Reviews
Anne Souder and Xin Ying in Martha Graham’s Hérodiade.© Melissa Sherwood. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Graham Dance Company – Graham Deconstructed: El Penitente, Hérodiade – New York

★★★✰✰   Both El Penitente and Hérodiade are from the 40’s, a period when Graham was transitioning from exploration of American and Native-American themes to a more mythical mode.

Akram Khan and Christine Joy Ritter in Until the Lions.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Akram Khan Company – Until the Lions – London

★★★★✰   As an almost abstract dance work Until the Lions is outstanding, a spectacular collaboration between dancers, musicians, designers and technicians.

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.

Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell in Les Patineurs.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert – London

★★★★✰   Now that we are all one more Nutcracker nearer death, as weary critic Richard Buckle used to bemoan, the Royal Ballet has given us a wintry bonne bouche of ballets to savour.

Momoko Hirata and César Morales in The Nutcracker.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Autumn delights: La fille mal gardée & The Nutcracker – London & Birmingham

★★★★✰   I look forward to the changes inevitably coming to BRB, but I can’t believe any new director will turn their back on such repertoire gems as La fille mal gardee and their Peter Wright Nutcracker.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Nutcracker – San Francisco

★★★★✰   I’m a Nutcracker fan. And I’m a fan of San Francisco Ballet’s current production, choreographed in 2004 by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson…

Scottish Ballet in Cinderella.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Cinderella – Edinburgh

★★★★✰   The cast I saw at the first performance of this year’s Christmas touring season were the best (Ugly) Step-Sisters I’ve ever seen – take a bow Constance Devernay and Aisling Brangan.

Tenzin Niles and Ines Gout in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Nucracker – New York

★★★✰✰   Come hell or high water, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker will return to New York City Ballet, filling the theatre night after night. Balanchine made a ballet built to last, and it has not disappointed.

Forced Entertainment's That Night Follows Day.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Forced Entertainment – That Night Follows Day – London

★★★★✰   Performed by a cast of seventeen children ranging from ages 5 – 15, Forced Entertainment’s delightfully humorous and poignant work reveals how adults shape children through their projection of values and beliefs.

Company XIV in Nutcracker Rouge.© Mark Shelby Perry. (Click image for larger version)

Company XIV – Nutcracker Rouge – New York

★★★★✰   Austin McCormick’s Company XIV continues to maintain the highest bar in balletic, baroque burlesque.

Matthew Ball in Swan Lake.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – London

★★★★✰   Matthew Bourne has reworked his famous “Swan Lake” and it’s now touring. Graham Watts wrestles with iconic and uber definitions in a long look at a much-loved work.

Luke Brown Dance in the For You I Long the Longest bill.© Luke Brown Dance. (Click image for larger version)

Luke Brown Dance – For You I Long the Longest: Second Self, Princess – London

★★★★✰   Luke Brown Dance’s For You I Long the Longest is an intense and intimate work that needs to be experienced in a small, contained theatre.

The Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker.© Tristram Kenton, © 2015 Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★✰   Wright’s ending is the best ever, preserving the assurance of the Grand pas de deux that the future must surely be blissful.

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani in Noetic.© Mats Backer. (Click image for larger version)

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Antony Gormley – Noetic – London

★★★★✰   Noetic was created in 2014 for the company by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui working with his frequent collaborator sculptor Antony Gormley.

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Antony Gormley's Icon.© Mats Backer. (Click image for larger version)

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Antony Gormley – Icon – London

★★★★✰   Sidi Larbi Cherkaouis’s work is full of surprises. Icon, first premiered in 2016 is another fruitful collaboration between Anthony Gormley and Cherkaoui in which clay moulds both the theme and the dancers.

AAADT in Rennie Harris' Lazarus.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Lazarus, Revelations – New York

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Lazarus, Revelations ★★★★✰ New York, City Center 30 November 2018 www.alvinailey.org www.nycitycenter.org Forward to Ailey In March of 1958, Alvin Ailey presented his first evening of dance, at…

Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in Dystopian Dream.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Nitin Sawhney / Sébastien Ramirez & Honji Wang — Dystopian Dream – London

★★✰✰✰   According to a programme note by the Wang Ramirez duo, they have turned Sawhney’s album into ‘a fully choreographed show. What will be shown on stage is the result of our interpretation of what has been discussed, researched, felt and exchanged during our meetings.’

Sujata Mohapatra.© Rehmat Rayatt. (Click image for larger version)

Sujata Mohapatraa and Gauri Diwakar at Darbar 2018 – Adventures in Odissi and Kathak – London

★★★★✰   The evening allowed us to observe the differences between the expressive delicacy of the Odissi storytelling and the more expansive and speedy space-devouring moves of Kathak. Each had its distinct flavour with different qualities to enjoy.

ODC/Dance in The Velveteen Rabbit.© Steve DiBartolomeo. (Click image for larger version)

ODC/Dance – The Velveteen Rabbit – San Francisco

★★★★✰   As November fades away and December’s bustle begins, an enchanting Bay Area dance favorite returns for its annual two-week run at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Mai Lisa Guinoo and Oliver Chapman in The Knot.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Umanoove / Didy Veldman – The Knot – London

★★★★✰   Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman has picked a rich subject to mine in The Knot: marriage in all its starry-eyed, nerve-wracking, life-altering glory.

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