Reviews
Oona Doherty in Hope Hunt & The Ascension Into Lazarus.© Simon Harrison. (Click image for larger version)

Oona Doherty – Hope Hunt & The Ascension Into Lazarus – London

★★★★✰   A charismatic and compelling performance and a forensic examination of embattled masculinity, holding the attention throughout with unflagging energy.

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.

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.

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.

Adrian Danchig-Waring and Emilie Gerrity in Cunningham’s Summerspace.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Summerspace, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★★✰   On the penultimate day of the fall season, I managed to catch a performance of New York City Ballet’s revival of Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace. The 1958 piece, which had its City Ballet premiere in 1966, was last performed here in 2000.

Everyone Keeps Me by Pam Tanowitz: Fumi Kaneko, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Hannah Grennell and Beatriz Stix-Brunell.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Merce Cunningham celebration: Cross Currents, Monotones II, Everyone Keeps Me – London

★★★★★   Quite some achievement by Pam Tanowitz, to have followed treasured works by Cunningham and Ashton with one that pays homage to both, yet stands on its own as her distinctive tapestry of dance.

Mariinsky Ballet in Paquita.© Darian Volkova. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Paquita – Washington

★★★✰✰   This three-act three-hour-long Paquita is a brainchild of Smekalov, who is a second soloist with the company. He wrote his own libretto, largely borrowing from the Cervantes novella La Gitanilla…

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…

Rauf Yasit and Brigel Gjoka in Seventeen/Twenty One.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

William Forsythe – A Quiet Evening of Dance – New York

★★★✰✰   The fascination with ballet is strong in Forsythe. After years of creating a form of dance theater in Germany, he has returned to his classical roots with a renewed energy.

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.

Shantala Shivalingappa in Akasha.© Elian Bachini. (Click image for larger version)

Shantala Shivalingappa – Akasha – New York

★★★★✰   Everything in Shivalingappa’s style emphasizes clarity, shape, and intention. … a very satisfying evening of dance.

Madeline DeVries in Azoth.© Manny Crisostomo. (Click image for larger version)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet – The Personal Element, Azoth – San Francisco

★★★★✰   A double-bill of compelling contemporary movement, the centerpiece of the performance was Azoth, a new collaboration between Artistic Director Alonzo King, tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd and composer/pianist Jason Moran.

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.

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.

Adrian Danchig-Waring and Unity Phelan in Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Dances at a Gathering, Everywhere We Go – New York

★★★✰✰   Robbins’ response to Chopin (in Dances at a Gathering) is also extraordinary: sensitive, simple, vulnerable, direct, un-fussy.

Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov in Manon.© Alice Pennefather, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Manon – London

★★★★✰   Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov, as Des Grieux, are not new to the roles and their understanding of the characters and the choreography has deepened with experience.

Ballet Preljocaj in La Fresque.© Jean-Claude Carbonne. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Preljocaj – La Fresque – London

★★★✰✰   The key to La Fresque (The Wall Painting) is that it was originally commissioned in France as a piece to be seen by young people. Choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj, it’s based on a 14th century Chinese fable…

Sonia Sabri in Spill.© Simon Richardson. (Click image for larger version)

Gauri Sharma Tripathi, Sonia Sabri and Mayuri Boonham – Descendants bill – London

★★★★✰   As in all three pieces, these female artists and choreographers are formidable figures, descendants of dance pioneers from the Indian sub-continent.

Yaman Okur & Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven's 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol.© Guillaume Rabgui. (Click image for larger version)

Breakin’ Convention: Yaman Okur & Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven – 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol – London

★★★✰✰   Okur’s style of movement is highly distinctive – as if locking and popping have had the jerkiness removed and replaced with something altogether more silky.

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…

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