Reviews
Aishwarya Raut and Conor Kerrigan in E2 7SD by Rafael Bonachela.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert2 + Rambert – Grey Matter, E2 7SD, Killer Pig, Ghost Dances – London

★★★★✰   Rambert’s latest programme is a night of hellos and goodbyes, marking the debut of the company’s new standalone junior faction, Rambert2, as well the final performance of a repertory favourite, Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances.

Aura Fischbeck Dance in DUSK.© Claire Duplantier. (Click image for larger version)

Aura Fischbeck Dance – DUSK – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   DUSK had a lot going for it. First was the overall concept. DUSK challenges the viewer to not only acknowledge the idea of transformation, but to consider what lies beneath.

Rosie Kay Dance Company in MK Ultra.© Brian Slater. (Click image for larger version)

Rosie Kay Dance Company – MK Ultra – London

★★★✰✰   Rosie Kay’s MK Ultra is an ambitious project which tackles complex thematic sources – conspiracy theories, brain washing and mind-control, not to mention myths about secret societies such as the Illuminati…

Polina Semionova in La Bayadère.© Yan Revazov. (Click image for larger version)

Staatsballett Berlin – La Bayadère (premiere of Ratmansky reconstruction) – Berlin

★★★★✰   In the last several years, the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has developed a sideline to his main choreographic efforts: the reviving of ballets by Marius Petipa in a way that represents the original choreography with as much fidelity as possible…

Aris Papadopoulos and Martha Pasakopoulou in touching.just.© Manos Arvanitakis. (Click image for larger version)

Andrea Costanzo Martini and Aris Papadopoulos / Martha Pasakopoulou – Aerowaves 2bill – London

★★★✰✰   After all these years, here is evidence – if any were needed – that the Aerowaves experiment continues to showcase great talent.

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in Contagion.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance – Contagion – London

★★★★✰   Overshadowed by the atrocities of WWI, which is commemorated loudly and frequently, the killer Spanish Flu, which killed an estimated 50-100 million people, is at last fittingly acknowledged on its 100th anniversary in Shobana Jeyasingh’s work Contagion.

Natalia Osipova and Vadim Muntagirov in La Bayadère.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Bayadère – London

★★★★✰   In the past, the Royal Ballet’s version, last performed five years ago, has sometimes seemed insubstantial. Not so this time, with a luxury cast in full dramatic mode: Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova and Gary Avis…

Matthias Sperling, Now That We Know.© Artwork - Victoria Ford. Image - Wellcome Trust Images. (Click image for larger version)

Matthias Sperling – Now That We Know – London

★★✰✰✰   Matthias Sperling’s Now That We Know explores a long-running preoccupation of dancemakers and academics alike: how performance invokes and reflects the mind-body connection.

Delia Mathews and artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in Ignite.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Fire and Fury: The King Dances, Ignite – London

★★★✰✰   David Bintley, who steps down as director of Birmingham Royal Ballet at the end of the 2018/2019 season, describes the current double bill as ‘two ballets fuelled by power and politics’.

Miami City Ballet in Serenade.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

City Center Balanchine Festival – Miami City Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet

★★★✰✰   It’s fascinating to see how Balanchinean charm and wit are interpreted by dancers for whom the Balanchine repertoire is more of a foreign language.

Federico Bonelli and Laura Morera in Mayerling.© Alice Pennefather, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Mayerling (Bonelli, Morera) – London

★★★★✰   The partnership in Mayerling between Morera and Bonelli is a fine example of how experience can illumine the nuances of a dramatic ballet.

Isaac Hernandez and Jurgita Dronina in rehearsals for Manon.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Manon – Milton Keynes Theatre

★★★★✰   English National Ballet can once more reflect triumphally on another significant success.

Joaquin de Luz in Watermill.© Rebecca Greenfield. (Click image for larger version)

Jerome Robbins / Luca Veggetti – Watermill – New York

★★★✰✰   I was happy to discover that, yes, in fact, something about this more intimate, immersive setting did alter the work’s energy and rhythm, its overall feel.

Jasmin Vardimon's Medusa.© Simon Clark, graphic design Raanan Gabriel. (Click image for larger version)

Jasmin Vardimon Company – Medusa – London

★★★✰✰   Jasmin Vardimon’s latest work uses mythology to make a powerful point about gender issues in the present day with an overt relevance to the #MeToo movement.

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.

Le Patin Libre in Threshold.© Romain Guilbaul. (Click image for larger version)

Le Patin Libre – Threshold – London

★★★★✰   If there is a major difference between Le Patin Libre of 2014 and now, then surely it lies in this merger of these skaters’ extreme skills with the same elite capability in their artistic collaborators.

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.

Takako Suzuki and Sigal Zouk in Körper.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sasha Waltz & Guests – Körper – San Francisco

★★★★✰   In English, körper means ‘body’, and so, as one might guess, the ninety-minute tour de force, directed and choreographed by Sasha Waltz, turns its eye to the body in space.

I Infinite 2018 promotional image.© Tom Dale and Barret Hodgson. (Click image for larger version)

Tom Dale Company – I Infinite – London

★★★✰✰   Dale and his collaborators have succeeded in creating a highly unusual ambience for dance; a place of quiet reflection and arresting imagery…

Sonja Dale in A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will.© Stephen Texeira. (Click image for larger version)

Liss Fain Dance – A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Liss Fain Dance knows how to set a mood. As I walked into Z Space on Friday night for the opening of “A Recomposition: I Don’t Know and Never Will”, I was completely transfixed by the environment – both visuals and sound.

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