All stories by Neil Norman on BroadwayStars

Friday, June 29, 2018

Gifford’s Circus: My Beautiful Circus review at Chiswick House, London – ‘unadulterated charm’ by Neil Norman

1930s glamour, songs from Cole Porter, Gershwin and Arthur Freed plus prancing Shetland ponies and dancing Dachshunds. Those of you seeking dangerous,

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Semperoper Ballett review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘breathtaking precision’ by Neil Norman

For their first appearance at Sadler’s Wells, Dresden’s Semperoper Ballett make a judicious selection of William Forsythe works. His classical-based modernism is

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Ballet Now: the Birmingham trailblazer boosting new dance works by Neil Norman

Ballet Now will launch 10 new works in five years, pledging to expand its classical repertoire with fresh offerings. Neil Norman finds

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Akram Khan’s Xenos review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘a work of incredible potency’ by Neil Norman

Akram Khan claims that this will be his final solo work. At 43, the artist/performer – dancer/choreographer seems too limiting – confesses

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Life Is a Dream review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘fragments of brilliance’ by Neil Norman

Milton’s line: “No light, but rather darkness visible” is as good a description of Kim Brandstrup’s new work as any. The first

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Swan Lake review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘Liam Scarlett’s admirable new staging’ by Neil Norman

I do like a little dry ice with my Swan Lake. Of the many alterations Liam Scarlett has made to this remodelling

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Elizabeth review at the Barbican Theatre – ‘enervating depiction of Elizabeth I’ by Neil Norman

Elizabeth I was an astonishing woman and an enduring royal icon. Not that you’d know it from Will Tuckett’s chamber ballet, first

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Obsidian Tear/Marguerite and Armand/Elite Syncopations review at the Royal Opera House, London – ‘idiosyncratic mixed bill’ by Neil Norman

For the final triple bill of the Royal Ballet season, the only connection between the pieces is that their makers have been

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Voices of America review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘potent stuff’ by Neil Norman

The Royal Ballet could learn a lot from English National Ballet about programming mixed bills. This well-balanced selection of works by American

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Manon review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘succulent depravity’ by Neil Norman

Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon skims across a lake of darkness before plunging into its depths. The Abbe Prevost’s story of a girl whose

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Bernstein Centenary review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘fabulous dancing’ by Neil Norman

Two world premieres and a revival from all three associate choreographers of the Royal Ballet whets the appetite. Wayne McGregor’s opener, Yugen,

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Pina Bausch’s Viktor review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘mesmerising melancholy’ by Neil Norman

There is no place like Rome for Pina Bausch. Premiered in 1986, Viktor is the first of her series of city-inspired works

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Jakop Ahlbom Company: Lebensraum review at Peacock Theatre, London – ‘acrobatic surrealism’ by Neil Norman

The photo of Buster Keaton on the wall is a clue. Jakop Ahlbom’s inspiration for Lebensraum derives from silent comedies and cinematic

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo review at Royal Albert Hall, London – ‘spectacular acts’ by Neil Norman

I would like to say that with Ovo, Cirque du Soleil have laid an egg, but that would give the wrong impression.

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Friday, December 29, 2017

The Nutcracker review at Royal Albert Hall, London – ‘beautifully executed’ by Neil Norman

For a 20th century adaptation of a 19th century ballet, Peter Wright’s Nutcracker has endured remarkably well. Created in 1990 for Sadler’s

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘spectacular’ by Neil Norman

Set in 1940 in London and combining Hollywood glitz with wartime drab, this Blitz-era ballet is steeped in tenebrous nostalgia and inspired

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Project Polunin – Satori review at the London Coliseum – ‘a messy affair’ by Neil Norman

Satori is the Japanese Buddhist term for ‘awakening’ or ‘seeing into one’s true nature’. And if anyone needed a lesson in self-awareness,

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Nutcracker review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘skips along’ by Neil Norman

Is it my imagination of have there been some excisions in this venerable Nutcracker? I missed the naughty boys wielding wooden swords

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Ivan Putrov’s Men in Motion review at London Coliseum – ‘an incoherent programme’ by Neil Norman

Thirteen dance works in one evening may seem like a bargain. But for this latest programme curated by Ivan Putrov to explore

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Linha Curva/Symbiosis/Goat review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘a masterpiece’ by Neil Norman

Rambert’s latest triple bill delivers on many fronts. The louche-limbed La Linha Curva is a riot of Brazilian-inspired carnival movement set to

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Illustrated Farewell/The Wind/Untouchable review at Royal Opera House – ‘a variable triple bill’ by Neil Norman

There are two ways of programming mixed bills: either locate a common theme and encourage choreographers to riff around it or take

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Twyla Tharp: ‘My first language is ballet’ by Neil Norman

In a career spanning more than 50 years, the acclaimed choreographer has been tireless in her pursuit of excellence and pushing the

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Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Aladdin at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘full of Eastern promise’ by Neil Norman

Originally made for the National Ballet of Japan, David Bintley’s Aladdin is an efficacious antidote to the panto versions at this time

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Gloria/The Judas Tree/Elite Syncopations review at Royal Opera House – ‘staggering’ by Neil Norman

The third and final programme celebrating the legacy of Kenneth MacMillan sees Northern Ballet performing his First World War masterpiece Gloria at

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Choreographer Ben Duke: ‘Surrounded by violence, I wanted to explore who we’re angry with’ by Neil Norman

Ben Duke is a true original. Having trained as an actor and dancer he discovered his calling lay both outside those disciplines

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Trois Grandes Fugues review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘illuminating’ by Neil Norman

Take three female choreographers and set them the challenge of interpreting the same piece of music in their own fashion. Beethoven’s Die

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hair review at the Vaults, London – ‘energetic but toothless’ by Neil Norman

It is five decades since Hair, the hippy musical, first shook its baubles, bangles and beads. Its claim to be the first

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Yukio Ninagawa’s Macbeth review at Barbican Theatre, London – ‘horrific and deeply moving’ by Neil Norman

The death of the great Japanese director Yukio Ninagawa in 2016 robbed the international theatre scene of one its most original and

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Company Wayne McGregor – Autobiography review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘bewitching and bewildering’ by Neil Norman

Wayne’s world is increasingly informed by science. The thinking man’s choreographer, McGregor had his entire genome sequenced by the Genetics Clinic of

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Acosta Danza: Debut review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘a promising start’ by Neil Norman

Only a churl would deny Carlos Acosta the chance to let his hair down. And there is plenty of evidence in his

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Carlos Acosta: ‘People see me as a mirror that reflects themselves’ by Neil Norman

From humble beginnings in Cuba, Carlos Acosta beat extraordinary odds to become one of the world’s greatest classical ballet dancers. As his

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