Author: Josephine Leask

Josephine Leask is a dance writer and lecturer. Having written for a range of dance and art publications, she currently writes for Londondance and the Dance Insider. She lectures in cultural studies at London Studio Centre. Follow her on Twitter @jo_leask

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs.
Margherita Elliot in BEAT.© Alicia Clarke. (Click image for larger version)

Igor and Moreno – BEAT – London

★★★★★   Cool, intelligent, thought-provoking, BEAT excels because of its fantastic creative team and its absolute superstar dancer, Margherita Elliot.

Sung Im Her's Nutcrusher.© Sang Hoon Ok. (Click image for larger version)

Sung Im Her – Nutcrusher – London

★★★✰✰   Sung Im Her’s Nutcrusher is a dance work which adds a valuable contribution to the #metoo movement with its gritty aesthetics and undoing of the sexually coded body.

Gregory Maqoma's Cion: Requiem of Ravel's Bolero.© John Hogg. (Click image for larger version)

Gregory Maqoma – Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero – London

★★★✰✰   Gregory Maqoma’s theatrical storytelling, a potent mix of a capella, dance styles and scenography, projects a strong universal theme – grief.

Ashley McLellan and Lilian Steiner in Lucy Guerin's Split.© Gregory Lorenzutti. (Click image for larger version)

Lucy Guerin – Split – London

★★★★✰   Fascinating for the duration of its 50 mins, Split focusses on duality – charting the shifts between Ashley McLellan and Lilian Steiner as they negotiate their space, timing, movement and relationship.

Kwame Asafo-Adjei’s Family Honour.© Gomez Villamor. (Click image for larger version)

Danse Élargie: Dance Expanded – London

★★✰✰✰   Seven international companies appeared on the Sadler’s Wells main stage, all of whom are prize winners of the bi-annual international competition Danse Élargie: Dance Expanded – the brain wave of Boris Charmatz and director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota…

Dada Masilo in Giselle.© Laurent Phillipe. (Click image for larger version)

Dada Masilo – Giselle – London

★★★★✰   Masilo and company unpack this famous story of a wronged woman, establishing a refreshingly black, South African and feminist perspective.

Impermanence in Baal.© Aaron Davies. (Click image for larger version)

Impermanence – Baal – London

★★★✰✰   Baal conveys a convincing Brechtian essence framed through a contemporary gaze. It’s an intriguing work that celebrates the company’s wild creativity…

Claire Cunningham.© Peter Dibdin. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Claire Cunningham and her new Elvis inspired work “Thank You Very Much”

Interview – Claire Cunningham’s latest work “Thank You Very Much” uses the phenomenon of Elvis Presley and Elvis tribute artists as a springboard to explore impersonation, identity, acceptance and the challenges of being yourself. Josephine Leask finds out more from the lively Cunningham…

Ben Duke and Solene Weinachter in Juliet & Romeo.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Lost Dog – Juliet & Romeo – London

★★★★✰   Juliet and Romeo is a clever work on many different levels.

Company of Elders at the 2019 Elixir Extracts Festival.© Ellie Kurttz. (Click image for larger version)

Company of Elders – Dare I Speak, Natural 2019 – London

★★★★✰   Over the years that I’ve seen them, this extraordinary company of quirky individuals have become more adventurous about what they perform and flexible in how they perform…

Gary Avis in The Firebird.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Firebird, A Month in the Country, Symphony in C – London

★★★★✰   Three short but densely packed ballets infused with a strong Russian flavour were at the heart of the Royal Ballet’s last bill of the season.

The Rite of Spring by Seeta Patel.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Seeta Patel – The Rite of Spring, Dance Dialogues – London

★★★✰✰   Rite of Spring: Through the perspective of a South Asian gaze, the brutality and finality of the original ballet’s pagan sacrifice is tempered by a rich spirituality and the optimistic suggestion of an after-life. It’s still scary but less barbaric.

Nora in Where Home Is.© Camilla Greenwell. (Click image for larger version)

Nora – Nora Invites Deborah Hay: Where Home Is – London

★★★✰✰   Nora’s show combines a piece made by Hay for the company followed by a short lecture-demonstration in which they guide us through different frames for watching dance – inspired from their viewing of Hay making a solo.

Jean-Guihen Queyras and Marie Goudot in Mitten wir im Leben sind / Bach6Cellosuiten.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

De Keersmaeker, Queyras & Rosas – Mitten wir im Leben sind / Bach6Cellosuiten – London

★★★★✰   What unfolds over the two hours is an extraordinary conversation between musician and dancers.

Corali Dance Company.© Jon C Archdeacon. (Click image for larger version)

Corali Dance Company with Thick & Tight – Technicolour Everyday bill – London

★★★✰✰   Even as I leave the show not really having understood every bit of it, I’m touched by the multi-skilled performers and their unforced honesty.

The Yonis.© Alex Gent. (Click image for larger version)

Woman SRSLY – Takeover: Wildlife in Strange Waters – London

★★★✰✰   Woman SRSLY’s feminist energy exploded all over the Place last Thursday. The foyer and bar area were transformed into a colourful pink fun-fair.

Virgin Territory Film Installation, here at the Brighton Festival.© Bosie Vincent. (Click image for larger version)

Vincent Dance Theatre – Virgin Territory Film Installation – Margate

★★★★✰   Vincent Dance Theatre’s visceral and timely response to how social media is wrecking our children, hypersexualising them and stealing their childhood co-opts the very technology that it warns us about.

Chihiro Kawasaki and Rhys Dennis in Within Her Eyes.© Camilla Greenwell. (Click image for larger version)

James Cousins Company – Epilogues bill of duets – London

★★★★✰   Cousins and company both surprise and stir us.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Since She.© Julian Mommert. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Since She – London

★★★★✰   Papaioannou weaves in many references to Bausch’s work and deliberately asks us to find them, the work is fuelled by his love for her. But he also invites us to move on from the nostalgia trip.

Forced Entertainment's That Night Follows Day.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Forced Entertainment – That Night Follows Day – London

★★★★✰   Performed by a cast of seventeen children ranging from ages 5 – 15, Forced Entertainment’s delightfully humorous and poignant work reveals how adults shape children through their projection of values and beliefs.

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