My top 10 dance must-sees of the season
It’s that time of year again. Time to reach into the depths of your wardrobe and welcome your onesie back into your lives? Yes. But also time to re-enter the dark, comfortable, Merlot soaked world of the theatre auditorium. Autumn season is upon us, hurrah hooray, kaloo kalay. As such, I have organised myself with Martha Stewart level skills, to plan my viewing for the season. It goes a little something like this:
1. Jasmin Vardimon Company @ Peacock Theatre, September 17–22. Sadler's Wells Associate Artist Jasmin Vardimon – recently awarded the International Theatre Institute's Award for Excellence in International Dance for 2013 – presents Justitia, a work that proves political comment on the justice system can be made through contemporary dance. And on a revolving stage too.
2. LA Dance Project @ Sadler's Wells, October 2-4. This artist collective was a real hit at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, so see them at Sadler’s if you missed them in Scotland. Choreographer of the film Black Swan Benjamin Millepied, formerly of the New York City Ballet, brings a complex and varied multidisciplinary mixed bill to London.
3. Rambert @ Sadler's Wells, October 22-26. Another mixed bill, this time by the poetic gazelles of this West London dance company, who are lucky enough to have their very own orchestra. Former Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet Ashley Page’s world premiere Subterrain is set to the phat beats of Aphex Twin – reason alone to go see.
4. Hofesh Shechter, Sadler's Wells, October 30-November 3. I always feel like those annoying people who say “yeah, no, I’ve followed this band since their very first unsigned album from some abstract record label, which like, totes makes me a bigger fan that you” but genuinely, I remember the early days of Hofesh’s work and have loved it longtime. Sun is his latest piece, and I hope to see more of the hunched, furled loping, anger and anguish, beauty and strength that is his signature style.
5. Richard Alston Dance Company @ Barbican, November 6-9. Part of Barbican Britten celebrating a centenary of Benjamin Britten, Richard Alston has created Phaedra and Holderlin Fragments. These world premieres are inspired by BB’s music and promise beauty, lyricism and choreopoetry of epic proportions. Illuminations and Lachrymae are also on the bill, and Britten Sinfonia will accompany.
6. Mixed Bill – Chroma/The Human Seasons/The Rite of Spring @ Royal Opera House, November 9-23. I heart a good triple bill at the ROH. Wayne McGregor and Macmillan’s well known work aside (purely because they’ve been seen before, you understand) the middle piece is David Dawson’s first work for the Royal Ballet. I’m excited.
7. Liang/Maliphant/Wheeldon @ Sadler's Wells, November 14-16. Mixing up classical, modern and contemporary ballet in a British-Chinese cultural collaboration this programme focuses on Yuan Yuan Tan, Chinese principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet and Taiwanese Fang-Yi Sheu.
8. Stuttgart Ballet, Sadler's Wells, November 18 - 23. Get ready for some trans-European phenomena, both new and old, including seven UK premieres of contemporary work by company founder John Cranko and resident choreographer Marco Goecke amongst others.
9. Phoenix Dance Theatre @ Linbury Studio Theatre, November 19-23. Sounds a little too much like science for my liking, but fear not, Particle Velocity is definitely a quadruple bill of contemporary dance - Repetition of Change by Sharon Watson, Tender Crazy Love by Douglas Thorpe, Ki by Jose Agudo and All Alight by Richard Alston.
10. Mark Morris Dance Group, Sadler's Wells, November 27 November-December 1. Who knows what will happen when you see a Mark Morris perf? This mixed bill (The Muir, Socrates, Crosswalk and Festival Dance, Excursions and A Wooden Tree) will take you places you ain’t never been before. Ridiculous or sublime? Genius or looneytune? You decide.