London’s Roundhouse is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since reopening 10 years ago it’s staged a fine lineup of music and performing arts. Here, revisit some of the shows that were staged in its first wave of activity, from the late 1960s to the early 80s, when productions by The Living Theatre, Ken Tynan and Prospect were put on in between gigs by some of rock’s biggest stars

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Source: Guardian Dance News


Sadler’s Wells, London
David Bintley’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s play conjures a convincing sense of wonder but conveys too little of the emotional drama

Related: David Bintley: ‘The Tempest is about a man who’s lived off the idea of revenge’

The history of dance is littered with versions of The Tempest. With its formal intricacies of music, magic and comedy, there’s a masque-like quality to Shakespeare’s late play that offers seductive possibilities for choreographers. But the work is also a profound and unsettling study of love, revenge and power. And the central flaw of David Bintley’s adaptation is that we’re too often beguiled by the visual action, and too little challenged by the emotional drama.

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Source: Guardian Dance News


Join us on Tuesday 18 October to watch Rambert’s dancers in action. We’re streaming a day of rehearsals, performances, documentary material and debate, lifting the lid on its creative processes. The full schedule is listed below

The lineup in full: 10.15–11.45am BST Ballet class. 12–1pm Rehearsal of Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances. 1–1.30pm Rehearsal of the samba-fuelled A Linha Curva. 1.30–2pm Rehearsal of Hydrargyrum by Patricia Okenwa. 2–2.30pm Tomorrow, Lucy Guerin’s dance version of Macbeth, filmed at Sadler’s Wells. 2.30–3pm Different Steps, a 1985 Rambert documentary. 3–4.30pm Ghost Dances and Hydrargyrum (rpt). 4.30–6pm Debate: What next for contemporary dance? Featuring Julie Cunningham, Malgorzata Dzierzon, Patricia Okenwa, chaired by Amy Bell. 6.30–7.30pm Works-in-progress by Miguel Altunaga, Simone Damberg Würtz, Carlos Pons Guerra, Mbulelo Ndabeni.

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Source: Guardian Dance News


Adding Machine: A Musical | Séance | And Then Come the Nightjars | The Cheviot, The Stag And The Black, Black Oil | The Book Of Mormon | 2Faced Dance | Candoco Dance Company | Jasmin Vardimon Company

US playwright Elmer Rice looked at the effects of big business and mechanisation on the lives of ordinary people. One of his big successes was expressionistic 1923 drama The Adding Machine, in which humans are mere pawns in the corporate world. It may seem unlikely material for a musical reboot but Mr Zero – a worker on the cusp of being replaced by a machine – seems a very modern figure, and there’s an unusual degree of savage comic satire for a form that is often eager to please.

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Source: Guardian Dance News


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


The former shadow chancellor has improbably samba’d his way into the public affections. Our panel debates if this will be a quickstep back to the heady days of New Labour

Related: Strictly Come Dancing hits series high as Ed Balls goes green

Related: ‘Listen to us. Send Ed Balls home’ – the Strictly judges bare their teeth

Related: Strictly hopeful Ed Balls puts on his dancing shoes – in pictures

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Source: Guardian Dance News


Dance Umbrella and CCN-Ballet de Lorraine’s Unknown Pleasures presents five new works anonymously. So, what’s it like to watch a production with no preconceptions?

What kind of value judgments and viewing habits do we bring to the theatre when we are watching a new piece of dance? It’s a question posed by Dance Umbrella and CCN-Ballet de Lorraine in their new, joint production, Unknown Pleasures. By presenting an evening of five new works, whose choreography, design, lighting and music all remain anonymous, they are inviting audiences to look at the stage with their senses rinsed clean of all preconceptions – and all PR.

Related: Unknown pleasures: do we enjoy art more if it’s anonymous?

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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


Royal Albert Hall; Barbican, London
Carlos Acosta bids a glorious goodbye, while Michael Clark keeps ploughing his weird and wonderful furrow

Last week Carlos Acosta, the greatest male classical dancer of his generation, took his final call on the ballet stage. “Thank you, Carlos!” someone shouted as Acosta stepped forward on Monday night, moved to tears by the standing ovation.

Thank you indeed. Few have done more in recent years to popularise ballet, or to inspire young men to dance, than Acosta. Born into poverty in Havana 43 years ago, he was dispatched to the state-funded Cuban National Ballet School by a father who despaired of his waywardness. His talent was prodigious. Clean, confident leaps, dashing footwork, perfectly weighted turns. But it was the breadth of his dramatic skills that set him apart. A natural stage aristocrat, he took breezy command of any space he entered. Performing Spartacus with the Bolshoi, he awed audiences with the scale and authority of his dancing. This was a leader, a man you’d follow to hell and back. He had a glorious gift for comedy too. To watch Acosta perform Don Quixote or La Fille Mal Gardée, ideally opposite Marianela Nuñez, was to be in ballet heaven. He had his off days, but when he was on, he was unbeatable.

So lustrous was Carlos Acosta’s bearing, it could have been his first performance in the role of Apollo

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Source: Guardian Dance News


Royal Opera House, London
Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambé dance with unforced beauty, imbuing Ashton’s 1960 romcom with a rare sense of mutual discovery

Ballet is all about illusion and when Peregrine, the cute pony in La Fille Mal Gardée, takes an unscheduled dump in the middle of act one you might expect it to be a disastrous intrusion of reality. But Frederick Ashton’s 1960 romantic comedy is such an idiosyncratic and indestructible mix of genres – English pantomime and pure pastoral classicism – that Peregrine’s accident only adds to the ballet’s charm. It is swiftly and wittily dealt with; and somehow it chimes with the free, fresh and spontaneous chemistry that’s already been created on stage, both by some fine ensemble playing and by the two young principals Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambé.

As the illicit lovers Lise and Colas, Hayward and Sambé achieve a perfect balance of 21st-century naturalism and period style. Hayward’s Lise delivers a convincing edge of teenage, eye-rolling belligerence as she reacts against her mother’s strictness. And as she and Colas fall in love they imbue their material with a rare sense of mutual discovery, the pair trying on each new emotion for size as they progress from the sweet, hectic silliness of playacting, to snatched kisses and finally the shock and delight of desire.

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Source: Guardian Dance News