LondonTheatre1: DANCE REVIEW: Sadler’s Sampled, Sadler’s Wells

Originally published on LondonTheatre1

Sadler's SampledSadler’s Wells’ dance taster festival returns for two nights only, giving audiences a chance to experience a sample of the upcoming season. From contemporary dance to b-boying, it’s an opportunity to see a sprinkling of the best dance talent around, and there really is something for everyone. Sadler’s Wells is always buzzing on a show night, but this weekend it is more than ever, with live demonstrations of an ‘A-Z of dance’ in the foyer.

Kicking off the programme is Company Wayne McGregor, performing an extract from their namesake choreographer’s 2010 work Outlier. The work was originally choreographed on the New York City Ballet, and it’s interesting to see contemporary dancers now performing it – the balletic element is obvious, but the dancers’ beautiful fluidity is far from the structured forms of classical ballet. Read More »


AYT: DANCE REVIEW: The Car Man, Sadler’s Wells

Originally published on A Younger Theatre
A sensual feast for the eyes and ears, fifteen years on from its premiere The Car Man is still full of exciting urgency – captivating and unmissable
(c) Johan Persson
(c) Johan Persson

The grittiest work in Bourne’s repertoire, The Car Man returns to Sadler’s Wells after a new UK tour, bringing its stifling heat, brutal murder and deadly revenge to the capital’s leading dance venue. Flesh is flashed, sweat drips, blood is spilled and the pulsating beat of the music drives this electric performance through to its violent conclusion.

Inspired by Carmen (but with a plot loosely based on The Postman Always Rings Twice) the show takes the core elements of Bizet’s score and adds new music by Terry Davies, producing a soundscape that retains the Spanish passion of Bizet, with additional contemporary flavours Read More »

DANCE REVIEW: The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, ROH Linbury Studio Theatre

ZooNation Dance Company

runs until 3 January

Poster boy Issac 'Turbo' Baptiste in The Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Issac ‘Turbo’ Baptiste as the title role in ZooNation’s The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Old meets new this year as ZooNation, the UK’s leading hip-hop theatre company, bring their latest production to the hallowed halls of the Royal Opera House. While the Royal Ballet’s Alice in Wonderland plays in the main house, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party takes up residence in the Linbury Studio Theatre for the Christmas period. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic fantasy novel, artistic director Kate Prince and the company have together created a wonderfully vibrant, gloriously wacky show that delights all ages with inventive choreography, gorgeous designs and a real party atmosphere.

The action begins not in Wonderland, or even by a rabbit hole on a riverbank, but in a psychiatric institution: young doctor Ernest has been dumped with a huge batch of files about an odd collection of patients, including a Queen of Hearts with anger issues, a very confused girl called Alice and an apparently always cheerful Cheshire Cat. Read More »

DANCE REVIEW: Lord Of The Flies, Sadler’s Wells (UK Tour)

touring until 6 December 2014

Sadler's Wells photo
Sadler’s Wells

New Adventures dance company, together with Re:Bourne, stopped off at Sadler’s Wells this week for the London leg of their revolutionary tour: their dance adaptation of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, performed by a mixture of professional performers from the company and boys aged 10-23 with differing levels of dance experience – some with none at all.

In Scott Ambler and Matthew Bourne’s take on the story, the action moves from a desert island to an abandoned theatre; the boys raid the confectionery stand for food, Piggy and Ralph hide amongst the costume racks for refuge, and the symbolic conch becomes a timpani stick. This does make the plot a little harder to follow if you’re not familiar with it, as the creative team have gone for broad brush strokes rather than detailed specifics. Subsequently much of the symbolism and nuance of Golding’s writing is lost, and the elements of the plot feel rather fragmented, but the piece is rendered with a boldness and spirit that is impressive.Read More »

THEATRE REVIEW: West Side Story, UK Tour

Norwich Theatre Royal

West Side Story UK tour
West Side Story UK Tour

Many musicals are endowed with the epithet “one of the greatest of all time”, but surely there aren’t many more deserving of it than West Side Story. Very few shows have that combination of riveting score, pulsatingly passionate love story, electrifying choreography and simultaneous senses of grace and ferocity. This production started life at Sadler’s Wells back in 2008 before being revived in 2013 and embarking on tour, all in the safe hands of director and choreographer Joey McKneely, who has spent 13 years with the show in various incarnations. The result is a classic West Side Story that reminds us why the magic of this Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins collaboration will never fade.

There is a powerful heart and soul beating at the centre of this production, from the bold, colourful staging to the thrilling choreography that is beautiful, sensual and violent, sometimes all at once. Read More »