San Francisco Ballet in William Forsythe's “Pas/Parts 2016.” Photograph by Erik Tomasson

The Forsythe Saga

Think of it as the terpsichorean equivalent of a mic drop—times four, or Beyoncé before Beyoncé (but a decided precursor to “Formation”). However one chooses to look at it, William Forsythe’s “Artifact Suite,” performed over the weekend by Houston Ballet (who premiered it just last month), was an anarchic, jaw-dropping stunner. One third of a unique bill—a trio of American ballet troupes each performing a Forsythe opus—“Artifact” is a one-act, forty-minute abstraction of the his 1984 “Artifact,” the first piece the American-born choreographer made for his now disbanded troupe, Ballett Frankfurt.
Wayne McGregor's “Entity.” Photograph by Ravi Deepres

On the Hour

Sixty minutes is a tricky length for a work of dance. Slot an uninterrupted hour of dance into a mixed bill and you risk an inattentive audience. But present it as a standalone production and you face an extra layer of critical scrutiny—is the piece truly substantial enough to carry an entire evening?
“The Shout” by Nacera Belaza. Photograph by Gregory Lorenzutti

Dirty Laundry

The noise of the day drops away as I make my way to the upstairs studio of Dancehouse. I am one part of an increasingly hushed procession assembled on opening night to experience Sarah-Jane Norman’s “The River’s Children” (2013), and “Take This, For It Is My Body” (2010) paired with “Heirloom” (2013), and Nacera Belaza’s “The Shout” (2008), presented as part of Melbourne Festival.



Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire

Glitz and Glam: A Weekend at Wilderness

Glitter—this was one of the first details I noticed when I arrived at Wilderness Festival last Friday. The shimmery stuff was everywhere, winking at me from eyelashes, cheeks, t-shirts, bunting. Poking out of pockets and tumbling out of tents, glinting and gleaming in the hot August sun.
Natalie Osipova and Matthew Golding in the Royal Ballet's “Onegin.” Image Alice Pennefather

The Cult of Fragility

One of the greatest challenges—and for me, joys—of being a dance critic is navigating the not infrequent clash between contemporary values and those embraced in classical ballet, a centuries-old institution that venerates ‘tradition’ in all its old-world, patriarchal glory. What messages of value can women divine from stories that glorify female fragility and are primarily written and directed by men?