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Subject: "Review-Rambert Dance Company 10/5/2000" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Stephanie Wragg

11-05-00, 09:40 PM (GMT)
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"Review-Rambert Dance Company 10/5/2000"
 
   Rambert Dance Company, Spring & Summer Tour 2000

Oxford Apollo Theatre, Box Office 0870 606 3502
May 10-13

Embrace Tiger and Return to Mountain/Pierrot Lunaire/Ghost Dances


It was evening of "firsts" for myself and for the Oxford audiences as Rambert Dance Company opened Wednesday night to an enthusiastic, albeit not full, house.

The Glen Tetley pieces were the Oxford premieres in question. Embrace Tiger and Return to Mountain (1968) is a set of variations on the theme of T'ai Chi moves number 17, hence the embrace tiger and return to mountain of the title. The ten dancers started the piece by beautifully demonstrating these steps in complete silence, before moving onto individual variations as the electronic score of Morton Subotnik kicked in. The mirrored floor added another dimension to the movement by reflecting the dancers in their bright orange costumes. The rest of the choreography used the basic moves throughout, but integrated into the unmistakable Tetley language. The two successive pas de deux in particular explored the various bodies intertwining and floor rolls the choreographer is so keen on. I think these two aspects were perhaps more fully explored in later Tetley pieces since those pas de deux were strangely reminiscent of both Sphinx and Field Figures. Although the electronic accompaniment wasn't the most agreeable to my ears, the combination with the movement was almost hypnotic and I found it difficult not to watch, although I wouldn't rate this piece as engrossing as my personal favorite Sphinx.

Pierrot Lunaire (1962) probably holds a special place in the heart of Artistic Director Christopher Bruce, as it was through Pierrot that he achieved recognition of both his technical and dramatic skills. I would think that dancer Conor O'Brien should feel the same. This dancer combines a beautiful technique and body with dramatic skills that were used to great effect when he danced the Poet in Cruel Garden in Oxford back in May 1998 and again last night as Pierrot. Again, the musical basis for the piece was not the easiest to grasp and the Schönberg songs would have been more accessible had the text of the 21 brief poems been in the program for the benefit of us German illiterates (although the poems are themselves translated from the French). However, the dancing from both Branden Falls as Brighella and Deirdre Chapman as Columbine was excellent, the audience picked up the humorous moments and the scaffolding held up.

Ghost Dances (1981) concluded the program and went by much too quickly. I can't think of a more contrasting piece to the preceding ones, both musically and in choreographic vocabulary. Much has been written about Ghost Dances, but it must be said again that Christopher Bruce provides another sample of how his beautifully fluid choreography illustrates the human tragedy behind death. The steps seemed to flow out of the South American music oddly enough. The ominous presence of the three ghosts throughout the dancing was so much more effective a device than having them leap out onstage to select a victim; it emphasized that people live with death everyday as it can strike at anyone without warning. The lighting design was very effective in focusing the attention to action. The dancing of Rafael Bonachela, first in a solo and then with three women, was simply magnificent, I've rarely seen such musicality in a dancer. The final solo by a widow-like figure leaving the shadows as she sheds her shroud was very moving in its simple and repetitive motif. This motif provided the basis for the final ensemble before the group finally moved off stage and left the ghost figures behind, perhaps showing that life does go on.

These works will be repeated at the last tour stop, Sadler's Wells from 31st May-10th June


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Review-Rambert Dance Company 10/5/2000 alison 12-05-00 1
     Rambert Triple Bill Stephanie Wragg 12-05-00 2
         RE: Rambert Triple Bill Carly Gillies 13-05-00 3
             RE: Rambert Triple Bill cath 14-05-00 4
                 RE: Rambert Triple Bill Tiffany Evans 18-05-00 5

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alison

12-05-00, 12:40 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Review-Rambert Dance Company 10/5/2000"
In response to message #0
 
   Thank you, Stephanie, for that excellent review. Do I take it that this was the only programme Rambert were showing in Oxford? I have to admit I've been wondering why they're only giving it 4 performances at Sadler's Wells whereas the second programme gets a whole week - particularly annoying as I'm so busy that week that I suspect I shan't be able to go, and apparently the BBC broadcast won't be showing the Tetley work for some reason.


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Stephanie Wragg

12-05-00, 01:56 PM (GMT)
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2. "Rambert Triple Bill"
In response to message #1
 
   >Thank you, Stephanie, for that excellent review.**Thanks very much.

> Do I take it that
>this was the only programme Rambert
>were showing in Oxford?***This is the only program Oxford gets I fear. Which is a shame since I woul dhave loved to have seem the Tharp piece, the Golden Section.

>and apparently the BBC broadcast won't
>be showing the Tetley work for
>some reason**I wouldn't be surprised if it were copyright related?


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Carly Gillies

13-05-00, 08:42 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Rambert Triple Bill"
In response to message #2
 
   I'm glad to read your comments about Conor O'Brien
I thought he was fabulous as the poet in Cruel Garden.- Much as I love Matthew Hart, I didn't think he brought as much feeling and pathos to the role as Conor did.
Do you know if Pierrot Lunaire is part of the program they're televising ?


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cath

14-05-00, 05:15 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Rambert Triple Bill"
In response to message #3
 
   Rambert are doing Four Scenes and Ghost Dances for the BBC filming on 3rd June. The performance will be bradcast live on BBC2 at 7-30pm.
regards, Cath


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Tiffany Evans

18-05-00, 10:42 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Rambert Triple Bill"
In response to message #4
 
   Rather than seeing it on TV why not go and see it live - you can get standing tickets at the front for £4.50 and get to see Embrace, Four Scenes and Ghost Dances!
I saw Embrace and Ghost Dances at Oxford and was blown away by both - there's no way you'll get the same experience seeing them on TV.


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