Beyond the limits of gravity – Mourad Merzouki’s ‘Vertikal’ with Käfig review

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‘Photograph: Laurent Philippe

In his new production ‘Vertikal’, top French choreographer Mourad Merzouki yet again defies all expectations – he pushes past another set of boundaries and explores a whole new dimension: a world (almost) without gravity. The show is a collaboration with vertical dance company Retouramont, who provided the dancers with rope mechanisms, allowing them to achieve apparent weightlessness. Continue reading

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Artistry at its best – Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project review

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L.A. Dance Project in Benjamin Millepied’s ‘On the Other Side’. Photograph: Laurent Philippe

Last week, Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project performed three pieces from their repertoire, including Millepied’s brand new creation ‘Bach studies part 1’.

The evening began with Justin Peck’s ‘Murder Ballads’. The curtain opened to six pairs of shoes set out neatly across the stage, ready for the dancers, dressed in typical street wear, to run onstage and put them on. This began a series of cleverly used exits and re-entries through the wings, setting a fast pace, with lots happening simultaneously. Continue reading

‘Romeo and Juliet’ reimagined by Adrienne Canterna with the Bad Boys of Dance ~ review and interview

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Adrienne Canterna and Eric Lehn as Juliet and Count Paris in ‘Romeo and Juliet’

In her ‘Romeo and Juliet’, first created in 2013 and starring the Bad Boys of Dance, Adrienne Canterna breaks the rules of traditional ballet. This fresh and exciting version of Shakespeare’s tragedy reaches out to a wide audience, combining classical ballet with modern dance and even hip-hop. Continue reading

An evening with Ailey II ~ watching the company class/show review

Ailey II's Christopher R. Wilson and Jacoby Pruitt in Jae Man Joo's Circular. Photo by Kyle Froman_1292
Ailey II’s Christopher R. Wilson and Jacoby Pruitt in Jae Man Joo’s Circular. Photo by Kyle Froman

Alvin Ailey is, I think we can fairly say, one of the most renowned dance institutions in the world. The choreographer, dancer and cultural leader Alvin Ailey founded the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. Sixteen years later, the second company, Ailey II, was created and is now made up of twelve young and ambitious dancers, bursting with energy, talent and promise.

Before the performance, I watched their class led by artistic director Troy Powell – it was quite an experience. Continue reading

Le Patin Libre’s ‘Vertical Influences’ ~ review

Le Patin Libre at Alexandra Palace, part of Dance Umbrella 2014.
Photograph: Alicia Clarke for Dance Umbrella – taken at the London world premiere in October 2014

Forget the glitzy clichés – Le Patin Libre has shattered traditional figure skating’s boundaries, and founded a new genre: welcome to the world of contemporary ice skating.

The Montreal-based company is made up of five ex-figure skaters who have rebelled against the rigid rules of their former discipline and its rampant commercialism (as Alexandre Hamel, founder of Le Patin Libre, explains in my interview with him). This group of mavericks have created their own innovative, liberated skating style that is now delighting audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Continue reading

‘Solstice’ by Blanca Li ~ review

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‘Solstice’ – copyright Nico Bustos

After successfully portraying the world of artificial intelligence in her 2013 creation ‘Robot’, Blanca Li continues logically on to exploring nature, and its relation with humans, in her new and exciting piece ‘Solstice’.

The curtain opens, and it’s back to the very beginnings of humanity – the rhythm and the movement is primitive, tribal, the basic, nude costumes (designed by Laurent Mercier) accentuate the rawness. Continue reading

‘Rock the Ballet’ by Adrienne Canterna starring Bad Boys of Dance ~ review

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‘Rock the Ballet’

Last week, I went to see ‘Rock the Ballet’, choreographed by Adrienne Canterna and featuring the Bad Boys of Dance.

As soon as ‘Rock the Ballet’ starts, the theatre is filled with contagious fun and energy. The first scene showcases the six Bad Boys of Dance, before dancing beauty Adrienne comes onto the stage, seducing them all. Continue reading