Barbican: the critics' verdict

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  • Architecture | Art | Classical | Dance | Film | Theatre

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    Dance

    By Allen Robertson

    Dance didn’t really come on stream at the Barbican until the 1990s when both Sadler’s Wells and Covent Garden were shuttered for renovation. Since then dance has leapt forward as a major strand in the venue’s line-up. Dance Umbrella has been crucial – Merce Cunningham’s American company made its first appearance at Umbrella in October 1998, while the highpoint of the company’s regular visits, and a turning point in the Barbican’s commitment to dance, came in 2000 with the stupendous multimedia ‘Biped’. Upstairs in the main theatre dance continues to prosper. The Brazilian company of Deborah Colker, troupes from Israel, Taiwan, France and the USA lure audiences with innovative programming. The Pit has also provided some marvellously intimate moments, most recently Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre’s ‘Flowerbed’, but also the TO Live Award-winning production of ‘The Maids’.

    Two current projects are dance oriented. Michael Clark is heading towards the culmination of his three-year Stravinsky project and Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Dublin-based Fabulous Beast has just been added to the Barbican’s artistic associate roster in a production deal set to continue through 2009. Dance is now well and truly centred at the Barbican.

    Triumph

    Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s ‘Biped’ (2000).

    Disaster

    Batsheva Dance Company’s chaotic and pretentious ‘Sabotage Baby’ (2001). Architecture | Art | Classical | Dance | Film | Theatre


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Two current projects are dance oriented. Michael Clark is heading towards the culmination of his three-year Stravinsky project and Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Dublin-based Fabulous Beast has just been added to the Barbican’s artistic associate roster in a production deal set to continue through 2009. Dance is now well and truly centred at the Barbican. Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s ‘Biped’ (2000). Batsheva Dance Company’s chaotic and pretentious ‘Sabotage Baby’ (2001). Architecture | Art | Classical | Dance | Film | Theatre

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