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

Lost Dog – Juliet & Romeo – London

★★★★✰   What if the star cross’d lovers hadn’t died, but had run away, got married, had a child, reached middle age and hit a relationship crisis?

The Thread: Russell Maliphant and Vangelis.© Nikiforos. (Click image for larger version)

Russell Maliphant and Vangelis – The Thread – London

★★★✰✰   Sometimes a meeting of diverse dance styles can illuminate both – at other times, it’s not clear what benefit either has gained from the encounter.

BalletBoyz in Christopher Wheeldon’s Us.© George Piper. (Click image for larger version)

BalletBoyz – Them/Us – London

★★★★✰   There’s lots to savour in this burst of creative expression from the present crop of Boyz.

Ultima Vez in Mockumentary of a Contemporary Saviour.© Danny Willems. (Click image for larger version)

Ultima Vez – Mockumentary of a Contemporary Saviour – London

★★✰✰✰   Ultima Vez’s latest show, a devised piece of dance-theatre that tries to explore the nature of faith and religion, …ends up about as awkward and unwieldy as its title.

Emma Barrowman in Bon Voyage, Bob...© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Bon Voyage, Bob… – London

★★✰✰✰   It’s three hours long, not including the interval. But a tanztheater classic this is not…

Uchenna Dance in Hansel & Gretel.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Uchenna Dance – Hansel & Gretel – London

★★★✰✰   Vicki Igbokwe’s bold dance retelling of the classic fairytale Hansel and Gretel has a sense of playfulness at its heart, and something of a political message for adults to chew on too.

Colin Dunne in Concert.© Peter-Hallward. (Click image for larger version)

Colin Dunne – Concert – London

★★★★✰   Since leaving the Riverdance juggernaut, Dunne has taken a stripped-back approach to Irish dancing, exposing its deeply soulful side.

Dimitris Papaioannou's The Great Tamer.© Julian Mommert. (Click image for larger version)

Dimitris Papaioannou – The Great Tamer – London

★★★★✰   What a deeply strange – and strangely affecting – piece of work The Great Tamer is. You’d struggle to call it dance; Dimitris Papaioannou is intensely interested in bodies and how to move them, but this manifested itself in something quite different from sequences of steps.

Via Katlehong Dance in Via Kanana.© John Hogg. (Click image for larger version)

Via Katlehong Dance and Gregory Maqoma – Via Kanana – London

★★★★✰   This show was a blast of South African pantsula, a township dance movement that has drawn influences from everything from tribal dances to hip hop…

Wen Hui's Red.© Laurent Phillipe. (Click image for larger version)

Wen Hui – Red – London

★★★✰✰   It reminds you powerfully that the Chinese Cultural Revolution has a living legacy…

Carlos Acosta in Rooster.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta and Acosta Danza – Carlos Acosta: A Celebration bill – London

★★★✰✰   There was a lot here to enjoy. This may have been a celebration of three decades in dance, but there was no nostalgia here…

Avant Garde Dance in Fagin’s Twist.© Avant Garde Dance. (Click image for larger version)

Avant Garde Dance – Fagin’s Twist – London

★★★★✰   Tony Adigun’s smart street-dance reimagining of Dickens’s Oliver Twist switches the focus of the tale…

Carlos Acosta.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta – Dancer, Directer, Choreographer: ‘I am a man on a mission – I always have been’

“That’s what it’s always been about for me – the necessity to connect with an audience and express myself.”

Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball (The Royal Ballet) in Bach Forms, choreography by Wayne McGregor.© Ravi Deepres. (Click image for larger version)

Dance@TheGrange – Curated by Wayne McGregor & Edward Watson – Grange Festival, Hampshire

★★★★✰   McGregor’s company dancers (in Bach Forms) brought a surging energy, buoying up jewel-like moments from the Royal Ballet stars…

Boy Blue in A Night with Boy Blue.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Boy Blue – A Night with Boy Blue – London

★★★✰✰   The annual celebration of all things Boy Blue fielded 138 dancers this year – Kenrick Sandy and Michael Asante’s company is one that can wow you through sheer force of numbers alone.

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.

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.

DFS by Cecilia Bengolea & Francois Chaignaud.© Hervé Véronèse. (Click image for larger version)

Cecilia Bengolea & François Chaignaud – DFS – London

★★✰✰✰   Jamaican dancehall and traditional Georgian vocal polyphony are not two things you expect to see in the same sentence, let alone on the same stage.

Uchenna Dance in The Head Wrap Diaries.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Uchenna Dance – The Head Wrap Diaries – London

★★★★✰   Hair is a fraught subject for most women. For black women, the struggle with their locks (braids, weaves, relaxed or natural) can be titanic – getting your hair done can be a day-long ordeal…

Sutra, by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley with monks from the Shaolin Temple.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley, Szymon Brzoska with monks from the Shaolin Temple – Sutra – London

★★★★★   It still has the power to surprise and delight – and let the imagination fly.

DanceTabs © 2019 All Rights Reserved

© All here is copyright DanceTabs and the author concerned. Do not steal our words or pictures please. Thank you.