"Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui" tag
Natalia Osipova in the film Force of Nature Natalia.© Justine Waddell, Asterisk Films. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova Film – A Force of Nature Natalia

★★★★★   This is a superbly made film… It draws a portrait of a supreme artist, a woman with exceptional humility, all sensitively handled with warmth and humour.

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 (★★★★✰)

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

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Medusa, Within the Golden Hour, Flight Pattern

Works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Christopher Wheeldon and Crystal Pite. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Damien Jalet & Kohei Nawa's Vessel.© Yoshikazu Inoue. (Click image for larger version)

Damien Jalet & Kohei Nawa – Vessel – London

★★★★✰   The tableaux recall Francis Bacon paintings – and Goya in his darkest moments.

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…

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.

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.

Carlos Acosta in Rooster.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta and Acosta Danza – Carlos Acosta: A Celebration bill – London

★★★✰✰   There was a lot here to enjoy. This may have been a celebration of three decades in dance, but there was no nostalgia here…

Carlos Acosta.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta – Dancer, Directer, Choreographer: ‘I am a man on a mission – I always have been’

“That’s what it’s always been about for me – the necessity to connect with an audience and express myself.”

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.

Natalia Osipova in ISADORA: A Tribute to Isadora Duncan in Two Acts.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – ISADORA: A Tribute to Isadora Duncan in Two Acts (world premiere) – Costa Mesa

★★★✰✰   Half-narrative and semi-abstract, ISADORA hop-skips through the dancer’s life; it’s described in the program notes as a “freely interpreted biography,” and it cherry-picks around unsavory elements…

National Youth Dance Company in Sharon Eyal's Used To Be Blonde.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

National Youth Dance Company – Used To Be Blonde – London

★★★★✰   The title is oblique, but the choreography is an explicit punch of intensity, fusing vigour and angularity with a velvety slinkiness.

Sutra, by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley with monks from the Shaolin Temple.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley, Szymon Brzoska with monks from the Shaolin Temple – Sutra – London

★★★★★   It still has the power to surprise and delight – and let the imagination fly.

Sutra, by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley with monks from the Shaolin Temple.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Sutra by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley with monks from the Shaolin Temple

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon's Pluto.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon’s Pluto

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Carlos Acosta and Marta Ortega in Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Mermaid.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Acosta Danza – Debut bill – London

★★★✰✰   Belles-Lettres – a piece by NYCB’s Justin Peck, reworked for Acosta Danza – is a sweepingly pretty pieces for nine dancers, all floaty, gorgeous frocks and increasingly impassioned duets…

Tamara Rojo and James Streeter in Akram Khan's Giselle.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle – London

★★★★★   A production that seems destined to become a masterpiece of early 21st Century contemporary ballet.

Nicholas Shikkis, Nancy Nerantzi, Ihsaan de Banya, Elly Braund and Nicholas Bodych in Gypsy Mixture.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Glint, Tangent, Chacony, Gypsy Mixture – London

★★★★★   The programme ended with a revival of the ebullient and uplifting Gypsy Mixture…

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s m¡longa.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – M¡longa – London

★★★✰✰   M¡longa has a lot of spirit to offer when it lets the dance take the lead.

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