Dance

Nothing sings and shimmies like Alvin Ailey

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Hit them with your best shot? Or save the best till last? Almost 30 years after Alvin Ailey’s death in…

Daffy charm and diabolo tricks: Bolshoi's The Bright Stream reviewed

17 August 2019 9:00 am

The Bright Stream is a ballet about a collective farm. Forget everything you know about collectivism — the failed harvests,…

Silly but stellar: Bolshoi Ballet’s Spartacus reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

It’s togas-a-go-go as the Bolshoi bring Yuri Grigorovich’s 1956 ballet Spartacus to the Royal Opera House. Oh dear, I did…

The extraordinary life of 104-year-old dancer Eileen Kramer

8 June 2019 8:00 am

It’s not often you hear the voice of a 104-year-old on the radio. You’re even less likely to hear one…

Pam Tanowitz’s Four Quartets is a revelation

1 June 2019 9:00 am

T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets is full of music and movement. The players, such as they are, slip, slide, shake, tumble,…

Natalia Osipova, cursed with a frightful Ascot fascinator, a Halloween shock-wig of black pipe cleaners, in Medusa as the Royal Opera House Credit: ©ROH, 2019 Photograph by Tristram Kenton

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s #MeToo Medusa is a bad hair day from Hades

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Medusa is the bad hair day from Hades. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s retelling of the Greek myth is frizzy, tangled and…

Dancer, choreographer, iconoclast: Merce Cunningham in 1962

Merce Cunningham's work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian – revival is futile

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Merce Cunningham’s work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian, says Ismene Brown. Revival is futile

Electrifying: English National Ballet's She Persisted reviewed

13 April 2019 9:00 am

‘Where was the Kahlo brow?’ asked my guest in the first interval of English National Ballet’s She Persisted, a triple…

A masterclass of menace and magnificence: Romeo and Juliet reviewed

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Two households, both alike in dignity. Capulets in red tights, Montagues in green. Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet opens in…

Still far from perfect but chaps will like it: Royal Ballet’s Frankenstein reviewed

14 March 2019 9:00 am

Choreographer Richard Alston is now 70 and his latest outing at Sadler’s Wells is a greatest hits medley. As with…

Almost triumphs over the absurdity of its premise: Northern Ballet’s Victoria reviewed

14 March 2019 9:00 am

Blame Kenneth MacMillan. The great Royal Ballet choreographer of the 1960s, 70s and 80s was convinced that narrative dance could…

Odious, endless dross: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch reviewed

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Please believe that I try to give every production my full attention, to do due diligence, to blink and miss…

Opera North's Rite of Spring shows the advantages of confining the music to the pit

2 March 2019 9:00 am

It was Stravinsky himself who suggested that, in order to preserve its difficulty, the opening bassoon solo of The Rite…

Forget the Don – come for the Mataphwoar Ryoichi Hirano: Royal Ballet’s Don Quixote reviewed

23 February 2019 9:00 am

The trouble with Don Quixote is Don Quixote. Whenever the doddering, delusional Don is onstage, tilting at windmills, riding his…

Alina Cojocaru and Joseph Caley in Manon. Photo: Laurent Liotardo

One nasty moment aside, the ENB’s Manon is superlative

26 January 2019 9:00 am

If you like the BBC’s Les Misérables, you’ll love English National Ballet’s Manon. Manon, in Kenneth MacMillan’s telling, is The…

Matthew Ball as Ted Feltham in the Royal Ballet's The Unknown Soldier. Photo: ROH, Helen Maybanks

Has the Royal Ballet found its hero?

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet is a company in search of a prince. It has no lack of dancing princesses. You could…

Vadim Muntagirov as Solor and Marianela Nunnez as Nikiya in Royal Ballet's Bayadère. Photo: ROH / Bill Cooper

How could anyone object to the Royal Ballet engaging in cultural appropriation?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

La Bayadère opens with a sacred flame and ends with an earthquake. In between, Marius Petipa’s ballet of 1877 gives…

Bravura piss-taking from Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

29 September 2018 9:00 am

‘Ballet is woman’ insisted George Balanchine, but ballet can also be a big man in a dress as any fan…

Akram Khan in Mirella Weingarten’s starkly stupendous set

A smidge of self-indulgence amid the power and grace: Akram Khan's Xenos reviewed

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘Sunil Lanba, Salman Quaraishi, Omar Syed…’ Names play from a crackling gramophone. We hear what they were before the war.…

Artists of the Royal Ballet against the easel-worthy backcloths of John Macfarlane’s ravishing designs for Swan Lake

Proper tutus, gorgeous designs, first-rate dancing: Royal Ballet’s new Swan Lake reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet’s 2016 Frankenstein was a masterclass in how not to make narrative dance and the news that Liam…

Dancing feat: Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby rehearsing choreography for Blue Skies

A short history of tap

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Tap dancing is having a moment. Louise Levene looks back at its golden age, its African American roots and how cultural appropriation was part of its life blood

How do these Shaolin monks square six shows a week with monking?

How do these Shaolin monks square six shows a week with monking?

14 April 2018 9:00 am

The Shaolin monks are no strangers to the stage. Their home in Dengfeng is a major stop on the Chinese…

Paying homage to the seated diva: a still from the 2016 documentary about La Chana

Louise Levene meets the tormented queen of flamenco, who bewitched Dali & Peter Sellers

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Louise Levene meets the great Gypsy dancer La Chana, who bewitched Dali and Peter Sellers

The men give the women little to work with: Giselle reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

A bumper fortnight for Covent Garden florists thanks to a 20th-anniversary flower shower for the Royal Ballet’s Marianela Nunez and…

Company Wayne McGregor — Autobiography at Sadler’s Wells

Dancing the genetic code, big girls’ blouses and a ballroom bitch: Sadler’s Wells roundup

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Ballet would have been an obvious revenue stream for Sadler’s Wells when it reopened back in 1998 but straight-up classics…