2018 Norfolk arts preview: the best dance not to miss

PUBLISHED: 09:30 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:45 11 January 2018

20 Questions, Acosta Danza, Matthew Bourne's Cinderella and Rhythm of the Night. Photos: Submitted

20 Questions, Acosta Danza, Matthew Bourne's Cinderella and Rhythm of the Night. Photos: Submitted


Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella offers fairytale magic relocated to the Second World War Blitz, international contemporary dance masters Hofesh Shechter and Acosta Danza visit and there are local performers too.

Richard Alston Dance Company

Norwich Theatre Royal, February 2-3

The regular visit of this an avidly followed UK dance company is always highly anticipated and they returns with a full programme of works including a brand new piece by Martin Lawrance which will receive its world premiere at the Theatre Royal. The programme also includes Carnaval, a brand new piece by Alston performed to Schumann’s music of the same name, played live by outstanding pianist Jason Ridgway with costumes by BAFTA award winning designer Fotini Dimou. Gypsy Mixture, a great Alston favourite has been newly revived for the first time in a decade with dancing to the infectious music of Romanian and Macedonian gypsy bands.

20 Questions

The Garage, Norwich, February 13

UNIT, which began following a series of highly successful collaborations between choreographer Tom Hobden and film director Kate Flurrie, present their first full-length performance. A fusion of dance, candid interviews and seamlessly integrated film, 20 Questions will feature a 40 strong intergenerational cast of local people, some of whom have danced all their lives, others who have never danced before. Every performer in the show has been on a 10 hour journey with the company; finding the answers to their big questions through movement. The result is a snapshot of life and a gloriously uplifting look at humanity.

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella

Norwich Theatre Royal, February 27-March 3

Following the sold-out and critical success of The Red Shoes and Sleeping Beauty, New Adventures return to Norwich Theatre Royal with one of their most popular and beloved productions. Matthew Bourne’s interpretation of the classic fairy tale is set in London during the Second World War and has, at its heart, a true war-time romance. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz. Prokofiev’s magnificent score is completed by a specially commissioned recording of a 60 piece orchestra.

Turnstyle 2018

Norwich Playhouse, March 29

Local talent takes its turn in the spotlight at this evening of dance from Norfolk’s finest participation dance performance companies. Turnstyle 2018 sees the companies and choreographers working to the theme of Grimms Fairy tales, sit back and enjoy the magic, mystery, darkness and light from these classic tales. It will feature the energy and excitement of Pulse, Legacy, Passion, Full Tilt, Mosaic, D4Dance, Connect and premier performances from Mini Pulse and Little Legacy on the Norwich Playhouse stage.

Rhythm of the Night

King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, April 25/Norwich Theatre Royal, May 20

Ian Waite and Oti Mabuse will deliver a night of Latin and ballroom numbers with high intensity in this glitzy production. The Strictly dancing pros will perform a dance showcase spectacular designed to dazzle and wow. Oti is fondly remembered with her celebrity pairing with Danny Mac where they received a perfect score of 40 in the Samba. Ian is a regular on our screens with the spin off programme It Takes Two on BBC 2. The pair will push the boundaries of dance in a fun filled show. Also at Bury Theatre Royal on April 24.

Border Tales

Norwich Playhouse, May 5

Luca Silvestrini, director of Protein, is one of the UK’s most consistently provocative choreographers, with works such as Dear Body and LOL. Following a phenomenal run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to sold-out audiences, the company bring this thought-provoking yet poignant commentary on multicultural Britain, told through dance, live music and dialogue compiled from the performers’ personal experiences. Border Tales looks at post-Brexit Britain seen through the eyes of an international cast and gazes satirically on stereotypical thinking about migrant outsiders and homelanders.

Hofesh Shechter

Norwich Theatre Royal, May 15

After the success of his modern classic Political Mother at 2015’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the internationally celebrated choreographer Hofesh Shechter returns in 2018 with his latest work, Grand Finale, a spectacularly bold and ambitious new piece. Balancing on the comic and the bleak, the anarchic and the violent, dancers share the stage with a band of musicians, playing an original score to the backing track of Shechter’s trademark cinematic electronic sounds and vocal chants. Part gig, part dance, part theatre and wholly original.


King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, May 27

Ballet Cymru prides itself on being different and its take on Cinderella will be no exception, with a new music score and creative circus elements, combined with the finest classical dance. The Welsh company has worked with award winning composer Jack White and Circus Company Citrus Arts to conjure a surprising world of wonder and magic. Featuring choreography by Creative Wales Award winner Darius James and costumes by Welsh designer Steve Denton, they bring to life this timeless story using the company’s unique blend of classical technique and storytelling. Also at Bury Theatre Royal on June 11-12.

Acosta Danza - Debut

Norwich Theatre Royal, May 31-June 1

Following an exceptional career as a ballet star, international dance icon Carlos Acosta launches his brand new company, Acosta Danza. Based in Havana, the company is made up of the best dancers Cuba has to offer who have trained in both ballet and contemporary dance styles. For their debut UK tour, in which Acosta himself will be making a guest appearance, they will perform works by Cuban choreographer Marianela Boán, UK-based Jorge Crecis, Spanish dance-maker Goyo Montero, New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

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