Nutcrackers grow in repertory. English National Ballet’s largely traditional production is getting more focused with time, its storytelling tighter.
As for the corps, although they appeared to dance the Act I snowflakes with more professionalism than affection, by Act II they looked happier, and were, as always, a commendably tight unit.
This melting pot of ‘50s Americana is the recipe for a frothy production of 'Edward Scissorhands' that underlines Matthew Bourne’s credentials for being both the best storyteller in dance theatre... Continue Reading
…for the main part, this newly nipped, tucked and tweaked New Adventures production – back at Sadler’s Wells for the first time since 2006 – is vintage Bourne.
One very good reason to love Matthew Bourne is that the small characters he creates can be as beguiling as any of his protagonists.
This show comes into its own in its big company numbers, the stage buzzing with bodies, and several mini stories going on in the background, everything timed like clockwork. These set pieces really form the meat of the show, rather than the love story between Edward (an …
Rather than falling down a rabbit hole, Alice (Lizzie Gough) & friends are locked up in a high security unit- much to the bad luck of newly qualified young psychiatrist Ernest (Tommy Franzen)... Continue Reading
The dance scenes, such as the Christmas party or the dream ballet performed by Edward’s topiary hedges, lack Bourne’s usual narrative drive.
ZooNation Dance Company’s new hip hop take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland takes off once we reach Wonderland itself. A throng of splendid dancers jump onto the giant tea table, showing off brilliant moves. It takes a while to get going, but it’s a show to send…
I’m not sure I have ever seen the core hip-hop dance vocabulary of locking, popping and breaking put to such vivid and varied character-driven use, and, although the boys tend to make a slightly bigger impression than the girls here, everyone dances as if their life de…
…the band are superb, the dancing is skilled, and like Ernest, who learns that “all the best people are bonkers”, we’re pretty much taken captive by the show’s party spirit.
The two main conclusions about Wheeldon’s ballet remain: it’s stunning to look at, with eye-popping designs by Bob Crowley, but the episodic source material doesn’t provide a satisfying narrative and Wheeldon doesn’t really find a way around that.
Performance reviewed: 6 December Is it a ballet or is it a variety show? It’s a question often asked about Christopher Wheeldon’s first full length commission for the Royal Ballet (and the company’s fi… Continue Reading