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...
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
★★★★✰ Juliet and Romeo is a clever work on many different levels.
★★★★✰ 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...
★★★★✰ 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.
★★★✰✰ 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'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.
★★★★✰ What unfolds over the two hours is an extraordinary conversation between musician and dancers.
★★★✰✰ 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.
★★★✰✰ 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.
★★★★✰ 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.
★★★★✰ Cousins and company both surprise and stir us.
★★★★✰ 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.
★★★★✰ 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.
★★★★✰ Luke Brown Dance’s For You I Long the Longest is an intense and intimate work that needs to be experienced in a small, contained theatre.
★★★★✰ Sidi Larbi Cherkaouis’s work is full of surprises. Icon, first premiered in 2016 is another fruitful collaboration between Anthony Gormley and Cherkaoui in which clay moulds both the theme and the dancers.
★★★✰✰ Rosie Kay’s MK Ultra is an ambitious project which tackles complex thematic sources - conspiracy theories, brain washing and mind-control, not to mention myths about secret societies such as the Illuminati...
★★★★✰ Overshadowed by the atrocities of WWI, which is commemorated loudly and frequently, the killer Spanish Flu, which killed an estimated 50-100 million people, is at last fittingly acknowledged on its 100th anniversary in Shobana Jeyasingh’s work Contagion.
★★★★✰ One of the highlights of Dance Umbrella’s 40th anniversary was watching 200 women perform Everything that Rises Must Dance...
Thoughtful report about thoughtful work that probes and presents how the dance of yesterday and today borrows and distorts the culture of others. Makes you think!
★★★✰✰ Blanc shares her struggles with dieting, exercise regimes and the pressure to look perfect to the point where she has an epiphany which she calls her feminist boner.