London

A Hollow Spectacle

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night charts the turbulent romance between a woman beleaguered by psychosis (Nicole) and a man fixated on saving her (Dick)—a relationship modelled on the author’s marriage to Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. Drama erupts: there’s incest, alcoholism, corruptive wealth and more, much of it arising from Dick’s dual role as Nicole’s husband and her psychoanalyst. Factor in the heady setting—a glam expat resort in 1920s France —and it’s rich material for a stage production.

35 Years in the Making  

Phoenix Dance Theatre is one of the UK’s oldest contemporary dance companies outside of London. The Leeds-based troupe was founded in 1981 by three graduates, and has since evolved into a ten-member professional ensemble with a sizeable repertory—including works from the likes of Richard Alston and Didy Veldman—and bevy of stage credits around the UK and abroad.

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 Food of Love

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and the year has seen artistic tributes pour in from around the world: film festivals, art exhibitions, publishing initiatives, theatre takeovers. Birmingham Royal Ballet is responsible for one of the most extensive dance offerings: a dedicated Shakespeare Season featuring 80 performances of seven Bard-inspired ballets, including a new evening-length reworking of “The Tempest” from artistic director David Bintley.

Shadow Play

This performance of Alexander Whitley’s “Pattern Recognition,” which premiered at London’s Platform Theatre in April, was the kick-off to a five-leg autumn tour around the UK. The London-based choreographer has teamed up with digital designer Memo Akten to create a 50-minute contemporary work that uses motion-responsive technology to explore themes of consciousness, memory and fragmentation in the digital age.

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.

Best Beware My Sting

Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew has long been plagued by its thorny gender politics. For decades, critics have debated the play’s depiction of female submission—is Petruchio’s ‘taming’ of Katharina straightforward sexism or satirical social commentary?

Hidden Gems

Benjamin Millepied—known in the ballet world for his 16 years at New York City Ballet and recent tenure as director of the Paris Opera Ballet, and beyond it for his choreographic turn in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan and subsequent marriage to Natalie Portman—co-founded LA Dance Project in 2012 with four other creatives.

The Life and Death Brigade

What is life if not one long memento mori? This is the question Trevor Nunn and William Trevitt—co-founders of the all-male troupe BalletBoyz—have posed with their latest bill, “Life,” which reflects on mortality with two diverse, thoughtful works.