THEATRE ROYAL PLYMOUTH – 15 OCTOBER 2019 & TOUR
RAMBERT – 2019/2020 TOUR
RUNNING TIME 2 HOURS 20 MINUTES – 2 intervals
Theatre Royal Plymouth Box Office – 01752 267222
REVIEW – CORMAC RICHARDS – 14 OCTOBER 2019
In watching a quality dance performance one can be mesmerised, awestruck and confused simultaneously. One can wonder, thrill and debate with yourself. One can question, delight and admire.
Rambert is one of the foremost dance companies in the UK, in Europe and beyond. From its origins in classical ballet in the 1920s it has grown to become an innovative and provocative modern dance company. The current tour brings together dancers from across the globe in three pieces; PreSentient, Rouge and In Your Rooms.
PreSentient by Wayne McGregor, originally premiered in 2002, begins with an extraordinary solo piece from Salomé Pressac – bodily contortions and rhythmic twist and turns abound to a combative and discordant soundtrack. As the rest of the Company join, the insistent beat of Steve Reich’s music – reminiscent of Michael Nyman and Philip Glass – is the background for perfect timing, fluidity and artistic shapes. With an incredibly effective lighting design by Lucy Carter it is breathless and mesmerising.
Rouge by Marion Motin premiered at Sadler’s Wells in May this year and comprises just seven of the dancers plus guitarist Rubén Martinez on stage, his heavy chords, vibrating across the auditorium. Flooded with dry ice the dancers – all dressed very individually – rise and fall from the floor continually, with an ease and grace which only artists of this calibre could achieve. A frenzied ripping-off of garments smacks of uncovering the true person beneath the trappings of life. The movement becomes more frenetic and sexual as the climax is reached with lighting by Judith Leray and music from Micka Luna making this a fascinating and dynamic piece.
The final offering, In Your Rooms by Hofesh Shechter, opens with a voice speaking thoughts on chaos and order and how chaos can develop out of order and vice versa – the narrative breaks up as the dancers take over in an intricate and physically challenging work. The musicians having moved from the pit to a platform above the stage add to the visual impact of the piece which is heavy on the drumming; interweaving classical strings and percussion – the compositions of Schechter with Neil Catchpole. Again, the lighting design, this time by Lee Curran, plays a vital role as sectors of the stage illuminate one dancer only to dim seconds later and then come up almost immediately on a larger group – slick and involving. It is a visceral, gutsy and compelling work.
Each individual watching this performance will create their own interpretation of each piece – this is very much the beauty of contemporary dance – as with art in other forms, the beholder is offered the opportunity to make up their own minds. What is undeniable is that you are watching a Company at the top of their game, where one false move will unbalance the equilibrium.
In recent times, I have reviewed theatre where the actors have stumbled and stuttered their way through their lines – no such aberrations here; it is theatre defined by precision, professionalism and brilliance.
CHOREOGRAPHY – WAYNE MCGREGOR, MARION MOTIN, HOFESH SHECHTER
COMPOSERS – STEVE REICH, MICKA LUNA, HOFESH SHECHTER, NEIL CATCHPOLE
LIGHTING – LUCY CARTER, JUDITH LERAY, LEE CURRAN
COSTUME DESIGN – URSULA BOMBSHELL, YANN SEABRA, ELIZABETH MARKER
DANCERS – ADÉL BÁLINT, SOOJIN CHOI, MAX DAY, JOAQUIM DE SANTANA, JUAN GIL, BRENDA LEE GRECH, SALOMÉ PRESSAC, GUILLAUME QUÉAC, AISHWARYA RAUT, HANNAH RUDD, ALEX SOUILLIERE, JACOB WYE, MIGUEL ALTUNGA, EDIT DOMOSZLAI, LIAM FRANCIS, DANIEL DAVIDSON, NANCY NERANTZI, KYM SOJOURNA
MUSICIANS – CHARLES MUTTER, JULIET SNELL, NIC PENDLEBURY, JOY HAWLEY, RUBÉN MARTINEZ, ROBERT MILLETT, TIM HARRIES, CATHERINE RING