Reviews of ballet, modern dance and other forms, in London and elsewhere.

Saturday 2 November 2013

A detached view of the march of history

Sun, Sadler’s Wells, London

Shechter’s famous signature style is a kind of three-way collision between Jewish folk dancing, the more classical structures and shapes of ballet, and the sort of dancing to dance music that was popular when I was about 15. It’s also reminiscent of the sort of dancing you maybe saw native Americans doing in some old and probably racist cowboys and ‘Indians’ films.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Erotic tandems

Snow White, Sadler's Wells, London

By excavating the sexual, the uncanny and the confrontational in the fairytale through a visually spectacular and dense aesthetic, Preljocaj creates a landscape of noir romanticism, albeit one that is humorously self-conscious, toying with the dense, excessive romanticism of Mahler’s symphonies that accompany the piece.

Saturday 21 April 2012

The ultimate take on pop culture

Polyphonia/Sweet Violets/Carbon Life, Royal Opera House, London

McGregor’s pieces are known for overpowering the audience but, if the works he created so far for the Royal Ballet were oozing with energy, ‘Carbon Life’ bursts with it.

Friday 20 May 2011

Found in translation

Dunas, Sadler’s Wells, London

Just like sand runs through a time glass, this piece acts as a constant reminder of the inescapable sense of caducity that frustrates every human being. As Cherkaoui and Pagés cling to each other’s bodies, theirs appears to be the ultimate attempt to redeem the transient nature of human beings.

Friday 18 February 2011

A quest for unrestrained perfection

American Ballet Theatre – Programme One, Sadler’s Wells, London

The performance that stood out and made the evening unmissable was the final piece by Benjamin Millepied, ‘Everything doesn’t happen at once’. It released the energy that seemed to have been dormant throughout the evening and finally burst in this climactic performance.

Saturday 27 November 2010

The paradox of being

FAR, Sadler’s Wells, London

Dance as an intellectual, not merely instinctive activity, deploys the wide ranging potential of the body to articulate its relationship with the mind.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Difference in sameness

Agon – Sphinx – Limen, Royal Opera House, London

When Eric Underwood lifts Sarah Lamb during a delicate duet, she gently accommodates her basket-shaped body in his curved arms, just like wine poured in a goblet would end up taking the shape of a tulip. An image bound to be memorable as the seal that only dance can put on beauty.

Friday 12 June 2009

Between brain and body

Entity, Sadler’s Wells, London

What we see on stage is nothing like Artificial Intelligence, but bodies, pure bodies in never-ending motion. Restless limbs stretch to the brink of their muscular tension, undulating shoulders trace sinuous shapes, marking the space in which the bodies relentlessly conquer their consciousness