REVIEW: ‘Warp and Weft’ – Marylebone Theatre, June 2024

 

Contemporary ballet triple bill Warp and Weft is a beautifully crafted programme of energetic, expressive and emotive narrative dance.

Featuring new works Iago v Othello by Aaron Thao, The Maids by Richard Bermange and By a Thread by Marika Brussel, this show breathes new life into existing stories. By the final exhale, audience members have been enveloped by envy, teased by a trio of service industry workers and empowered by radiantly strong women.

Warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads are essential to the process of weaving fabric. A warp thread is held taut, while a weft thread is permitted more freedom so that it can be intertwined with the foundational warp thread. Significantly, every fragile strand is necessary for the formation and integrity of the final piece of fabric. And the weaver is both an artist and a craftsperson as weaving requires both creativity and expertise.

Throughout Warp and Weft, the movers and makers weave their magic using this same sense of collaboration, vision and know-how. Artistry is seamlessly interlaced with athleticism, so efficiency and engagement are valued over meaningless excitement. Indeed, the intention is clearly (and gratifyingly) to draw audiences in with sincere storytelling and watchable dance. Danceable dance, in fact, as even the most impressive lifts and challenging motifs flow, which ensures there is no unravelling of movement or mood.

 

Warp and Weft dancer Michaela Marrable as Penelope in By A Thread.

 

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NEWS: See three new narrative ballets in ‘Warp and Weft’ – Marylebone Theatre, June 2024

 

A trio of choreographers will weave three reimagined narratives into Warp and Weft, a new triple bill of contemporary ballet, this month.

The production, which features new works by Aaron Thao, Richard Bermange and Marika Brussel, premieres at London’s Marylebone Theatre on Saturday 22 June.

Yarn is transformed into cloth thanks to the interlacing of two sets of threads – vertical warp threads and horizontal weft threads. Warp threads are the strong and constant foundation of the textile, while weft threads are the fluid and flexible pattern-making element. Warp and Weft looks set to embody life’s rich tapestry by updating the fabric of three existing tales in ways that will resonate with audiences today.

 

Warp and Weft dancers Ryan Upton and Mayuko Suzuki in rehearsal with Marika Brussel.

 

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REVIEW: London Children’s Ballet’s ‘Snow White’ – Peacock Theatre, April 2023

 

London Children’s Ballet’s Snow White gives talented young dancers an opportunity to shine and provides enchanting entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.

What better way to round off the Easter holidays than to join a 50-strong cast of girls and boys (aged 9 to 16) at London’s Peacock Theatre for a fresh interpretation of a much-loved fairy tale? Performers and audience members alike are delighting in this treat of a production, which incorporates joyous dancing, original music played live by an orchestra, stunning sets and colourful costumes.

Yes, the show is performed by children, with families in mind. But it really is a West End worthy offering. These dancers are sweetly professional to the core. Furthermore, some of the most accomplished and ambitious creatives in the land have teamed up to showcase the youngsters’ skills and enthuse the next generation of dance lovers.

 

Scarlett Monahan as Snow White, Taylor Ticehurst as the King and Harriet Mears as the Queen in London Children's Ballet's Snow White.

 

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REVIEW: ‘Nureyev Legend and Legacy’ – Theatre Royal Drury Lane, September 2022

 

Ballet superstars light up the stage in Nureyev Legend and Legacy, a tribute gala being performed at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London this month.

Soviet-born dancer, choreographer and director Rudolf Nureyev is one of the most recognisable names in ballet. His life story is well known and he has inspired countless male dancers.

He trained at the Vaganova Choreographic Institute in Leningrad before joining the Kirov (now Mariinsky) Ballet in 1958. His career highlights included a long stint as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet from 1962 until the mid-1970s, as well as famed performances with renowned ballerinas, such as Margot Fonteyn. His televised appearances introduced ballet to millions of people and he established a foundation that still supports promising young dancers today. He also set a new standard as artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet, where he nurtured the likes of Sylvie Guillem and commissioned innovative works by visionary choreographers, including William Forsythe.

Nureyev danced with infectious joy and wild abandon, showcasing rapid turns and an explosive jump. He radiated personality and spontaneity, which made him a celebrity beyond dance. He is a legend who left behind a legacy and this gala, which is not associated with any particular anniversary, passionately expresses that dance fans do not need an excuse to celebrate him. We simply must.

 

Francesco Gabriele Frola and Ida Praetorius dancing Flower Festival In Genzano as part of Nureyev Legend and Legacy.

 

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NEWS: Ballet stars will dazzle at ‘Nureyev Legend and Legacy’ gala – Theatre Royal Drury Lane, September 2022

 

A dazzling array of ballet stars will celebrate one of the most influential dancers of all time in Nureyev Legend and Legacy, a glittering gala at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane, this month.

Rudolf Nureyev was the virtuoso Soviet-born dancer and choreographer who rebelled against an oppressive regime and fundamentally changed public perception of both ballet and the male ballet dancer. Here in the UK he was best known for his partnership with The Royal Ballet’s Margot Fonteyn. He made his UK debut when she invited him to dance at the 1961 Royal Academy of Dance fundraising gala, which was also held at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

An international cast of 22 world-class dancers will pay homage to Nureyev with five special performances, spread over the 5, 6 and 12 September. The gala programme features nine classical ballet excerpts that represent highlights from his career, all accompanied by live music from the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

Essentially, audiences are being given the chance to experience the magic and mastery of Nureyev through a new generation of spectacular dancers. It promises to be an unmissable treat for ballet fans.

 

A black-and-white portrait photograph of legendary ballet dancer and global celebrity Rudolf Nureyev.

 

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