"Akram Khan" tag
Yang Liping's Rite of Spring.© Li Yijan. (Click image for larger version)

Yang Liping – Rite of Spring – London

★★★✰✰   As with most retellings, Liping’s centres on a young woman destined to dance herself to death. However, the dancemaker has invoked Buddhist principles, including the concept of reincarnation…

Natalia Osipova in Medusa by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Within the Golden Hour, Medusa, Flight Pattern – London

★★★✰✰   A very mixed bill… Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Medusa (★★✰✰✰), Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour (★★★★✰) and Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern (★★★★✰)

Ed Myhill in Revellers' Mass.© Rhys Cozens. (Click image for larger version)

National Dance Company Wales – Awakening: Tundra, Afterimage, Revellers’ Mass – London

★★★✰✰   It’s quite a mixed evening. The standout item is the final piece, Revellers’ Mass by the company’s resident choreographer, Caroline Finn.

Wim Vanlessen in Boléro.© Filip Van Roe / Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet Flanders – Fall, Chronicle, Boléro – Antwerp

★★★★✰   For a very short while, Wim Vanlessen will enjoy the claim that he has performed for the Royal Ballet Flanders for more than half its existence. The company celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, later this year and Vanlessen joined in 1994. This performance was both a celebration of exceptional long service and a farewell…

Russell Maliphant (winner of the Best Independent Company award) & Dana Fouras (a Best Female Dancer nominee).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – UK National Dance Awards 2018

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

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.

Thomas Bieszka in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2018 – London

Semperoper Ballett Dresden were another new visitor in the summer, with a programme of Forsythe works, some not seen here before. But Forsythe is a theme this year in himself.

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.

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.

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2018 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the nominations for the 19th National Dance Awards…

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in The Unknown Soldier.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Unknown Soldier (premiere), Infra, Symphony in C – London

★★★✰✰   If The Unknown Soldier is dispiritingly low-key, Wayne McGregor’s Infra remains assertively bold…

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.

Tamara Rojo and James Streeter in Dust by Akram Khan.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Lest We Forget bill – London

★★★★★   “I cannot recall being so moved at a dance performance for a very long time, if ever.”

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Shantala Shivalingappa in Play.© Koen Broos. (Click image for larger version)

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Shantala Shivalingappa – Play – London

★★✰✰✰   Cherkaoui looks older than his years, so much so that his relationship in Play with Shivalingappa risks being unsettling. As dancers, they are no longer equals, as they must have been in 2008.

Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball (The Royal Ballet) in Bach Forms, choreography by Wayne McGregor.© Ravi Deepres. (Click image for larger version)

Dance@TheGrange – Curated by Wayne McGregor & Edward Watson – Grange Festival, Hampshire

★★★★✰   McGregor’s company dancers (in Bach Forms) brought a surging energy, buoying up jewel-like moments from the Royal Ballet stars…

Joy Alpuerto Ritter in BABAE.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Akram Khan Company in Portraits in Otherness

Works by Ching-Ying Chien, Maya Jilan Dong, Dickson Mbi, Joy Alpuerto Ritter. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Akram Khan in Xenos.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Akram Khan Company in Xenos

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Akram Khan in Xenos.© Jean-Louis Fernandez. (Click image for larger version)

Akram Khan Company – Xenos – London

★★★✰✰   Xenos, which apparently means “stranger” or, more aptly for this piece, “foreigner”, is a tangled mass of many things but, above all, it seems to be an essay on loneliness.

The 2018 ENB Emerging Dancer finalists: Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer 2018 Competition – 5 Questions to 6 Finalists

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer Competition is unique in British ballet in throwing the spotlight on more junior dancers or “tomorrow’s stars” as ENB put it. This year’s competition is on the 11 June and ahead of the that we talk to the finalists – Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles…

Publicity image for English National Ballet / Akram Khan's Giselle.© Jason Bell. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle – on cinema release

★★★★★   A total of 150 cinemas will show the ballet, which was filmed at the Liverpool Empire, in October 2017

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