Reviews
Zenaida Yanowsky in Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth – London

★★★★✰   Was she passionate as well as imperious? Her own letters and poems suggest so: contemporary accounts by others are not to be trusted. Her position of power in turbulent times generated a lot of fake news…

Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nunez, Bennet Gartside and artists of the company in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake (Scarlett premiere) – London

★★★★★   Liam Scarlett has devised a visual and emotional treat for audiences, fully justifying Kevin O’Hare’s faith in him as a director and choreographer.

Jodi Lomask, Cari Delaplane and Mayuko Hosoai of Capacitor.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Capacitor – Left To Her Own Devices: 20 Years of Sculpture in Motion – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Artistic Director and Founder Jodi Lomask describes Capacitor as a “dance, cirque, sculpture company that often works with scientists…” The program excerpted seven works created from 2000 to 2014.

Jinyeob Cha in Riverrun: interface of the unstable body.© Kii Studios Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Festival of Korean Dance – Jinyeob Cha X Vakki and Lyon Eun KWON – London

★★★★✰   Two works by up-and-coming female Korean choreographers hint at South Korea’s progressive and rich dance culture.

New York City Ballet in The Concert.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 4 bill – New York

★★★★✰   It was a good night for Afternoon of a Faun, in particular. Chase Finlay, débuting in the role of the young dancer sensually lolling about a ballet studio, brought back the eroticism this ballet often lacks.

Dreda Blow and Javier Torres in Jane Eyre.© Caroline Holden. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – Jane Eyre – London

★★★✰✰   This excellent ballet is clearly a “keeper” and a work I would like to see again and again.

Julie Cunningham & Company in Sarah Kane’s Crave.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Julie Cunningham & Company – Sarah Kane’s Crave – London

★★✰✰✰   The dancing feels surprisingly lifeless given the fiery potential of the subject matter. Instead of engaging with the text’s furious, pitiful laments, it gives the impression of simply occurring alongside them…

Kizzy Matiakis in the lead image for The Queen of Spades.© Camilla Winther. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – The Queen of Spades – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   The good news is that Queen of Spades is a good-looking crowd pleaser and the RDB dancers look fantastic in it – I can’t emphasise that enough. Also good that it’s a step up from his last commission, Frankenstein – thank goodness, really.

New York City Ballet in Warren Carlyle’s Something to Dance About.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 2 and Tribute to Robbins bills – New York

★★★★✰   The centenary celebration bills are more than enough to give a sense of Robbins’ breadth, theatrical savvy, stylistic curiosities, and, perhaps most unique of all, his ability to present dancers as human beings onstage.

National Dance Company Wales in Tundra.© Rhys Cozens. (Click image for larger version)

National Dance Company Wales – Folk, Atalay, Tundra – London

★★★★✰   NDCW comprises a rich mix of performers, collectively hailing from six countries (although, surprisingly, none appear to have any Welsh heritage). What is even more surprising is that all bar one have joined in the past nine months…

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Formosa.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan – Formosa – London

★★★★✰   Formosa means beautiful, and is how Portuguese sailors described the island of Taiwan when they reached it in the sixteenth century. It is the title of the latest work by Lin Hwai-Min, his final creation before retiring as Artistic Director of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre…

New York City Ballet in Dybbuk.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 1 – Bernstein Collaborations bill – New York

★★★✰✰   One of Robbins’ great talents was sniffing out the style of his time, but this inevitably places a date stamp on his work.

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.

Passion Fruit Dance Company.© Still1 / Passion Fruit Dance Company. (Click image for larger version)

Lacina Coulibaly, Nora Chipaumire, Passion Fruit Dance Company, Les Ballet Afrik at E-Moves – New York

★★★✰✰   For 20 years Harlem Stage has presented emerging and established choreographers in its E-Moves series, and 2018’s installment featured a diverse cross-section of styles and influences.

James Bowen, Edisnel Rodriguez, Lani Dickinson, Yuko Monden & Dwayne Scheuneman in Amy Seiwert's The Reflective Surface.© David DeSilva. (Click image for larger version)

AXIS Dance Company – Historias rotas, The Reflective Surface, Radical Impact – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Brew describes physically integrated dance as “dancers of different physicalities uniting together as equals, colleagues and collaborators to create high-caliber art that is relevant and reflective of the world we live in.” And each offering on the program embodied that spirit and sentiment.

Ask la Cour in The Four Temperaments.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Agon, The Four Temperaments – New York

★★✰✰✰   Last week, on Thursday night, with the exception of The Four Temperaments, the company’s thoughts appeared to be elsewhere…

Scottish Ballet – Highland Fling – Lerwick

★★★★★   What Scottish Ballet wanted to do was take the full experience out to the Highlands and Islands. So the good folks in Lerwick (capital of the Shetland Isles, population 7,500) saw was the same show they got in Edinburgh and Glasgow…

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.

Emma Walker in TORO Beauty and the Bull.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

DeNada Dance Theatre – TORO: Beauty and the Bull – London

★★★★✰   This is a work that is sinister, in mood, and vivid, in style. It works on many levels of ingenious allusion…

Wayne Parsons' Vestige.© Nicole Guarino. (Click image for larger version)

Wayne Parsons Dance – Meeting, Vestige – London

★★★✰✰   Although I haven’t seen Parsons’ work before, I can see very quickly why it’s riveting.

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