Un peu de tendresse bordel de merde!
Canadian choreographer Dave St-Pierre has been a major force in the contemporary dance scene for more than five years, an enfant terrible whose work has provoked comparisons to Pina Bausch's Theatre of Cruelty. He is now making his long-awaited debut at Sadler's Wells (2-4 June) with the second part of a trilogy exploring contemporary utopias, Un peu de tendresse bordel de merde! ("A little tenderness for crying out loud!", although the last three words literally mean "shitty brothel"). Centrally concerned with the human body and the search for love, it boldly but humorously confronts taboos and features 20 naked dancers who leap with primal passion and lie crumpled on the ground before joining forces for a breathtaking and moving finale.
Andrea Batorfi: Unfolding
In advance of the major exhibition Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the 20th Century, which opens at the Royal Academy of Arts on 30 June, Hoopers Gallery is presenting 17 powerful examples of the work of Andrea Batorfi (3 June-8 July), who was born in Budapest in 1967 and still lives there. Each uses multiple exposures of natural phenomena such as stark winter branches or light reflected on water, which are then mirrored, cut and layered over each other to create a sense of a world unfolding from a central focus. Part of the New Romantic movement of European women artists, Batorfi is widely admired for her intense spiritual vision, which encourages viewers to embark on sensual and meditative journeys of their own.
Henry Hobson is a tyrannical, boozy, widowed father of three daughters who work unpaid in his boot shop yet are plotting their escape. Although they all eventually outwit him and find husbands, the greatest betrayal comes from Maggie, who takes up with his best bootmaker, secures a loan from a rich customer and sets up a successful rival business. First performed in 1916 and filmed several times as well as turned into a Broadway musical, Harold Brighouse's brilliantly observed Northern comedy, echoing both Cinderella and King Lear, has proved reliably popular for close to a century. Christopher Luscombe's new production at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre continues until 25 June.
Along with Mozart's Magic Flute, the summer season at Garsington Opera, which runs from 2 June to 5 July, includes a production of Rossini's Il Turco in Italia (from 3 June) and the British premiere of Vivaldi's La verità in cimento ("Truth put to the test", from 20 June). The 22-year-old Rossini produced a dazzling score, deeply influenced by Mozart, to set the story of a prince torn between his love for the wife of a jealous Italian and a Gypsy beauty. Vivaldi's opera, one of 94 he claimed to have written, has an even more implausible plot, in which a sultan swaps the newborn sons of the empress and his favourite wife to ensure that the latter will inherit his throne. Twenty years later, racked by guilt, he unleashes an emotional storm when he decides to reveal the truth ...
Cheltenham Science Festival
From insect communication to endangered elements, flu vaccines to vegetative states, not to mention the parallels between architecture and chemistry, the Times Cheltenham Science Festival (7-12 June) is almost as wide-ranging as science itself. Where else could one find a cabaret presentation of James Lovelock's Gaia theory and a comedy show about the mathematics of death? The Sadhana Dance Company explores the psychology and physiology of the shiver, combining original poetry by Lemn Sissay with cutting-edge neuroscience from Morten Kringelbach, senior research Fellow in psychiatry at the University of Oxford. The festival's 10th birthday will be marked by a special series of events addressing x-related themes - from X-Men to X chromosomes.