Reading the memoir Just Kids led choreographer Fleur Darkin to create a dance tribute to the photographer’s flower portraits and the punk poet

‘The colour is so alive and so free, it almost makes you laugh out loud,” says Fleur Darkin, talking about Robert Mapplethorpe’s flower photographs from the late 1980s. “It’s the first time he uses colour after a life of black and white,” the choreographer explains. “And it’s like he is finally surpassing the need to be cool, and he comes out with his true love for colour and life and nature in all its glory.”

Mapplethorpe’s images are the inspiration behind Darkin’s latest work for Scottish Dance Theatre, Velvet Petal, which premieres in Mexico tonight. The US photographer is better known for his monochrome portraits treating the naked body as still life and for chronicling the sexual subcultures of New York in the 1970s. But for Darkin, his bright and detailed closeups of flowers embody a real sense of transformation. “We have tried to do the same in the show,” she says. “Stick to black and white … and then an epiphanic colour burst at the end.”

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Source: Guardian Dance News


Barbican, London
The punk perfectionist’s homage to Satie, Patti Smith and Bowie packs in a range of moods from enigmatic mournfulness to stomping, dadaist revolution

Michael Clark has never quite lost his reputation as the wild child of dance. The bare-arsed campery and post-punk music that made him a cult of the 1980s still cling to his image.

But as a choreographer he’s always been a perfectionist, and even at his most superficially deviant it’s always been the small details – the quixotic angling of the head, the strict placing of the feet, the contrapuntal torsion through the body – that have created the backbone of his style.

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Source: Guardian Dance News



The Place, London
Street dance meets Victorian workhouse as choreographer Tony Adigun imagines the childhoods of Oliver Twist’s villains

Street dance might seem an odd style for a Dickensian tale, but in choreographer Tony Adigun’s imaginative if flawed version of Oliver Twist, the nifty footwork and ducking and weaving suits all the pickpocketing and scamming in the story. Adigun also uses hip-hop’s taut formations and face-offs to suggest close-knit gangs and the tensions within them.

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Source: Guardian Dance News


Composer, who backs boycott of Israeli government, says Batsheva cannot use his music at embassy-sponsored event

The composer and producer Brian Eno has denied permission for one of Israel’s most critically acclaimed dance companies to continue using his music for a series of performances in Italy after he discovered that the Israeli embassy was sponsoring the event.

Eno, 68, who started his career with Roxy Music but has latterly become known for his ambient music compositions, said he had not been aware his music was being used in a piece by the Batsheva dance company.

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Source: Guardian Dance News



Playhouse, Edinburgh
This exhilarating collaboration between post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor and dance company the Holy Body Tattoo lives up to its title

It lasts for an exhausting, exhilarating hour and a quarter. I was glad of the earplugs. But there is no doubt that this brilliantly forged partnership of music, dance and art, reworked from its brief outing 10 years ago, is indeed monumental.

A collaboration between dance company the Holy Body Tattoo (newly resurrected for this tour) and their fellow Canadians, the visionary band Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the show holds you in a thunderously dark, dystopian embrace. It exposes the energies, both literal (wind turbines and cars are featured) and psychological, that drive our expansionist, industrialised, switched-on world.

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Source: Guardian Dance News


The Guardian participated in the British singer’s free five-hour class with top choreographers, after which local dancers were invited to perform at her concert

Tuesday, the greatest day of the quirky British artist FKA twigs’ 28 years, started in tears and ended in a sweaty dance class with almost 400 people at the Lithuanian Hall of Baltimore.

Twigs, the critically acclaimed singer whose first studio album, LP1, came out in 2014, is currently touring the world’s summer music festivals. But as a former backup dancer who grew up without much money – she went to private school on a scholarship but was the poor kid who couldn’t afford her peers’ fancy trips – she decided to bring her top choreographers and dancers together for a free five-hour dance workshop in Baltimore, announced on Twitter just 24 hours before it happened.

free workshop intermediate & advanced level, all styles age 18+ welcome. i’ll be inviting dancers to perform at my pier 6 show on wed

Baltimore dance workshop.

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Source: Guardian Dance News



Sadler’s Wells, London
Patrias, the flamenco guitarist’s tribute to the Spanish writer, features superb dance solos but the multimedia projections intrude on the spectacle

Federico García Lorca is known as a poet and a playwright, but the art he first loved was music. Patrias, Paco Peña’s flamenco tribute to Lorca, also begins with music – a guitar solo of wandering harmonies, rasped chords and mournful melodies. Two dance solos then seem to emerge directly from Peña’s playing: first, the marvellously poised Ángel Muñoz takes the stage, his clean lines and exact placement pinned to the guitar’s changing rhythms; then the more lyrical Mayte Bajo, her turns and dips leaning into the musical phrasing.

The performers don’t act, but rather focus our attention on the subtleties of sound and the inflections of Fernando Romero’s choreography. Instead of projecting outwards, they pull us in. It’s utterly captivating.

Related: Federico García Lorca was killed on official orders, say 1960s police files

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Source: Guardian Dance News