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.
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.

TAO Dance Theater in 9.© Fan Xi. (Click image for larger version)

TAO Dance Theater – 4 & 9 – London

★★★★✰   There is something verging on the mystical about Tao Ye’s rigorously minimalist dance creations. The Beijing-based choreographer’s Numerical Series has stripped back dance to an almost forensic study…

Rambert in Marion Motin's Rouge.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert – PreSentient, Rouge, In Your Rooms – London

★★★✰✰   The bill is a bold statement of intent – but a little underwhelming in reality.

Deborah-Colker's Dog Without Feathers.© Pete Woodhead. (Click image for larger version)

Deborah Colker Dance Company – Dog Without Feathers – London

★★★✰✰   It’s hard to tear your eyes away from the filmed sequences – which means the live dance element rather loses out.

Israel Galvan in La Fiesta.© Aliaksandra Kanonchenka. (Click image for larger version)

Israel Galván – La Fiesta – London

★★★★✰   Much like his previous show, FLA.CO.MEN, with which it shares quite a few elements, this was 90 minutes of never knowing quite what was going to happen next…

Damien Jalet & Kohei Nawa's Vessel.© Yoshikazu Inoue. (Click image for larger version)

Damien Jalet & Kohei Nawa – Vessel – London

★★★★✰   The tableaux recall Francis Bacon paintings – and Goya in his darkest moments.

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?

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