Opening with the stunning ‘Labyrinth of Love’ a new work by Marguerite Donlon, this brought a real ‘ohhhh’ moment from the audience with its visually exciting opening. Soprano Kirsty Hopkins in a wonderful pure white crisp dress which was echoed by the costumes (designer Conor Murphy) of the dancers sardonically moved around the stage singing some interesting historical texts concerning the emotional experiences of a range of women, from Sappho to Lizzie Taylor. She moved in and around the dancers who seemed to follow her voice, caressing her with movements. Donlon certainly knows how to frame questions in dance. See a peek of it here:
It’s a marvelously acrobatic piece, all twists and re/configurations, evolutions of movements and strange staccato urges and although the whole thing – music, score, signer and dancers kept me enthralled it didn’t leave me feeling that moved, for a piece based on the complexity of love there’s not much joy in it.
Followed up with the high energy ‘Monolith’ from Tim Rushton easily my favorite part of this tour production it’s dance full of fraught energy and the movements reflects in and upon itself bringing a real feeling of connection and development with both the dancers and the music, this was a wonderful spicy dance. After the interval the second half kept up the dynamo pace with a staccato and uber stylized revival (cover version) of the Nijinsky classic ‘L’Apres-midi d’un faune’ directed by Ann Whitley which was a delight and closing the show with the punchy, funny, sexually vibrant and discordant ‘What Wild Ecstasy’ from Mark Baldwin a neon frenzy of lustful tribal rhythms, all clashing limbs and longing. The costumes and lighting were wonderful, evocative & funny.
This was an emotionally engaging evening full of exciting and thrilling dancers connecting with the music and enthralling a surprisingly young audience too. I’ve seen the Rambert a few times and this was easily the best performance I’ve seen from them on the Theatre Royal stage.
The costumes and lighting added to depth of expression and allowed the dancers to work well in this small space and the Rambert seem to have adapted well to the constraints of the Theatre Royal stage. The musicians directed by Paul Hoskins brought a solid foundation to this evening’s performance.
This is an accessible show from the Rambert who have skidded close to the trope of dry intellectual dance that can be hard to enjoy, but this series of dances and the tour in general seems to have reconnected with the core meaning of the Rambert and allowed them to do what they do best, energetic young new talent being allowed to shine! Well Done.
Until Saturday, February 16.
For more information or to book tickets see the Theatre Royal website here:
For more info on the Rambert Dance Company and this tour see their website here: