All stories by Judith Mackrell on BroadwayStars

Friday, April 28, 2017

Breakin’ Convention and The Toad Knew: this week’s best UK theatre and dance by Lyn Gardner and Judith Mackrell

James Thierrée creates fairytale-style marvels, while the world’s biggest hip-hop dance-theatre festival returns for its 14th year1 The Toad KnewAs weird as it is compelling, the latest f…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:54AM
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Is the BBC’s young dancer competition a step too far? by Judith Mackrell

Carlos Acosta, Tamara Rojo and Akram Khan are onboard, and contemporary, hip-hop and South Asian dance are added to the usual ballet fare. But there are flaws in this conceptDoes the dance w…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:12PM
Friday, April 21, 2017

MK Ultra review – Adam Curtis doc dominates Rosie Kay's Illuminati dance by Judith Mackrell

Laban theatre, LondonIn a stylish collaboration, the film-maker and choreographer explore the myth of a shadowy cult attempting world domination through mass brainwashingAgainst a rising tid…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:18AM

Junkyard and Mayerling: this week’s best UK theatre and dance by Lyn Gardner and Judith Mackrell

Teen misfits save the day in Jack Thorne and Stephen Warbeck’s play, while the Royal Ballet tackles the Austro-Hungarian empire1 JunkyardIt may be more of a play with songs than a fully fl…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:48AM
Friday, April 14, 2017

The Lion King and The Legend of Mulan: this week’s best UK theatre and dance by Lyn Gardner and Judith Mackrell

Two tales tackled by Disney are reimagined for the stage. Plus: Sally Cookson adapts Fellini’s La Strada and Dance International Glasgow returns1 The Lion KingIn hindsight it seems absurd …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:02AM
Friday, April 7, 2017

Casanova review – too much plot, not enough passion for Northern Ballet's limp lothario by Judith Mackrell

Theatre Royal, NorwichThere are powdered wigs and romps galore in Kenneth Tindall’s first full-length story ballet, but he never truly gets at his hero’s mind and heartThere is a properl…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:12AM

Jane Eyre and Betroffenheit: this week’s best UK theatre and dance by Lyn Gardner and Judith Mackrell

Sally Cookson captures the fragile heart of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, while Crystal Pite’s astounding take on grief and addiction returnsJane Eyre Continue reading...

Linked From The Guardian at 05:54AM
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Royal Ballet gambles on new talent and competitive spirit to invigorate classics by Judith Mackrell

For its 2017-18 season, the Royal Ballet pays tribute to Kenneth MacMillan and Leonard Bernstein – and brings in Liam Scarlett, Edmund de Waal and a take on a deranged silent movieOne of t…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:42AM
Monday, April 3, 2017

Balanchine's Jewels: the product-placement ballet that became a masterpiece by Judith Mackrell

With its shameless courting of wealthy New York, George Balanchine’s plot-free ballet Jewels was initially seen as tacky. But its magical synthesis of ballet history means it has endured f…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:48AM
Friday, March 24, 2017

English National Ballet review – Bausch's Rite of Spring is as raw as ever by Judith Mackrell

Sadler’s Wells, LondonThe first UK company to perform Pina Bausch’s epic piece hurl themselves against exhaustion as they draw us into a world of hypnotic emotionDancers were everything …

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Thursday, March 23, 2017

A kaleidoscope of legs: Busby Berkeley's flamboyant dance fantasies by Judith Mackrell

In hit movies like 42nd Street, Berkeley liberated dance from the stage and placed it in a purely cinematic dimension with dizzyingly inventive routinesA new West End production of 42nd Stre…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:24AM
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Trisha Brown obituary by Judith Mackrell

Influential US choreographer first admired for her spare, subversive dances who underwent a radical shift as she was gripped by ‘a rapture to move’Trisha Brown, who has died aged 80, was…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:24AM
Friday, March 17, 2017

Royal Ballet triple bill review – gripping vision of the refugee crisis by Judith Mackrell

Royal Opera House, LondonSet to Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern is brave and beautiful alongside work by Christopher Wheeldon and David DawsonIt’s…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rosalind review – this is As You Like It but not as you know it by Judith Mackrell

The Place, LondonJames Cousins deploys a language of sexual fluidity as his superb dancers bring passion and intimacy to a flirtation with Shakespeare’s heroineIn James Cousins’ bold rei…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:54AM

Project Polunin review – Sergei's Swarovski-studded ballet falls flat by Judith Mackrell

Sadler’s Wells, London Sergei Polunin and Natalia Osipova bring star power to an ambitious dance programme but despite some beautiful moves it’s a misjudged muddleEver since Sergei Polun…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:24AM
Monday, March 13, 2017

Inside the Illuminati with Rosie Kay and Adam Curtis by Judith Mackrell

Rosie Kay has trained with the army and delved into tribal rituals for her bold dance shows. In her latest, MK Ultra, she’s investigating the secret society believed to be brainwashing Bey…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:54PM
Friday, March 10, 2017

Julie Cunningham review – poetic dances to Kate Tempest and Anohni by Judith Mackrell

The Pit, Barbican, LondonThe dancer turned choreographer presents two pieces themed around identity and sexual fluidity, featuring some gorgeously sophisticated sequencesJulie Cunningham has…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:54AM
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ballet Black review – edgy, visceral elegance and fairytale fun by Judith Mackrell

Barbican, LondonThis eclectic triple bill draws inspiration from Debussy and Shostakovich before concluding with a riotous rendering of Little Red Riding HoodThere are so many shining ways i…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:32AM
Friday, March 3, 2017

Stepmother/Stepfather review – dare you enter Arthur Pita's chamber of horrors? by Judith Mackrell

The Place, London With its violent seesaws between darkness and tender insight, Pita’s macabre cabaret confirms the choreographer as one of his generation’s leading storytellersWith his …

Linked From The Guardian at 07:42AM
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Matthew Bourne's protege James Cousins on his dance with Shakespeare by Judith Mackrell

His debut show featured a duet in which a dancer never touched the ground. Now, James Cousins is staging his most ambitious piece yet, a modern take on As You Like It set in Seoul and inspir…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:24AM
Friday, February 24, 2017

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba review – a fierce call for revolution by Judith Mackrell

Barbican, London The company’s three works explore hothouse machismo, private headspace and colliding forces in Cuban society with power and urgencyIs Cuba finally about to emerge from dec…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:48AM

Nell Gwynn and Ballet Black: this week’s best UK theatre and dance by Lyn Gardner and Judith Mackrell

Christopher Luscombe’s frisky production tackles male domination of the stage, while a new mixed bill at the Barbican features Annabelle Lopez Ochoa1 The Pitchfork DisneyExhilarating, tens…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:12AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

All change for Osipova and Vasiliev by Judith Mackrell

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev were the Bolshoi's golden couple – on stage and off. But their love affair is over and they're flirting with new kinds of dance. Judith Mackrell asks them…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:12PM

Pointe break: ballet's destructive power laid bare in Sergei Polunin documentary by Judith Mackrell

Steven Cantor’s intimate film about the rebellious dancer exposes the pressures heaped on young prodigies – and has vital lessons for the industryIn Dancer, Steven Cantor’s new film ab…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:42PM
Friday, February 17, 2017

Israel Galván: FLA.CO.MEN review – 'It's an evening that screams avant garde!' by Judith Mackrell

Sadler’s Wells, London Galván’s wild flamenco reinventions show mesmerising prowess – though not when he’s being pelted by paper ballsThere’s good reason to fear the worst from th…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:03AM
Friday, February 10, 2017

Tanztheater Wuppertal: Masurca Fogo review – a hot collage of anguish and joy by Judith Mackrell

Sadler’s Wells, LondonIn Pina Bausch’s impressionistic travelogue of Portugal and Brazil, the dancers confess intimate memories, put their bodies on parade and enjoy larky gamesIt’s ne…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:03PM

Richard III and Matthew Bourne: this week’s best UK theatre and dance by Lyn Gardner and Judith Mackrell

From a full-blooded reimagination of Shakespeare to the best of a celebrated choreographer. Plus: Eurohouse, Joan, BU21 and more1 Richard IIIDavid Hare may be up in arms about the European i…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:31AM
Monday, February 6, 2017

Chase Johnsey's unlikely success is a bold and beautiful victory for ballet by Judith Mackrell

The US prodigy, celebrated for his speed, grace and spectacularly witty performances, is among the winners at the National Dance awardsClassical ballet is notoriously an art form that impose…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:18AM
Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bolshoi Ballet: Swan Lake – review by Judith Mackrell

Royal Opera House, LondonThere's no doubting the love that many British ballet fans feel for the Bolshoi, nor their sympathy for the company's recent trials. But in spite of such loyal enthu…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:18PM
Friday, February 3, 2017

An Inspector Calls and E15: this week’s best UK theatre and dance by Lyn Gardner and Judith Mackrell

From Stephen Daldry’s ground-breaking production to a visceral take on the welfare crisis. Plus: Worst Wedding Ever, Material Men Redux and more1 An Inspector CallsThat inspector keeps on …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:39AM
Sunday, January 29, 2017

When the Ballet Boyz became Dadz by Judith Mackrell

Lippy, brash and unshaven, the Ballet Boyz were a dance phenomenon. Now, as they enter their 40s, they're launching their boldest venture yetMichael Nunn has just made an unsettling discover…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:32PM

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