Ismene Brown

    Ismene Brown’s best of dance in 2014

    Ismene Brown's best of dance in 2014
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    As the revels of the year end, here are my best memories. I think new was the word: new names, and new directions from familiar names. Stories rushed back into fashion. There was big emotion and bold movement, and untraditional means: collaborations with composers and communities thinking large on tiny budgets.

    Here are my highlights - what are yours?

    1. Crystal Pite’s mesmerising abstract mass ensemble, Polaris, in Thomas Adès’s one-off music and dance evening at Sadler’s Wells (see picture above)

    2. Matthew Bourne and Scott Ambler’s gutwrenching community dance creation, Lord of the Flies


    3. English National Ballet’s ambitious, satisfying night of war-inspired premieres, especially Akram Khan’s Dust


    4. Mark Bruce’s music-hall Dracula, touring the UK with small resources but thrillingly judged gothic effect.

    image by farrows creative

    5. Arthur Pita’s The Little Match Girl, an exquisitely judged little Christmas story that shows Pita a master-conjuror of dynamic emotional force and highly diverting entertainment.


    6. Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan’s Sacred Monsters in November - the penultimate Sylvie show, as she announced this winter.


    7. The Royal Ballet’s wondergirl, Anglo-African Francesca Hayward’s scorchingly  debut as Manon


    8. The Mariinsky’s wonderwoman: Uliana Lopatkina so sophisticated with Andrei Yermakov in the pas de deux from Balanchine’s A Midsummer Nights Dream at Covent Garden last August


    9. Christopher Wheeldon’s double whammy - The Winters Tale, at the Opera House last May, and his new An American in Paris (see picture below), in Paris. Of which more next time.