The best dance shows this month

Take your pick from the highlights of the London dance scene this month

London's dance scene is hot with high pirouettes, lithe bodies and beautiful choreography. Time Out picks the best dance pieces to catch in the capital this August.

'Batuke!' at Rich Mix
© Fonteini
Dance, Ballroom and Latin


icon-location-pin Shoreditch

This one-day fest is a chance to immerse yourself in all things Afro-Luso (aka Portuguese-speaking African culture). There are workshops for dancers of all levels by day and parties and performances at night, drawing on an eclectic mix of traditions including kizomba and semba from Angola, Jamaican dancehall, Cuban orixa, and coupe decale from the Ivory Coast.

© The State Tretyakov Gallery

Natalia Goncharova

icon-location-pin South Bank

Avant garde Russian artist Natalia Goncharova also turned her hand to creating stunning costumes with Sergei Diaghilev at the Ballet Russes. See a slice of ballet history at this exhibition of her work.

'Great Big Summer Weekend' at Southbank Centre
Things to do, Festivals

Great Big Summer Weekend

icon-location-pin South Bank

Southbank Centre are putting on a massive free party over the August bank holiday weekend, and it's full of chances to throw some shapes. A four-day line-up of mambo workshops, interactive carnivals, and social dancing finishes off with a celebration of 45 years of hip hop on the Monday - featuring a top line-up of DJs, beatboxers and dancers.

'Velvet Petal' at Southbank Centre
Dance, Contemporary and experimental

Velvet Petal

icon-location-pin South Bank

Inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe's sensous photographs of flowers, 'Velvet Petal' is a witty, sultry work that's full of striking images of renewal. It's choreographed by Fleur Darkin for Scottish Dance Theatre, and comes to Southbank Centre after a run at last year's Edinburgh fringe. 

Theatre, Musicals

‘Strictly Ballroom the Musical’ review

icon-location-pin Soho

Acclaimed choreographer Drew McOnie’s take on the Aussie hit movie puts all the focus on tirelessly energetic, amped-up ballroom routines and shamelessly exaggerated physical comedy. Oh, and the ostrich feather-trimmed gowns are to die for.

Time Out says
Laurie Hagan performs as part of 'Club Swizzle'
© Johannes Reinhart
Theatre, Circuses

Club Swizzle

icon-location-pin Chalk Farm

This speakeasy-inspired show from the makers of 'La Soiree' is more cabaret than dance but there's plenty of opportunity to shake a tail-feather, with artfully-choreographed tumbling cocktail waiters and fizzy tunes from a live in-house band. The line-up includes sizzling burlesque star Laurie Hagen, jazz performer Dandy Wellington, and aerialist Yammel Rodriguez, who'll perform on and around an onstage bar that'll dish up cocktails before the show.

'Shechter Underground' at Somerset House
© Helen Murray
Dance, Contemporary and experimental

Shechter Underground

icon-location-pin Temple

After his Tower of London takeover in July, Hofesh Shechter is bringing his amped up, hyper physical dance style to another of the city's landmarks. 'Shechter Underground' will fill the tunnels under Somerset House with a crew of young dancers who'll stage a circus-like performance that draws on Shechter's hit show 'Clowns'. 

St Petersburg Ballet Theatre perform 'Swan Lake'
Dance, Ballet

Swan Lake

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

St Petersburg Ballet Theatre's take on 'Swan Lake' is sumptuously traditional, from the lavish handpainted backdrops to the bejewelled costumes to its elegant corps de ballet. It's coming to Coliseum (home of the ENO) for a limited run of dates this summer, offering London audiences a chance to see a masterful Russian take on Tchaikovsky's emotive classic. The star attraction is seasoned prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova, who'll share the role of Odette/Odile with guest star and Bolshoi Ballet principal Anna Nikulina. Her fellow Bolshoi star Denis Rodkin will play Prince Siegfried, alternating the role with Mariinsky Theatre’s principal dancer, Kimin Kim.

'Carmen La Cubana'
© Marie Noelle Robert
Dance, Ballroom and Latin

Carmen La Cubana


Coming to Sadler's Wells after a premiere in Paris, this reimagining of Bizet's fiery opera classic 'Carmen' is shot through with Cuban spirit. It's got new salsa and rumba-inspired orchestrations by Tony Award winner Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton), which will be brought to sizzling life by a huge company of dancers and musicians from Cuba. 

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