All the best for the new year: choices 1-25
from The Observer. And at no.15:
15 GEORGE PIPER DANCES
The modern ballet ensemble founded by ex-Royal Ballet Boyz Michael Nunn and William Trevitt - called after their middle names - has been going from strength to strength. Their risky venture has drawn audiences all over Britain. They've carried on filming their video diaries, first shown on Channel 4, framing their programmes with in-your-face shots of themselves backstage. Their latest venture is a 45-minute compilation of pieces made for them by different choreographers. click for more
35 THE LABAN CENTRE
Despite the unlikely setting of the Laban Centre; a complex of dance studios at the centre of one of south-east London's least prepossessing bits of industrial dereliction, and a shoestring budget, it is already a strong contender for the title of the best new piece of architecture of the year. Herzog and de Meuron see no difference in working with an existing building, such as the old Bankside power station which they turned into Tate Modern, and creating an entirely new building.
36 RETURN OF THE PRODIGALS
The Royal Ballet, led by director Monica Mason, is mending rifts by welcoming back dancers who left without due acknowledgement. Usually, a farewell performance is marked by emotional curtain calls, masses of flowers, 'We love you' banners in the audience and tears all round.
Not for Tetsuya Kumakawa, who slipped away in 1998 to set up his own ballet company in Japan. He left Anthony Dowell, then the Royal Ballet's director, in the lurch by taking five men from the company with him. Forgiven at last, he has been invited to return as a guest from 5 to 26 April. He'll be dancing the pas de deux from Le Corsaire in a tribute programme to Rudolf Nureyev, who died in January 1993.
40 GARTH FAGAN DANCES
Choreographer of The Lion King, Garth Fagan has run his own African-American dance company in upstate New York for 32 years. Its Sadler's Wells season will be the first time the 15 dancers have appeared in London, though the company tours widely outside as well as in the United States. They're spectacular performers, trained in Fagan's own dance technique, which combines ballet with the earthiness and energy of Afro-Caribbean dance.
Fagan, born in Jamaica, is much in demand as a choreographer: he has been commissioned by the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem and New York City Ballet - though The Lion King has made him internationally famous. click for more