillat in Long Run.© Ben McKeown. (Click image for larger version)

Tere O’Connor Dance – Long Run – New York

★★★✰✰   Long Run is maniacally well constructed, intently and precisely performed, vigorous, and smart, and yet almost completely resistant to interpretation.

Igor and Moreno in Idiot-Syncrasy.© Alicia Clarke. (Click image for larger version)

Igor and Moreno – Idiot-Syncrasy – London

★★★✰✰   The clue is in the title. Although there is a small section of partnered dance towards the end, this is about conjoined peculiarity…

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