The Fall/Winter Dance Roundup
As a follow-up to last month’s Culture Guide, we went a little deeper into dance, which is a particularly great holiday break option for little ones. And speaking of kids, there’s a Nutcracker production in each of the cities below—though the Parisian interpretation is best suited for adults.
Into the Hoods: RemixedThe Peacock Theatre, Portugal St. | +126.96.36.199.82.22
Granted, ZooNation dance company's hip hop production has its cringe-y moments: It's set in the "Ruff Endz (with a Z) Estate" and one of the main characters is named DJ Spinderella, but the updated soundtrack featuring Jay-Z, James Brown, Chemical Brothers, and Queen Latifah, along with the now classic hip-hop choreography by Kate Prince is as fun, upbeat, and on-point as it was when it premiered in London eight years ago. There's a reason this performance has gone down in the history books in London, and paved the way for this once-amateur dance company. This is a fun one to take the kids to.
Sleeping BeautySadler's Wells, Roseberry Ave. | +188.8.131.52.80.00
Celebrity choreographer Matthew Bourne's gothic and dark take on Sleeping Beauty is spot-on for the time of year in London when sundown is painfully early—i.e., 4pm. In addition to his innovative choreography, Matthew Bourne is known for incorporating intricate sets into his productions, and this collaboration with the legendary Lez Brotherstone is no exception: It's a visual feast of rich imagery, 18th-century vampires and goth fairies. In this re-interpretation of the Tchaikovsky classic, Aurora must choose between her prince and Caradoc, the creation of the evil fairy Carabosse. December 1 through January 24.
Tavaziva: AfricarmenThe Place, 17 Duke's Rd. | +184.108.40.206.11.00
While the Royal Opera House features a classic operatic rendition of George Bizet's romance, Carmen, The Place—known for its seriously avant-garde programming—features Zimbabwean choreographer Bawren Tavaziva's variation on the story in dance form. Tavaziva's rendition takes place in the corrupt and violent Equatorial New Guinea (rather than Spain) and comes with a corresponding afrobeat score and a searing performance by Anna Watson. Tickets are a fraction of the price of what you'll pay at the Royal Opera House. November 13 and 14th.
Monotones I & II and The Two PigeonsBow St. | +220.127.116.11.12.00
This double bill of classic, minimal ballets is an ideal excuse for a dressed-up winter night out at the Royal Opera House. Paying homage to Sir Frederick Ashton, the venerated English choreographer who established their dance program, the Royal Ballet has taken two classics from the archive, Monotones I and II and The Two Pigeons. The first features a trio—or pas de trois in ballet terms—dancing to Erik Satie's melancholic Trois Gymnopédies and Trois Gnossiennes, arguably his greatest hits The second is one of Ashton's most well-loved romantic duets. From November 18 to December 5. Photo: Tristram Kenton
The NutcrackerBow St. | +18.104.22.168.12.00
Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is a must when the holiday season rolls in, especially for parents with young children. Every year, the Royal Ballet pulls out all the stops at the Royal Opera House with totally dreamlike, glittery sets, costumes, and choreography—in a nutshell, a child's total fantasy. From December 8 to January 14.
Chotto DeshLilian Baylis Studio, Roseberry Ave. | +22.214.171.124.80.00
Akram Khan is known for having fused his background in traditional Indian Kathak dancing with modern technique to create a style all his own. His productions clearly resonate with the English audience, as he's a regular at the Sadler's Wells. With Chotto Desh, Khan presents a follow-up to his children's piece, DESH, which was a big hit a few years ago. Here, the main character splits his time in a dreamlike sequence between Britain and Bangladesh, and has the choreography to match the mix. October 30 and 31.
Let’s Dance AgainKensington Gore, Royal Albert Hall | +126.96.36.199.82.12
Nick Winston has choreographed a purely indulgent one-night show at the Royal Albert Hall. He's revisiting classic pieces from Hollywood's Golden Age, with memorable numbers from the likes of Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Ginger Rogers. The music from Top Hat, An American in Paris, Swing Time, and more will be played by a live orchestra. November 13.