Author: Siobhan Murphy

Siobhan Murphy is a freelance writer, reviewer and editor, based in London. Between 2005 and 2014 she was London Metro's arts editor. She also contributes to LondonDance and tweets sporadically at @blacktigerlily.

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs.
Gavin Coward in But Living choreographed by Gary Clarke and produced by the Lawrence Batley Theatre.© Dave Bewick. (Click image for larger version)

Studio Wayne McGregor, Northern Ballet & Gary Clarke Company – Locked Down. Locked In. But Living

★★★★✰   As tentative steps continue to get the dance world back on its feet, the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield has asked three companies to embrace the possibilities of lockdown with a trio of filmed works.

Kloé Dean in Man Up.© Camilla Greenwell. (Click image for larger version)

Linda Hayford and Kloé Dean – AlShe/Me and Man Up Aerowaves 2 bill – London

★★★★✰   Family ties were explored in two markedly different ways in this hip hop dance double bill.

Dust by Lin Hwai-min.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan – 13 Tongues & Dust – London

★★★★✰   Although starkly different in theme and intention, both 13 Tongues and Dust showcased the company’s unique blend of movement, drawn from classical and modern traditions…

Carlos Acosta and Acosta Danza in Rooster.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Acosta Danza – Evolution: Rooster, Faun, Satori & Paysage, Soudain, la nuit – London

★★★★✰   It’s thrilling to see the building confidence of Carlos Acosta’s Cuban-based dance company. There’s a sense of cohesion, shared purpose and a unique identity drawn from a vibrant range of influences.

Natalia Osipova and Jason Kittelberger in Six Years Later.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance bill – London

★★★✰✰   Once again, Osipova gave it her all – and Osipova’s all is quite something to behold.

Promotional image for Nicola Gunn's Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster.© Sarah Walker. (Click image for larger version)

Nicola Gunn – Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster – London

★★★✰✰   A disarmingly odd blend of narrative theatre, philosophical debate and experimental performance.

Forced Entertainment in Out of Order.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Forced Entertainment – Out of Order – London

★★★✰✰   A devised work, it pits six clowns against each other – a rancorous superannuated troupe locked in a queasy co-dependent relationship despite the fact they loathe each other.

John Scott & Sam Finnegan in Hard to Be Soft.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Oona Doherty – Hard to Be Soft: A Belfast Prayer – London

★★★★★   The dance artist Oona Doherty was transplanted to Belfast from London aged ten, and there was the gaze of a curious outsider about Hard to Be Soft.

Gisele Vienne's Crowd.© Estelle Hanania. (Click image for larger version)

Gisele Vienne – Crowd – London

★★★★✰   You have to marvel at the skill and precision of the 15 dancers in Crowd, the creation of the Franco-Austrian choreographer Gisele Vienne and the opening show of this year’s Dance Umbrella festival.

Publicity image for Gary Clarke Company in Wasteland.© Joe Armitage. (Click image for larger version)

Gary Clarke Company – Wasteland – London

★★★✰✰   Clarke doesn’t pull any punches with his ending …once again, a community is left defiant but defeated.

Mikiel Donovan and Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy in REDD.© Carl Fox. (Click image for larger version)

Boy Blue – Redd – London

★★★✰✰   Redd is another bold exploration of the storytelling potential of hip-hop dance, which succeeds in showing that beyond the crowd-pleasing tricks, this form can mine powerful, complex, gutsy emotions.

Olga Pericet.© Paco Villalta. (Click image for larger version)

Olga Pericet – The Thorn That Wanted to Be a Flower, or The Flower That Dreamed of Being a Dancer – London

★★★★★   The Cordoban star Olga Pericet’s poetically titled show revealed, wonderfully, a personality too big for flamenco to hold.

Sara Baras.© Santana de Yepes. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras – Sombras – London

★★★★★   Baras’s improvisations were not outpourings of emotion, but concentrated bursts of pure skill, passionately channelled.

Samara Downs and Lachlan Monaghan in Hobson’s Choice.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Hobson’s Choice – London

★★★★✰   Big-hearted, whimsical, suffused with equal parts romance and drollness, Hobson’s Choice is a gem of the BRB repertoire – long may it keep being revived.

Natalie Alleston in Jeanguy Saintus' The Rite of Spring.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Phoenix Dance Theatre – Left Unseen and The Rite of Spring – London

★★✰✰✰   Phoenix Dance Theatre’s The Rite of Spring came with tantalising credentials: the company’s first collaboration with Opera North, and a UK debut for the Haitian choreographer Jeanguy Saintus…

A picture supplied to illustrte RBS at the Young Talent Festival - Aurora’s Wedding from the 2018 Royal Ballet School Summer Performance.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – ROH, Young Talent Festival, mixed bill – London

★★★★✰   Royal Ballet School at the ROH Young Talent Festival with a mixed bill of over 10, new and old works…

Céline Gittens and Brandon Lawrence in Sense of Time.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – [Un]leashed: Lyric Pieces, Sense of Time, Peter and the Wolf – London

★★★✰✰   Overall, invigorating; a demonstration of the company’s healthy enthusiasm for innovation and playing with the form…

Norwegian National Ballet 2 in Some See Stages.© Erik Berg. (Click image for larger version)

Norwegian National Ballet 2 – ROH, Young Talent Festival, Quint Bill – London

★★★✰✰   Norwegian National Ballet 2 at the ROH Young Talent Festival with 5 works – Departures, Valse-Fantaisie, Pas de Sept from A Folk Tale, Some See Stages, Left from Write

Natalia Osipova in The Mother.© Kenny Mathieson. (Click image for larger version)

Arthur Pita, Natalia Osipova and Jonathan Goddard – The Mother – London

★★★★✰   The Mother takes already dark source material (a Hans Christian Andersen tale) and plunges even deeper into the nightmare scenario it proposes, giving everything a convincing Russian twist along the way.

Sasha De Sola and Angelo Greco in Scarlett's Hummingbird.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Bespoke, Hummingbird and Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – London

★★★★✰   the overall impression was of the wholly American spirit of the company – peppy, vivacious, determined and running at full-tilt.

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