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BalletBoyz the Talent in Russell Maliphant's “Fallen.” Photograph by Panos

Old wounds

The billing for “Young Men,” Iván Pérez’s contribution to NOW’s WW1 Centenary Art Commission, features an up-close shot of a man’s grimy, tear-stained face alongside a quote from Jose Narosky: “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” The ad speaks to the hushed, harrowing sense of violence Perez endeavours to capture and shape in his forthcoming piece, which is due to premiere in January and meditates on the psychological reverberations of wartime bloodshed.

“Push” by Russell Maliphant. Photograph by Johan Persson

Give and take

There are few dancers who can reconcile vigour and grace as seamlessly as Sylvie Guillem, she of Paris Opera and Royal Ballet fame. The French superstar teamed up with the acclaimed Russell Maliphant to create “Push” back in 2005, and nine years, dozens of performances and a handful of awards later, the programme feels fresh as ever as it returns to London for its final run.

Contemporary Dance

Wendy Whelan Restless Creature main Christopher Duggan

Something different, something new

In a recent conversation with The Royal Opera House, Wendy Whelan compares “Restless Creature” to a flower blossoming, explaining “at the beginning it is a tight bud… but as the programme goes on the movement unravels.” To take her analogy further, I’d liken the bill to a romantic relationship unfolding, one that blooms in the wake of desire and fights to flourish, despite losing a few petals to the tribulations of couplehood.

Solo for Two

Vasiporescence

Today’s dancers are getting younger and more technically dazzling, coming from the jump-higher-turn-faster school of ballet. Indeed, “So You Think You Can Dance,” where the 90-second “contemporary” swaggerfest lives, springs to mind. But the question remains: Are these brave young terpsichores also more artistic or is it merely a surface thing?

Keir Award Gregory Lorenzutti

New and unsettled, Keir Choreographic Award

To begin, it is all about numbers and the patterns they form. One inaugural award, the Keir Choreographic Award, dedicated to commissioning new choreographic work and fostering innovation in contemporary dance both nationally and internationally.