Two of our City College student guest reviewers went to see Rambert at the Theatre Royal. Here are their thoughts; first Callum O’Brien then Sofie Parsons
Wow! Rambert Dance Company never fails to entertain. For Rambert this is a very special year for them as it is their 90th year anniversary. I always get such excitement whenever I get to watch Rambert because all of their dance repertoire whether they be past pieces or recent pieces, all of them are spectacular.
During the matinee performance, I was lucky to witness two very contrasting pieces and a short section of what would be included in company class at Rambert. The first piece that was shown to the audience was a piece called ‘Transfigured Night’ which was choreographed by Kim Brandstrup. Transfigured Night is all about showing two versions of a situation between a romantic couple. This was a beautiful and interesting piece of dance to watch. Every company member performing was so elegant, you could hear a pin drop. What I really liked about Transfigured Night was the way that the story was shown through two different couples who wore two different costume designs to represent what feelings they were expressing in the story. The rest of the company were dressed in dark coloured clothing and they were almost representing the females feelings of not wanting to tell her partner what she had done.
I mentioned earlier how the audience got to witness small sections of what would happen in a ballet and a contemporary class at Rambert. It was truly amazing on what some of the dancers could do. Especially for me who wants to be a dancer, it was a big inspiration. What I really like about Rambert when they do this is it actually shows the audience how dancers prepare for rehearsals and shows.
However, the highlight of the show and afternoon for me was ‘A Linha Curva’. This is a very modern piece of dance compared to what you might expect Rambert to perform. A Linha Curva is a very energetic, unique and exciting piece of dance. The inspiration from this piece of dance comes from the choreographer of this piece (Itzik Galili) spending time in São Paulo. Here you can find where parts of the dance Samba originates from. A Linha Curva is a piece of genius, every dancer has to be precise with each other as soon as one is out of time the routine could be ruined. Although the most impressive element of this dance is the coloured grid pattern that the company members dance in. Going from square to square is amazing and I have never seen anything like this. I was lucky enough to actually learn some of the repertoire from “A Linha Curva” and from that I can really appreciate how hard it is for them to execute such hard moves, in such a small space of time.
The whole performance from Rambert was the best dance show I have ever seen. I got to see two unique pieces of dance that I couldn’t take my eyes off for one second. I hope that if you have time to ever see any of Rambert’s performances you will be the same.
And now from Sofie:
Rambert Dance Company is a regular visitor to Norwich Theatre Royal and this visit, being in the companies 90th year was a special one.
The company is touring a range of their works and in the matinee performance we were lucky enough to watch the talented dancers in Transfigured Night and A Linha Curva.
The company filled out the show with introductions and informative talks from artistic director Mark Baldwin and rehearsal director Mikaela Polley, along with a few of the dancers, the musical director and the costume director. These made nice breaks between the two dance works, allowing the audience to get inside knowledge of the workings of the well established London based company. We also got the chance to experience the different techniques the dancers have to work within. We saw demonstrations from four of the dancers which showed the array of skill needed in both ballet and contemporary to create the unique Rambert style.
Transfigured Night depicts points of narrative from ‘Verklärte Nacht’, a poem written by Richard Dehmel in 1899. Choreographer Kim Brandstrup has divided the piece into three sections, demonstrating different outcomes of a romantic difficulty between a woman and her lover. For me, this piece was too theatrical, as a lover of abstract dance, the romanticism and ‘story’ of the piece actually distracted from the talent on show by the dancers. This said, the corps de ballet in this piece worked beautifully; using their physicality to create backgrounds for the two couples dancing. I really enjoyed the work of the ensemble and would have liked to see more of their work in the forefront of this piece, as the interesting shapes created by their body filled the simplistic staging and added contemporary flare to a somewhat more classical piece. Rambert boast an array of talented dancers from all across the world and like with most pieces by the company you were able to indulge yourself in watching the suppleness of the dancers working to their absolute extremes.
A Linha Curva is Rambert’s self proclaimed ‘party piece’ infused with feelings of South American and African culture. The pieces percussive sound scape works exceptionally in lifting up all the dancers and the audiences spirits, within a few seconds of the piece starting we are transported into a Brazilian carnival with wild music, costumes, dancing and lighting. The work features 28 dancers and boasts what I would say is one of the most fun filled and impressive lighting designs I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. The lights are designed on a 7×7 grid incorporating amazing carnival inspired colours and complex patterns. The dancers show off their amazing talent once again, also displaying their diversity, with this piece taking a less classical theme and one which incorporates more of a Latin American style. The dancers switched formations almost continuously whilst remaining perfectly in sync and perfectly placed in the lighting. The piece contained humouring additions whilst not becoming farcical or over the top. The choreography by Itzik Galili is my favourite I have ever seen Rambert perform, the high energy, technically demanding piece allowed us the opportunity to see another side to Rambert and something a little less expected.
Overall the whole show was outstanding, as usual Rambert’s professionalism pays off in creating a beautiful and enjoyable show, and in its 90th year the company is definitely doing itself proud. Both pieces were exceptional and highly recommended, however A Linha Curva definitely stole the show, as everyone exits the theatre there was an evident buzz, everyone discussing the amazing skill of everyone involved; dancers, technicians, designers and choreographers. It is definitely worth buying a ticket.
Rambert were in Norwich on the 6th and 7th October, their next venue is the Bath Theatre Royal on 27-29 October. More information can be found here: http://www.rambert.org.uk