Turns out, there’s a fully loaded smorgasbord of exciting things to do this autumn. We’re continuing with our alphabet of activities, and today’s instalment comes to you from the letter ‘D’.
Dance Umbrella, dance
The annual contemporary dance festival has survived a massive cut in Arts Council funding and appears this year in a concentrated form, returning to its radical roots. Choreographer Jonathan Burrows co-curates a ten-day festival of forward-thinking international work, taking place at Central Saint Martins’ new performing arts centre behind King’s Cross. It’s a great venue to reflect the bubbling creativity of the artists on show, including Bessie Award-winner Beth Gill, over from the USA with her piece ‘Electric Midwife’. Granary Building, University of the Arts, N1C 4AA (www.danceumbrella.co.uk). Oct 5-14.
‘Dancing on the Edge’, TV
For his first full TV series in more than a decade, Stephen Poliakoff (‘The Lost Prince’, ‘Shooting the Past’) has chosen 1930s London as the backdrop for the story of a black jazz band dealing with racial prejudice amid a decaying high society. Expect a stately examination of Poliakoff’s pet themes of memory, family and history, plus a fantastic cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, JohnGoodman and Matthew Goode all feature. BBC2. Late autumn.
Doctor Brown, comedy
This year’s Edinburgh Fringe was awash with mime acts, but it was Doctor Brown, the silent creation of American Phil Burgers, who ended up taking home the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for his confusingly titled show ‘Befrdfgth’. There are no ‘trapped in a box’ routines here; Burgers is like an unnerving cult leader, taking his audience on a hysterical, sometimes unsettling journey. He literally gives mime a kick up the arse. Soho Theatre. Oct 30-Nov 10.
‘Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men’, exhibition
No, not Dalston’s hippest nu-gaze band but an exhibition that mixes human and animal specimens with tales of shady surgeons and grave robbers (aka ‘resurrection men’). So far, so macabre, but don’t let that put you off this show, which promises insight into the creation of the Anatomy Act of 1832 that gave the state the right to take ‘unclaimed’ corpses from poorhouses for dissection, leaving you to question: just who owns your body? Museum of London. Oct 19-Apr 14 2013.
Designers on the High Street, shopping
Is there a designer left who hasn’t cast their eyes downwards and swapped a little bit of creative sparkledust for a lot of high-street cash? Or a celebrity tenuous enough to have missed churning out a brand of knickers, lippy or – shudder – a signature fragrance? Apparently not, because autumn sees the trend for cross-brand love-ins continuing apace. Only this season there’s actually a lot to look forward to. Alongside those best avoided – see Emma Bunton’s second children’s clothing collection for argos – there are some stellar ranges out for autumn that give you great design at affordable prices. H&M, the king of guest collections, has scored an almighty coup with a collection from Maison Martin Margiela – the avantgarde Belgian designer. Expect slightly frightening looking deconstructed tailoring and lots of black, in stores on November 15. If you fancy something a little less cerebral, bonkers Vogue Japan editor Anna del Russo is doing her own H&M collection at the start of October – pictures have already been released, featuring lavishly bejewelled statement accessories. That statement may well be ‘I raided the lost ark and turned it into a pair of earrings’, but the collection will be nothing if not fun. Victoria Beckham may have her haters, but most of the style community grudgingly admit her own sleekly designed fashion line is excellent. Her first collection of prescription glasses for super-cool eyewear brand Cutler and Gross is out in October, while equally tasteful is Somerset, the Alice Temperley diffusion line at John Lewis, starting at just £15. For the boys, Topman has invited trendy young Brit menswear supremo James Long to produce his own Jumper collection, debuting in November – expect tasteful knits with kooky leather detailing. Meanwhile, the obligatory Karl Lagerfeld spin-off (there’s one every season) comes in the shape of a cosmetics range for Shu Uemura. Lagerfeld, who has long used the Japanese brand’s eyeshadows to colour his fashion illustrations (but of course!), has come up with a beautiful jumble of shades, combining his flair for covetable colours with Shu Uemura’s excellent textures and packaging It’s out in November.
You might recognise Doom (formerly MF Doom)’s metal mask as the same piece of headgear Russell Crowe donned when he was bashing the vino out of some Romans in ‘Gladiator’. The London-born rapper is a heavyweight of a different kind – a modern hip hop great whose intellect and tonguetangling rhymes put him a level above the competition, as proven on his latest album, ‘Key to the Kuffs’. He performs at this unmissable London show with fellow Stones Throw Records legend Madlib and a host of other talent. HMV Forum. Oct 12 .
Join us throughout the week for the rest of autumn’s alphabet… or have a look at our major events calendar.