Dance: Billboards RFH, London
Friday 30 August 1996
Joffrey has an excellent pedigree. It was formed in 1956 and enjoyed a reputation for staging major revivals and creating new works. The need to pursue box-office has clearly led to a serious artistic and technical decline. Billboards, danced to music by Prince, was conceived in 1993 during a time of crisis. It has toured successfully ever since and has grossed millions, pulling Joffrey out of financial trouble.
Ballet dancers do not usually perform well to pop music. They lack the loose-limbed jazzy articulation of contemporary dancers and tend to look a little tight-arsed at the best of times - like watching your mother dance the twist. However, fine dancers and great choreographers can overcome these problems - Christopher Bruce's Rolling Stones Rooster suggests itself. Billboards's four choreographers are simply not in this league. Joffrey's women are about as sexy and spontaneous as a length of dental floss. Various men make rumpy-pumpy gestures with their hips and get on with their aerobics. The chaps cease their exertions and stand around looking butch in torn T-shirts: they look about as mean as mascara. Joffrey is an equal opportunities employer. Why else would they want the small, hefty young man with the looks and grace of a prop forward? One of the women lets her hair down and poses seductively with her tresses. No doubt this hair-mussing motif is intended to convey sensuality but it smacks of a choreographer who has run out of ideas for arms. The finale of Act 2 features Beatriz Rodriguez trolling around to Prince's anthem "Purple Rain" while a spotlight half-heartedly tracks her progress. Why Prince would allow a choreographer to scribble on his signature tune is beyond me. Prince dances better than this. Joe Cocker dances better than this.
The finale is "Willing and Able". We know it's sexy because she fondles his buttocks. He fondles her buttocks. Then he bites her foot. This must be what the Santa Monica Outlook meant when it remarked that the piece "pulsates with an extroverted sense of eroticism''. "Fight to get rid of a ticket," thundered the Independent.
To 8 Sept: 0171-960 4242
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Dakota Johnson's 'It's only Isis' Saturday Night Live sketch sparks controversy
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
EastEnders may bring transgender character to Albert Square to challenge 'traditional' viewers
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Indian Summers recommissioned: Channel 4 confirm a second series of British Empire drama
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'