As the revels of the year end, here are my best memories. I think new was the word: new names, and new directions from familiar names. Stories rushed back into fashion. There was big emotion and bold movement, and untraditional means: collaborations with composers and communities thinking large on tiny budgets.
Here are my highlights – what are yours?
1. Crystal Pite’s mesmerising abstract mass ensemble, Polaris, in Thomas Adès’s one-off music and dance evening at Sadler’s Wells (see picture above)
2. Matthew Bourne and Scott Ambler’s gutwrenching community dance creation, Lord of the Flies
3. English National Ballet’s ambitious, satisfying night of war-inspired premieres, especially Akram Khan’s Dust
4. Mark Bruce’s music-hall Dracula, touring the UK with small resources but thrillingly judged gothic effect.
5. Arthur Pita’s The Little Match Girl, an exquisitely judged little Christmas story that shows Pita a master-conjuror of dynamic emotional force and highly diverting entertainment.
7. The Royal Ballet’s wondergirl, Anglo-African Francesca Hayward’s scorchingly debut as Manon