In String of Rites, Sadler’s Wells has commissioned three works as a tribute to Vaslav Nijinsky’s 1913 Le sacre du printemps. It opened with the Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre’s double bill, The Rite of Spring and Petrushka. Both scores are by Igor Stravinsky, created for the original choreography by Nijinsky and Michel Fokine respectively.
Matthew Paluch, The Art Desk ★★★★
Sadler's Wells isn't where you go to hear folk tunes; it's the home of top-flight ballet. But the audience at Thursday's opening night of Petrushka was treated to a brief burst of Irish song when – after a cock-up with a rope ladder – the director burst on stage to keep everyone entertained. It was a brilliant bit of improvisation by Michael Keegan-Dolan, the youthful Dubliner. He sang; the hitch was fixed, and a warm fuzzy feeling enveloped the auditorium when the show went on. Everyone felt they were in it together.
Matthew Bell, The Independent Full Text
Sarah Crompton finds Fabulous Beast's version of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring at Sadler's Wells one of empty grace.
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph ★★★
The dancers take centre stage in this Fabulous Beast take on Stravinsky's work - to terrific effect
Seona MacReamoinn, The Irish Times ★★★★
As their name implies, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre is fabulously eclectic. Various body sizes and ethnicities make for an egalitarian energy and a company that, despite its physical variations, works together like a well-oiled machine.
Stephanie Glickman, Herald Sun ★★★
A story of power, transformation and ritual (from cups of tea to post-sex cigarettes). What this version of The Rite of Spring loses in brute impact it gains in clarity and subtlety.
Lyndsey Winship, London Evening Standard ★★★★
Under choreographer and director Michael Keegan-Dolan, Fabulous Beast has established a reputation for groundbreaking work and there is much here to show why that is justified.
Judy Murphy, Irish Independent Full Text
Michael Keegan-Dolan's Rite of Spring is eminently worthy of the most unsettling dance score in history. The Fabulous Beast founder and choreographer sees nature at its most primal, red in tooth and claw, but also understands the self-healing power of a community. This is a wondrous work.
Deborah Jones, The Australian Full Text
A celebratory double bill is inspired by heartlifting music, while a dire jailhouse 'dansical' deserves to be locked up.
Jenny Gilbert, The Independent ★★★★
Choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan's revisioning edges up to the colourful, chaotic, ecstatic sacrifice of the original, but placed within the bleakness of a contemporary world. Lidija and Sanja Bizjak play Stravinsky's piano score live, and draw out the tension and intricacy of the music without overpowering the onstage action.
Jordan Beth Vincent, The Sydney Morning Herald ★★★★
When The Rite of Spring premiered in 1913, it detonated a cultural explosion, whose continuing effects are being explored in this season of Rite-inspired works at Sadler's Wells. The first is Michael Keegan-Dolan's setting of the Stravinsky score, which – although initially shown in 2009 – has become a different, bleaker piece in this revival.
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian ★★★★
Michael Keegan Dolan’s version of The Rite of Spring remains tremendous; his Petrushka, less so.
Clement Crisp, Financial Times ★★★★