All stories by Neil Norman on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

San Francisco Ballet review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘youthful vigour and physical dexterity’ by Neil Norman

The San Francisco Ballet concludes its London season with another scintillating trio of UK premieres. The company’s youthful vigour, physical dexterity and

Linked From The Stage Registration at 08:40AM
Friday, June 7, 2019

Cinderella review at Royal Albert Hall, London – ‘no shortage of spectacle’ by Neil Norman

Created in 2012 for Dutch National Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella is stirred but not shaken from its traditional roots. The shift from

Linked From The Stage Registration at 09:04AM
Monday, June 3, 2019

Sergei Polunin: Rasputin review at London Palladium – ‘eye-rolling theatrics and thundering melodrama’ by Neil Norman

There can be no ignoring the irony. Ballet’s ‘bad boy’ Sergei Polunin as the ‘mad monk’ Rasputin has an undeniable appropriateness. It

Linked From The Stage Registration at 07:25AM
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Four Quartets review at Barbican Theatre – ‘anaemic response to TS Eliot’s enigmatic poem’ by Neil Norman

It is possible to make a non-narrative ballet from a literary classic, as Crystal Pite’s The Tempest Replica and Wayne McGregor’s Woolf

Linked From The Stage Registration at 06:34AM
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Royal Ballet’s Kevin O’Hare: ‘We have a breadth of new talent. I can’t help but be a proud parent’ by Neil Norman

The former dancer took over as director of the Royal Ballet in 2012 with a reputation as a safe pair of hands.

Linked From The Stage Registration at 06:00AM
Monday, April 29, 2019

Israel Galván: La Fiesta review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘magnificent surrealist flamenco’ by Neil Norman

There is a sadness at the heart of Israel Galván’s latest work. Inspired by the end of a flamenco performance when all

Linked From The Stage Registration at 09:14AM
Friday, April 5, 2019

English National Ballet’s She Persisted review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘wondrous and rewarding’ by Neil Norman

When US senator Mitch McConnell admonished fellow senator Elizabeth Warren in 2017, who refused to be silenced, with the phrase “Nevertheless, she

Linked From The Stage Registration at 07:37AM
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Romeo and Juliet review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘lacks sizzle’ by Neil Norman

Kenneth MacMillan brought psychological depth and sexual passion to the classical repertoire with his first three-act ballet. Not that you’d know it

Linked From The Stage Registration at 12:24PM
Monday, March 18, 2019

The Thread review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘impressive reworking of traditional dance’ by Neil Norman

Three years in the making, this project from choreographer Russell Maliphant and composer Vangelis is all Greek to me. Straying well beyond

Linked From The Stage Registration at 09:17AM
Monday, January 21, 2019

Asphodel Meadows/The Two Pigeons review at Royal Opera House, London – ‘a perfect pairing’ by Neil Norman

The contrasts could hardly be more pronounced. Youthful vigour versus dulcet experience; aesthetic abstraction versus trad narrative; cool objectivity versus tear-jerking melodrama.

Linked From The Stage Registration at 08:11AM
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Manon review at London Coliseum – ‘an exemplary performance from Alina Cojocaru’ by Neil Norman

This touring production of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon is stripped to kill. Originated by the Royal Danish Ballet its spartan design is cool,

Linked From The Stage Registration at 05:47AM
Monday, December 24, 2018

Circus 1903 review at Royal Festival Hall, London – ‘agreeably old-fashioned mix of circus and theatre’ by Neil Norman

It is hard to imagine a less circus-like environment than the auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall. Yet Circus 1903 is more

Linked From The Stage Registration at 07:15AM
Friday, December 21, 2018

2018: Best dance of the year by Neil Norman

It was a year of peaks and troughs in 2018, of rising stars and returning veterans, old dogs and new tricks. Classical

Linked From The Stage Registration at 03:00AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Les Patineurs/Winter Dreams/The Concert review at Royal Opera House – ‘a very mixed bill’ by Neil Norman

This Royal Ballet triple bill is a classic example of ‘Chequers Deal’ programming. The attempt to please everyone results in a deeply

Linked From The Stage Registration at 08:43AM
Thursday, December 6, 2018

Aladdin review at Hackney Empire – ‘Drop dead fabulous’ by Neil Norman

Pantomime is a uniquely British institution. A panto that isn’t rude, vulgar, raucous, smutty and mildly offensive isn’t a panto, it’s anaesthetised

Linked From The Stage Registration at 10:02AM
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Layla and Majnun review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘decorous and expressive’ by Neil Norman

Originating around the ninth Century in Persia the story of Layla and Majnun was described by George Gordon, Lord Byron as “the

Linked From The Stage Registration at 11:53AM
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Carlos Acosta: A Celebration review at Royal Albert Hall – ‘immaculately danced’ by Neil Norman

Carlos Acosta may have retired from classical ballet but he is still restlessly inventive. Following the disappointing debut of his dance version

Linked From The Stage Registration at 08:35AM
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo review at Peacock Theatre, London – ‘impressive pastiche’ by Neil Norman

It’s a cold heart that doesn’t warm to the Trocks. The company’s singular brand of pastiche has been refined and honed over

Linked From The Stage Registration at 10:46AM
Friday, August 24, 2018

Swan Lake review at London Coliseum – ‘pedestrian trot through Tchaikovsky’s most popular ballet’ by Neil Norman

Thank God for the orchestra. Tchaikovsky’s blazingly inventive ballet score receives a well-rounded interpretation by the English National Opera orchestra under the

Linked From The Stage Registration at 07:44AM
Monday, August 6, 2018

Club Swizzle review at Roundhouse, London – ‘a heady cocktail of cabaret and acrobatics’ by Neil Norman

The bastard child of Joel Gray and Liberace, Reuben Kaye is the Blizzard from Oz. There must be something about Australia that

Linked From The Stage Registration at 06:35AM
Friday, July 20, 2018

East Wall: Storm the Tower review at Tower of London – ‘an extraordinary event’ by Neil Norman

A thunderous, hypnotic drumbeat. The scalp-prickling drone of cellos. The low voices of a choir as they intone the lyrics of Space

Linked From The Stage Registration at 10:03AM
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,

Linked From The Stage Registration at 10:28AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 08:10AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 07:54AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 06:06AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 11:46AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 10:01AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 08:33AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 07:56AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 07:02AM
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

Linked From The Stage Registration at 06:49AM