Killer Pig – Photo borrowed from Rambert website
A visit from Rambert to Norwich is always a special occasion and their touring Rambert2 ensemble are a cohort of young dancers given a chance to develop their skills at the highest level. The Playhouse auditorium was filled with an eager crowd ready to be dazzled, and we were not disappointed.
There are 11 dancers in the group who brought us two startlingly impressive and imaginative works, Home choreographed by Micaela Taylor and Killer Pig, choreographed by Sharon Eyal with Gai Behar.
Home is a 30 minute dance that feels almost experimental to me, pushing at the limits of what we expect dance to be, with a matching but intermittent soundscape, meaning that quite a bit of carefully co-ordinated movement has no time structured soundtrack to anchor the dancers movements. Topically it concentrates on the constraints of life at home, where we have all found our shrinking limits over the past two years. It hints at vivid dreams and the dark landscapes of the mind, but is also full of life, energy and optimism. Visually it is dark, with only back or overhead lighting making it difficult on occasions to catch all the nuance of movements. The dancers appear dressed as you would for lockdown life at home, muted colours, comfy casual. As the soundtrack repeats, ‘this is not a dream, this is your home’.
Killer Pig is a 45 minute dance that features a great pulsating soundtrack that could grace a rave or the hippest of nightclubs (remember them?) In fact I found myself thinking as I watched how I would love to see this cast on a real dancefloor, they would be a sensation! This work allows individual dancers to showcase some skills and moves, but it is still overall a superb collaborative work where all the bodies appear to be driven by one mind, like a murmuration of swallows or a shoal of silver fish. For this work the dancers wear the very minimum that modesty demands, so we can see how they move with every part of their bodies, with a detail in the choreography that would keep you finding more how ever many times you were lucky enough to see a performance.
The 8 dancers in this work are named in the programme sheet but not identified individually, but I am very confident that their names will be featuring on many dance programmes in tears to come, as Rambert have once again drawn out an exceptionally talent group of young dancers from the hundreds who apply every year.
With doors kept wide open to refresh the air in the Playhouse theatre it was distinctly chilly on the cold evening I visited, and I worried for the dancers in this chill but they seemed unperturbed. Another change from the pre pandemic times when my first act on taking my seat was to remove coats, scarves and jumpers straight away.
An intense and mesmerising performance from a company we can rely on to be impressive and innovative, look out for their next visit.
© Julian Swainson, Norwich Eye, 2021
Find out more about Rambert here: https://www.rambert.org.uk