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Reviews

Buckle captured the dread with which many balletomanes greet the Christmas ritual. But dance lovers no longer need to feel ashamed of their Nutcracker aversion since, apparently, we're not the only ones who doubt it's dance. According to an American dance historian, the bonbon is less ballet than social event.

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“Could you love a cock that kills?” is the kind of line that has been getting a laugh since Chaucer made the pun and, as always, it drew whoops when battery opera worked it into their latest performance art piece, Spektator.

 The audience also howled when Jennifer Murray, kneeling, stuck her naked butt in the air in a pose so revealing it prompted a colleague to murmur: “Nice Brazilian!”

And spectators guffawed when, as the dead cock, Murray’s naked body was dragged off-stage.

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Blacks protested Show Boat, Asians objected to Miss Saigon, so why-oh-why haven’t the Irish started a donnybrook over Lord of the Dance? It’s certainly tacky enough to constitute a national insult.

Despite a fellow critics’ claim that PBS is running a tape-loop of Irish tapstravaganzas, I had never seen Lord of the Dance. So I was in for a rude shock on opening night at General Motors Place.

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Depending on whom you talk to, the recent Tap Dogs show (featuring half a dozen buff and beautiful Australian men) is either injecting life into a moribund art or is just a lame excuse to watch sweaty beefcake. But it might be more accurate to describe the show as rock’n’roll tap, since it has all the charms – and limitations – of the music that inspired it.

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