Reviews
Last Yearz Interesting Negro/Jamila Johnson-Small and Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome in Heavy handed, we crush the moment.© Maurizio Martorana, Jamila Johnson-Small. (Click image for larger version)

Jamila Johnson-Small and guests – Heavy Handed We Crush the Moment – London

Heavy Handed We Crush the Moment, an immersive performance is fittingly programmed late at the Barbican Pit. It’s a relaxed and fluid set-up with dim lighting, a DJ’s deck and sculpted podiums on which the audience can sit.

Edward Watson and Olga Smirnova in McGregor + Mugler.© Sasha Gusov. (Click image for larger version)

MuzArts – Radio & Juliet, Faun, McGregor + Mugler – London

★★✰✰✰   There was certainly some spectacle and some good dancing, and not just from the big stars. However, the most heavily promoted piece and world premiere was an excruciating fifteen minutes of disappointment…

Chester Hayes as Billy in Kes Reimagined.© Marv Martin. (Click image for larger version)

Film: Kes Reimagined, by Jonathan Watkins

★★★★✰   In Watkins’ choreography and MacGibbon’s mastery of camera angles and close-ups the narrative is crystal clear.

Svetlana Zakharova in Gabrielle Chanel.© Jack Devant. (Click image for larger version)

Svetlana Zakharova – Modanse: Gabrielle Chanel, Come un Respiro – London

★★★✰✰   Stunning images of Bolshoi ballerina Svetlana Zakahrova dressed as Coco Chanel whetted the appetite for the London Premiere of her latest how, Modanse.

Dormeshia.© Eduardo Patino. (Click image for larger version)

Dormeshia – And Still You Must Swing – New York

★★★★✰   Some have called Dormeshia the greatest tapper of her generation. I’m wary of such titles, but what I can say is that she is a dancer of enormous sophistication, finesse, variety, and subtlety.

Pierre Tappon, Nancy Nerantzi, Liam Riddick and Nathan Goodman in Isthmus.© Tony Nandi. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Alston at Home – London

★★★★✰   Richard Alston’s title for his company’s last tour before it closes in 2020 is Final Edition. The autumn run ended with four performances at The Place, in a programme aptly called Alston At Home.

Madhavi Mudgal's Vistar.© Rehmat Rayatt. (Click image for larger version)

Madhavi Mudgal – Vistar – London

★★★✰✰   There is a mannered and refined gentility in the movement style; bodies and arms beautifully shaped with the eloquent symmetry of body bends…

Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in Coppélia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Coppélia – London

★★★★✰   The dancing is so enjoyable, the comedy so appealing, that any flaws in the story telling are easily overlooked.

Mavin Khoo & Temple of Fine Arts publicity image.© and courtesy Sadler’s Wells. (Click image for larger version)

Mavin Khoo & Temple of Fine Arts – unnamed dance inspired by the Ramayana – London

★★★✰✰   Mavin Khoo doesn’t appear on stage here: the work has been made on dancers from the Temple of Fine Arts Inner Space Dance, based in Malaysia.

Michael Trusnovec in Variations solo from Balanchie's Episodes.© Nina Wurtzel. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance – Gala including new Kyle Abraham – New York

★★★★✰   As a special one-off, Michael Trusnovec, now a guest artist, danced the solo from George Balanchine’s spiky and ascetic Episodes which he made for Paul Taylor in 1959.

Ballet du Rhin in Les Beaux Dormants.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet du Rhin – Les Beaux Dormants – London

Le Ballet de L’Opéra national du Rhin – Ballet du Rhin Les Beaux dormants (The Sleeping Beauties) ★★★✰✰ London, Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, 21 November 2019 Gallery of pictures by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

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.

Olga Smirnova and Artemy Belyakov in Giselle.© Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Giselle (Ratmansky premiere) – Moscow

★★★★✰   This is a Giselle that is both familiar and new. Watching it on opening night was like seeing a faded painting regain its colors.

Mark Morris Dance Group in Pepperland.© Gareth Jones. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Pepperland – Washington

★★★✰✰   Much of the exuberance and vibrancy in Pepperland is supplied by Morris’s ingenious and utterly entertaining choreography…

Joseph Toonga in Born To Manifest.© The Other Richard. (Click image for larger version)

Just Us Dance Theatre / Joseph Toonga – Born To Manifest – London

★★★★✰   This is a thoughtful and nuanced depiction of how complex and fraught identity can be in Britain today, put across with meaty, muscular force by two charismatic performers.

Tom Dale Company in Step Sonic.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Tom Dale Company – Step Sonic, Resonance of Air, Escape, Surge – London

Tom Dale Company Step Sonic, Resonance of Air, Escape, Surge ★★★✰✰ London, The Place 14 November 2019 tomdale.org.uk www.theplace.org.uk This two-part programme of work in progress further enhances Tom Dale’s reputation as a…

Ace Dance and Music - Skin Reimagined publicity image.© Brian Slater. (Click image for larger version)

ACE Dance and Music – Skin Reimagined: Blind Trip, Letlalo – London

★★✰✰✰   Blind Trip was longer than it deserved to be and mixed too many ideas to be compact and coherent, while Letlalo left me wanting more of the performance on stage but less of the filming going on beside me.

Company Točnadanza in "Peggy Untitled": Dedicated to Peggy Guggenheim.© Francesco Barasciutti. (Click image for larger version)

Company Točnadanza – “Peggy Untitled”: Dedicated to Peggy Guggenheim – Venice

★★★✰✰   “Peggy Untitled” is a poetic, impressionistic tribute to the enigmatic Peggy Guggenheim and five works in the Guggenheim collection.

Byron Tittle and Michelle Dorrance in Myelination.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Dorrance Dance – Myelination, Jungle Blues, Three to One – London

★★★★✰   Dorrance Dance boast crisp technique and a sharp-witted approach that catapults tap way beyond its show-biz associations.

Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome's Inchoate Buzz.© Ayka Lux. (Click image for larger version)

Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome – Sadler’s Wells Wild Card series: Inchoate Buzz – London

★★★✰✰   Fernanda Munoz-Newsome’s unconventional set up in the Lilian Baylis transformed the studio into part nightclub-chill-out lounge, part sensual art installation and featured a line-up of intriguing guest artists.

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