Rambert's First Programme, Sadler's Wells, 17 Nov.2001
Back home with a "Harry Potter"-indigestion and
a stiff cold ....
but YES,Karen, I went to see Rambert at Sadler's Wells on Saturday and am delighted I did
The theatre itself is a good 'working-machine' and the auditorium offers good sightlines. It was a nearly-fully booked evening and I was amazed about the variety of people who attended the performance....from fashion-victims to grandmums with silvergrey, curly hair and lots of young spectators.
Though I wasn't convinced about all the pieces from their 1st.programme, I am totally impressed by the dancers. Such great performers ! Must see Paul Liburd again !
The evening was composed out of 4 items, a bit amalgam to me and I wonder wich-one was the 'typical' Rambert ? Can someone enlighten me on this ?
"TWIN SUITE 2"
Premiered by Rambert Dance Company at the Linbury Studio Theatre,
02 May 2001
Choreography : Glenn Wilkinson (Kinson Productions)
Musi : Aphex Twin
Design : Dody Nash
Lighting Design : Malcolm Glanville.
Dancers : 4 female/4 male
A strong, bold spotlight stole over the auditorium in complete silence and grabs two entering female dancers.
The hard and repetitive music evokes impulses from the dancers (teens ?) to each other to improvise movements. Movements are flowing into competitive and more struggle-like dancing.
While the rhythm grows and more dancers enter the stage, one sees budding the choreography and from then on it catches your mind for the rest of the time.
I loved this piece for his strong architectural features : the use of light in a minimalistic way is superb.
The beam-line across the stage and the rhythmic light-strips on the backdrop and ...on top of this : the use of colour from grey and cool blue (costumes) to end in a warm, abundant red light enriched the rhythms, underlined the multi-layered choreography but most of all accentuated the dancers in a beautiful way.
All these dancers were a feast to the eye, beautiful trained and stil so individual !
Despite the fact that I hardly can bear this kind of music this is a good piece, worthwhile seeing but I had prefered it at the end of the performance.
"HURRICANE (a pantomime)"
Choreography : Christopher Bruce
Music : Bob Dylan
Design : Marian Bruce
Lighting Design : Mark Parry
Dancer : David Hughes
What to think about a choreography on a so-wellknown Dylan-song ?
Hmm...during the mid-seventies Dylan and Béjart were 'my world' mixed with a bit of Cohen (for the moody-days ...my brother hated me for that !).
Really didn't know what to think about the idea...
The story of the boxer Rubin Carter, an inhumane story about a wrongfully accused man, imprisoned on a triple murder charge.
As soon as the resigned intro played and I saw 'Rubin Carter' imprisoned by the stage-lights it made me shiver.
Christopher Bruce uses a white-faced Commedia dell'Arte figure with intriguing eyes and bandaged wrists to personalise 'the charge against inhumanity'.
Through movements and acting, he showed us tormented feelings and various states of mind. As the rhythm of this 'song of anger' intensifies, dance and song fuses together, fast travelling steps alternate with small, restrained ones.
The stage-lights were 'playing' with Carter as the authorities did.
Sometimes they allowed him a little more 'moving-space' to express his despair but he always returned to his relentless (or was it compulsive ?) rope-skipping, his fixation to keep going on. The 'big-brother-is watching-you'-lights never release him, even at the end when they project his silhouette-shadows against the backdrop : a lonely man with split character.
Dancer David Hughes is also a great actor and gave us a strong performance.
To me we saw a marvelous interaction between dance and song and it even added to the (overexposed) song.
I hope I can see this -one day- in a more intimate and smaller theatre.
Oh...and how I wished I could use a 'REPLAY-BUTTON' !
"GROUND LEVEL OVERLAY"
Choreography : Merce Cunningham
Staged by : Robert Swinston and Jeannie Steele
Music : Stuart Dempster
Artist : Leonardo Drew
Costume Design : Suzanne Gallo
Lighting Design : Aaron Copp
Orchestra : London Musici, conductor : Paul Hoskins
8 male/8 female dancers
A very minimal setting : a complicated rope/steel (?)-creation in the left background.
There were lovely 'very fashion-minded' costumes : black, tight with transparant elements, every dancer stayed an individual.
At the beginning I wondered if there was any relation between the music and the choreography. There is a lot to say about the score of this work 'Underground Overlays' but I'm sure you have already been reading about this in other reviews.
At the performance the recording was completed by the LondonMusici with hosepipe, conch shells and harmonic singing.
It all had an un-earthy, tonal result and was quite impressive but not dominating.
In fact, sometimes the music couldn't hide annoying feet-noise.
The rythm seemed somehow independent and created a very apatic 'dancing'.
I put dancing between brackets because a lot of the movements seems to end in a kind of 'still-photography' with very refined details. Astonishing dancer-groups but no climax and even no real end : one just let down the curtain.
It all gave me the idea we were only looking at a fragment of a movement-experience/experiment.
Glad we had the wonderful Rambert dancers !
To be frankly, I didn't liked the Cunningham piece very much, but it's more likely my own problem ! I only could appreciate a lot of parts and details in it.
After the first interval there was a cold draught in the auditorium, there must be a ventilation or airco-problem ? There was a lot of coughing, fumble with sweets-paper
( Why do they sell sweets at this performances ?!), people even smuggle there bar-drinks into the house...and there was a 'forgotten' mobilephone...so I couldn't hold my attention...
"THE CELEBRATED SOUBRETTE".
Choreography : Javier De Frutos.
Music : Michael Daugherty
Design : Jackie Galloway
Lighting Design : Peter Mumford
Orchestra London Musici, conductor : Paul Hoskins
6 male/6 female dancers.
A solo-act (Elizabeth Old) in the spotlights in complete silence.
Well, I couldn't believe my eyes...(after a Cunningham-piece !)
The girl is wearing net-stockings, high-heeled shoes and a glitter outfit, more likely needed with some trapeze-act.
A bit of over-acting, is she repeating her 'text' ?
The stirring music 'Le Tombeau de Liberace' took us to the Las Vegas showbizz-environment with lots of sensual and provocative movements. The usual jealousy and self-assured conflicts between performers...were all in the picture.
A funny piece (although for a lot of people) but totally dependent on his score and
wit dancing, the choreography played definitely the second fiddle.
The real star of this performance was the Orchestra ! They did an extremely good job.
Afterwards I had a very animated and long conversation about it all with the two teenage-girls who went with me....think I have never been talking that long about a performance ! And ofcourse...the age-difference spokes too ! They both liked 'The Celebrated Soubrette' the most, but 'Hurricane' didn't say them much.
And we need definitely another talk about Cunningham