Posts by Candace Allen

arts•meme contributor  Candace Allen lives in London. She is novelist, political activist, cultural critic and screenwriter. She is the author of Soul Music The Pulse of Race and Music, published by Gibson Square Press in 2012. Candace contributes regularly to U.K. Guardian newspaper and is a frequent radio and television commentator on culture, race and politics. Candace received her BA degree from Harvard University before attending the New York University School of Film and Television. She was the first African-American female member of the Directors Guild of America.


Getting back to Ballet Black

Dance · Reviews
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Now in its 13th shoestring-budgeted season Ballet Black’s chamber ballet company of eight has a reputation of performing far beyond its weight class. Its current mixed program, performed at Linbury Studio Theatre of the Royal Opera House, continues in kind. The creation of young Trinidadian-British Cassa Pancho to provide role models to aspiring young dancers ...

Maxim Vengerov @ the Barbican 1

Music
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The cultural year begins slowly and gently in London. Matthew Bourne’s bare-chested swans in feathered breeches will be unsettling royal emotions at Sadlers Wells until the end of the month. The glossier pantos continued frolicking into the twelfth night and their venues still regrouping for heavier fare. So for me last week was classical music ...

Chestnuts roasting in London … to Offenbach’s “Fantasio” 1

Music
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To the classical chestnuts of many a holiday season — Messiahs, Nutcrackers, Oratorios, Bats and Holy Nights — as essential and perennial as those roasting on that open fire, perhaps add the delightful confection that is Offenbach’s Fantasio.

Made in Germany (Stuttgart Ballet @ Sadler’s Wells)

Dance
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While The Taming of the Shrew, their John Cranko party piece, was allotted three of their five-night run, it was the Stuttgart Ballet’s “Made in Germany” program that put hardcore balletomane bums in seats. Thirteen offerings, old and new, split into three segments. At three hours running time, not for the faint of heart and, ...

Rokia Traoré brings Malian magic to the Luckman

Music
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Though Rokia Traoré began her genre-, culture- and gender-bending incursion into the international music scene in the late 1990s, I didn’t encounter her until Peter Sellars’ 2006 New Crowned Hope Vienna festival, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Reconceiving the composer as a griot traveller between Paris and Mali’s capital of Bamako, Traoré’s glorious ...

Shechter, Cherkaoui @ Sadler’s Wells

Dance · Reviews
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The big kahuna of London dance, the temple, is Islington’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre. A place of entertainment for 300 years, dance became Sadler’s priority in 1928 when Old Vic manager Lilian Bayliss convinced Ninette de Valois to present the performances of what would eventually become the Royal Ballet (the English National and Birmingham Ballets started ...

‘The Magic Flute’ at English National Opera

Music · Reviews
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Opera lovers in London have any numbers of possibilities. We can go mammoth:  Aida in the Royal Albert Hall for an audience of 3500 with singers and orchestra miked to the max; or miniscule: the prizing-winning Opera Up Close at the Kings Head Theatre Pub in Islington for 110, its Prohibition-set Traviata currently running until ...