Monday 8 October 2018

Mayerling. Ryoichi Hirano as Rudolf and Sarah Lamb as Marie Larisch. (c) ROH, 2018. Ph. by Helen Maybanks.

Ryoichi Hirano as Rudolf and Sarah Lamb as Marie Larisch in Mayerling © ROH, 2018. Photo by Helen Maybanks.


Tonight is the opening of The Royal Ballet’s revival of the dark psychological ballet Mayerling, choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan to music by Franz Liszt. MacMillan’s choreography for Crown Prince Rudolf, the troubled protagonist obsessed with death, makes this one of the most technically and emotionally demanding roles in the repertory for male dancers.


Gracefool Collective combine dancing with dark comedy to delve into a world of farcical stereotypes and power struggles, wrestling with gender, identity and social convention. Their latest work This Really Is Too Much is a humorous and provocative take on the absurdities of life as a woman in modern society. See it at Laban Theatre.


Get acquainted with the rhythmic energy of the quick-stepping Pantsula dance movement as award-winning South African dance company Via Katlehong – formed in 1992 in the township of the same name – bring the UK premiere of Via Kanana to Shoreditch Town Hall this week as part of Dance Umbrella. Choreographed by South African dance legend Gregory Maqoma, Via Kanana stands as an expression of light and hope, defying the adversity and fear caused by corruption in a post-apartheid era.


To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its current theatre, Sadler’s Wells has commissioned three political works from three bold new voices in dance: Botis Seva, Julie Cunningham and Alesandra Seutin, which receive their world premiere on Thursday as part of Reckonings. Seva, the founder of hip hop theatre collective Far From the Norm, draws on personal experiences surrounding the pressures in making work and surviving as an artist in his piece, BLKDOG. Cunningham explores gender identity, taking inspiration from Monique Wittig’s novel The Lesbian Body, while Seutin fuses urban dance languages with African styles in Boy Breaking Glass, which explores race, inequality and self-love.


Neon Dance’s PuzzleCreature is a new multi-disciplinary dance performance choreographed by artistic director Adrienne Hart which comes to The Place this week following its recent premiere in Japan. Questioning attitudes to ageing and the body, this immersive work is inspired by the designs of maverick architect/artist duo Arakawa and Madeline Gins, founders of the Reversible Destiny Foundation, an organisation dedicated to the use of architecture to extend the human lifespan. Three dance artists drive the piece: Mariko Kida (who also guests with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch), Carys Staton and Luke Crook, wearing body sculptures designed by fashion artist Ana Rajcevic.


Ballet Black return to Theatre Royal Stratford East with a Double Bill that includes a new narrative ballet choreographed by Cathy Marston, the first dance adaptation to be based on Can Themba’s South African fable The Suit. Arthur Pita’s Olivier-nominated A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream follows, mixing classical and contemporary to distil the essence of Shakespeare’s comedy, to an eclectic soundtrack taking in Eartha Kitt, Barbra Streisand and Yma Sumac.


Flamenco dancer Nanako Aramaki joins virtuoso guitarist Ricardo Garcia, bassist Adolfredo Pulido and percussionist Demi Garcia Sabat to explore the fire and passion of Andalucian flamenco in Flamenco Global at Rich Mix.

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