Reviews
Laura Halzack and Michael Trusnovec in Mercuric Tidings.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance – David H. Koch season – New York

★★★★✰   Even in stillness, Taylor dancers hold immense power in their bodies, the energy potential within them more nuclear than solar.

Nicholas Bodych and Elly Braund in Carnaval.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Mid Century Modern, Carnaval, Cut and Run – London

★★★★★   It must be tempting to get carried away by sentiment when it comes to celebrating both a 70th birthday and fifty years as a choreographer in a programme that also marks the departure of a special muse.

Jillian Vanstone in The Sleeping Beauty.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

The National Ballet of Canada – The Sleeping Beauty – Toronto

★★★★✰   Steeped in the company’s history, this Sleeping Beauty is a real treasure – a lavishly-outfitted and deeply absorbing spectacle which bears the indelible imprint of its creator, the legendary Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

Fergus Early, Maria Ghoumrassi, Ursula Early, Ingrid MacKinnon and Vincent Ebrahim in About Us.© Sarah Covington. (Click image for larger version)

Jacky Lansley – About Us – London

★★★✰✰   About Us is a collection of personal stories and political musings communicated through a multidisciplinary framework of movement, music, singing, text and film and performed by an equally eclectic group of multigenerational artists.

Empathy by Neon Dance.© Miles Hart. (Click image for larger version)

Neon Dance – Sadler’s Wells Wild Card bill – London

★★★✰✰   All-in-all, it was a strange and eclectic evening, fluctuating from the sublime to the excruciatingly boring. …It has encouraged me to see more of Neon Dance whenever the chance arises.

San Francisco Ballet in Robbins' The Cage.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Robbins: Ballet & Broadway quad bill – San Francisco

★★★★✰   There’s nothing like watching a woman crush a man’s neck with her thighs to make you go hmm, maybe that whole #MeToo thing has legs.

Alain Platel & Fabrizio Cassol's Requiem pour L.© Chris Van der Burght. (Click image for larger version)

Alain Platel & Fabrizio Cassol – Requiem pour L. – London

✰✰✰✰✰   I have to ask how one associates a star rating with a performance in which the largest, continuing visual image is a close-up, slow motion film of an actual death.

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.

Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November with Jose Alves in Cathy Marston's The Suit.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – The Suit, A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream – London

★★★★★   Another year and another terrific bill from Ballet Black, mixing two strong and sophisticated works from much sought after international choreographers. …one of the company’s finest nights.

New York Theatre Ballet in Septet.© Julie Lemberger. (Click image for larger version)

New York Theatre Ballet – Septet, Rondo, Concertino, Wings/A Petroushka Collage – New York

★★★✰✰   New York Theatre Ballet’s director, Diana Byer, is known for dusting off the dance history books, and giving a dose of challenging revivals. This time NYTB joins may companies around the country and indeed, the world, in celebrating Jerome Robbins’ centennial…

Calvin Richardson and Joseph Sissons in Wayne McGregor's Yugen.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Bernstein Centenary: Yugen, The Age of Anxiety, Corybantic Games – London

★★★✰✰   Leonard Bernstein wrote (in 1949): “I have a deep suspicion that every work I write, for whatever medium, is really theatre music in some way.’ Many choreographers have taken up the challenge, though his quasi-metaphysical musings have usually eluded them: dance is more corporeal than music.

Mia J. Chong, Tegan Schwab and Brandon Freeman in Brenda Way's News of the World.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

ODC/Dance – News of the World, What we carry What we keep – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   News of the World was charged from beginning to end, filled with messages of gender-based orchestration, control and manipulation. Way brilliantly interpreted these themes…

Maresa von Stockert's Constructions of Thin Air.© Lee Carter. (Click image for larger version)

Tilted Productions – Constructions of Thin Air – London

★★★✰✰   Constructions of Air evocatively suggests our relationship with the past, our own histories, memories and how we make sense of change.

Emilie Karlsen in Rush.© Brian Slater. (Click image for larger version)

Joss Arnott Dance – A Movement in 3, V, Rush – Bracknell

★★★✰✰   Strangely neither the Arnott website or the programme highlight or say much about why the company is all female. I’m not against single-sex companies and the BalletBoyz show how effective it can be… but it seems too restrictive a vision here.

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.

Company Wayne McGregor in Autobiography.© Richard Davies. (Click image for larger version)

Company Wayne McGregor – Autobiography – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   There were some standout moments but generally I found that the vignettes didn’t seem all that different from one to the next….

Dana Fouras & Russell Maliphant in Duet.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Russell Maliphant Company – maliphantworks2: Critical Mass, Two Times Two, Still, Duet – London

★★★★✰   Duet, the new work for Maliphant and Fouras closes the programme. This has a surprisingly eclectic soundtrack. After bursts of static as if from a radio, a vintage recording of Una furtive lacrima tenderly sung by Caruso…

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…

John Eirich and Lindsey Jones in Rockefellers.© Julie Lemberger. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Heginbotham – Harkness Dance Festival program – New York

★★★✰✰   As part of the 92nd Street Y’s annual Harkness Dance Festival, John Heginbotham’s company performed a brief, manageable program of solos and duets on Friday, including several New York premieres.

Amy Bell's The Forecast.© Hetain Patel. (Click image for larger version)

Amy Bell – The Forecast – London

★★★★✰   Bell’s brave work although addressing us all in our fluctuating states of being, speaks out especially to queer women, non-binary and trans people.

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