2013 - the year in review: The best dance of the year
Saturday 28 December 2013
Natalia Osipova as Juliet with The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London
Osipova, an ex-Bolshoi ballerina with thrilling stage presence, joined The Royal Ballet in autumn 2013. Her first Juliet with the company was electrifying, both for the lush power of her dancing and for powerful dramatic insight. Osipova has The Royal Ballet’s rich dramatic repertory ahead of her: I can’t wait.
Rocío Molina, "Danzaora", Sadler’s Wells
One of the world’s greatest flamenco dancers, Molina is an utterly individual talent. In this solo show, she’s fierce, funny and commanding. In one scene, she dances around a wineglass, delicate feet brushing over the top – then stamping it to smithereens and rattling over the fragments.
"Dracula", Mark Bruce Company
The superb Jonathan Goddard made an animalistic vampire, as far outside human morality as a shark or a wolf. Around him, Mark Bruce’s production conjured a creepy, funny fin-de-siècle setting, using the atmosphere of venues such as Bristol’s Tobacco Factory and Wilton’s Music Hall in London.
"24 Preludes", The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London
Alexei Ratmansky’s first work for The Royal Ballet is romantic and highly distinctive. Danced to Jean Françaix’s odd arrangement of Chopin, it shows off its dancers’ strong personalities in shimmering, mercurial dances.
"Mark Morris Dance Group", Sadler’s Wells, London
With seven UK premieres, this repertory season was a chance to catch up with one of the world’s best-loved choreographers. Highlights included A Wooden Tree, a delightfully daft romp to comic songs by Ivor Cutler, and the remarkable Socrates, which hides mysterious depths beneath a limpid, classical surface.
Discovery of the year
The Bolshoi Ballet’s young star has a moonlit glow to her dancing. Two years after graduating from ballet school, she’s already a fully fledged ballerina, long-limbed and elegant in La Bayadère and Diamonds. As the Bolshoi recovers from a year of scandals, Smirnova is one of its hopes for the future.
Turkey of the Year
"Midnight Express", Peter Schaufuss Ballet, London Coliseum
Sergei Polunin pulled out of this horror at the last minute – and though he’s getting a reputation for vanishing acts, it was hard to blame him in this case. Schaufuss’ prison ballet was embarrassingly bad, with disco brutality and aerobics-class angst.
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-driver is missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
The Great British Bake Off, series 6, preview: The most popular show on television is back
National Geographic Traveller Photo Contest 2015 winners in pictures
US bookshop offers Go Set A Watchman refunds over false marketing as 'nice summer novel'
Sherlock season 4: Benedict Cumberbatch will be 'a lot less brattish' in Victorian special
Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar enter Forbes’ highest paid actors list for first time
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke