THE WEEK IN REVIEW

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The Independent Culture
THE DANCE PERFORMANCE OVERVIEW PINA BAUSCH

The return of the leading dance theatre innovator of her generation with her massively influential work Nelken, which has helped change the language of both theatre and dance. CRITICAL VIEW Anthony Peattie applauded the risk, ambition and poignancy: "By the end... we seem to have seen hell as well as heaven." It completely divided critical opinion. The Daily Telegraph opined "Trying to convey the overwhelming impact of it is like trying to describe what it's like to see a ghost." "Nearly two hours of mostly meaningless pretension," insisted the Times. ON VIEW No further performances planned. Pray for her return.

OUR VIEW Much imitated, never equalled. One of the very few real highlights of the Edinburgh Festival. THE PLAY PEER GYNT OURVIEW A transfer for John Barton's production of Ibsen's famous epic which demands hugely imaginative staging and nearly always ends up as a fairly honourable defeat for all concerned. CRITICAL VIEW Robert Hanks declared that the production "comes as close to fulfilling all the play's demands as any Peer Gynt." The Guardian agreed: "There is a spirit of generous all-embracing humanity that pervades every second of this great production." The Evening Standard disagreed: "Although this poetic dream of a play sometimes takes flight, I still find the production relentlessly earth-bound." ON VIEW In repertoire at the Young Vic (0171-928 6363). OUR VIEW Another impressive hit for RSC leading actor Alex Jennings who continues to confound those who thought him too tricksy by half. THE FILM BRAVEHEART OVERVIEW More used to undressing than cross-dressing, Mel Gibson dons a skirt, in the form of a kilt, in the latest instalment of Hollywood's Scottish phase which he also directs. CRITICAL VIEW Adam Mars-Jones was underwhelmed. "An action film with an unhappy ending rather than the tragedy it would like to be." Everyone praised the battle scenes, but had less to say about everything else. "If history is bunk, goodness knows how you can describe Braveheart," said the Guardian. ON VIEW Odeons Leicester Square, Marble Arch and others across London and on general release. OUR VIEW Warning: over three hours long, very bloodthirsty and ludicrously stereotyped. A film that takes itself more than a touch seriously.

THE OPERA CURLEW RIVER / DIDO & AENEAS OVERVIEW The pioneering Opera Factory with a double bill of Britten's first (and best) church parable, all too infrequently performed, and Purcell's groundbreaking opera. CRITICAL VIEW Annette Morreau thought David Freeman's double-bill was "inspired on paper" but in practice "Curlew River hits every nail on the head, but his Dido remains half-cooked." "A darkly powerful staging of [the] Britten coupled with a Dido which looks like a sly parody of Factory style," agreed The Times. The Telegraph differed: the Britten was "unusually austere", Dido "unexpectedly moving". ON VIEW Further performances tonight, 11, 13, 15 September, 7.30pm, Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre (0171-928 8800). OUR VIEW Exhibits all the Opera Factory trademarks: strong singing and real acting in highly idiosyncratic productions. Go, if only for the Britten.

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