Ash, VAULT Festival

Smoking used to be a sexy, glamorous thing that doctors recommended for good health and vitality. Even with modern regulations and acceptance that smoking kills, some people still puff with pride like people did back then. The Yorkshire town where Ash is set loves smoking, and the residents aren’t set to quit anytime soon – George Crozier certainly isn’t planning to. Juxtaposing the salt-of-the-earth, working class town with vintage cigarette adverts and rock n’ roll, Ash chronicles one man’s life through his smoking. Witty and clever with a good dose of playful physicality, it’s a multi-level critique of the tobacco industry executed with plenty of inventiveness.

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Masurca Fogo, Sadler’s Wells

By guest critic Tom Brocklehurst

Any review of Pina Bausch’s work should begin with a mention of her whole body of work just in case you, dear reader, are coming to her for the first time. Bausch was an influential modern choreographer, working with the company Tanztheater (literally ‘dance-theatre’) Wuppertal from 1973 until her death in 2009. She created a great number of dance pieces, which the company now continue to tour after her death. The shows normally consist of short scenes – switching between passionate dance pieces and small comic vignettes. The tone often fluctuates wildly from piece to piece throughout the show.

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