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Kim Brandstrup's Transfigured Night is one of the parts of Rambert's triple bill at the Sadlers Wells Theatre this week together with Three Dancers and Rooster. Here are some pictures from yesterday's rehearsal of Transfigured Night with two duets and the company as chorus.

 

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Miguel Altunaga, Simone Damberg Wurtz and members of the company 
 
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Hannah Rudd and Dane Hurst

 

More pictures on www.johnrossballetgallery.co.uk

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I've been meaning to say, I went to see this the other night, and enjoyed the whole bill very much.  The new Didy Veldman piece, Three Dancers - based on the painting by Picasso, but without the projections of the painting onto the white costumes as suggested by the publicity stills (a shame, I was curious as to how that would work) - made intriguing use of two sets of 3 dancers, each set holding hands in a ring and, I think, not breaking it for one whole movement of the music, before delving more into the themes suggested by the painting.  It possibly outstayed its welcome slightly, but received what even for Sadler's Wells was a very enthusiastic response from the audience.

 

I really liked the new Kim Brandstrup piece, Transfigured Night.  It reminded me a little of his Rushes for the Royal Ballet (but rather better), using the majority of the company as a chorus to back the two leading pairs.  Atmospheric and very moving, it was only spoilt very slightly for me by the fact that Simone Damberg Würst's bobbed hair tended to cover her face when she was moving, and so I couldn't see her expressions all the time.  Bruce Marriott has done a far more substantial review of it for Dance Tabs, which I expect you can get to if you click the link under Foteini's photos.

 

Finally, Rooster.  Not much you can say about this Rolling Stones tribute that hasn't already been said, except that it's a big crowd pleaser and was well danced by the entire company (who are fielding some excellent dancers at the moment, IMO.  Dane Hurst and Miguel Altunaga were the standouts for me, but everyone was good).  It's its last showing before being retired from the active repertory for a while, so you have been warned.  Perhaps it could be replaced by one (or both) of the other major Christopher Bruce works in the rep, Ghost Dances or Swansong?  It would be good to see those back again, as well.

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I saw this last night. As Alison says, it is a very enjoyable bill.

 

I wondered how the rather classical, almost narrative Brandstrup piece, to some very soupy music by Schoenberg, would go down with the Wells audience but it was very well received. Dane Hurst and Hannah Rudd's pdd was the highlight of the piece for me; they were just gorgeous together. Actually, when Hurst is on stage your eyes are drawn away from everyone else by his stage presence and silken dancing. I saw somewhere on Twitter that he's leaving Rambert. I wonder what he will do next.

 

The Veldy piece felt fresh and original although it was slightly too long and some of the music was a bit screechy to my ears. I forgave the gimmicky 'props' (large 'shards' lowered onto the stage at various points) because they fitted with the theme.

 

Rooster. What a great piece (I have seen it before). Does anyone make witty pieces any more? I felt that this piece was danced slightly more characterfully last time I saw it.

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Dane Hurst and Hannah Rudd's pdd was the highlight of the piece for me; they were just gorgeous together. Actually, when Hurst is on stage your eyes are drawn away from everyone else by his stage presence and silken dancing. I saw somewhere on Twitter that he's leaving Rambert. I wonder what he will do next.

 

For me too. And - oh no :(  Wonder what he's planning to do?

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BTW, probably a bit late to say this, but I've just noticed that there are some very cheap tickets for this afternoon's matinee available via tkts in Leicester Square.  Not sure whether it's a full matinee or a cut-down one.

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BTW, probably a bit late to say this, but I've just noticed that there are some very cheap tickets for this afternoon's matinee available via tkts in Leicester Square. Not sure whether it's a full matinee or a cut-down one.

It's a limited matinée but I don't know which piece is dropped.

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I went to the matinee (£15 for a front row seat, 1st circle!- booked months ago), having attended a Rambert Saturday matinee at SWT last season and found it fantastic value each time.

 

Mark Baldwin opened the performance to explain the aims and order of the programme, introducing us to some of the dancers, who showed some key steps from the first piece, Transfigured Night, which he outlined. The whole ballet was then performed. Kim Brandstrup was in the audience (Mark told us that and I later saw him) but he did not appear on stage. The previous time I saw one of these matinees Christopher Bruce had joined Mark on stage and discussed aspects of his ballet that they dancing.

 

After the interval, Mark came back on stage and explained that the company trains alternative days in classical ballet and contemporary. Eight dancers then  came on stage and showed some class exercises, some all together, then some taught by two ballet/dance rehearsal directors, respectively Mikaela Polley and Angela Towler, both remarkable dancers in the past. Then some of the Rooster dancers came on to demonstrate some moves, after which the whole piece was performed.

 

As ever, I was blown away by the beauty of Dane Hurst's dancing. Its purity and musicality made me remember Michael Clark in his pre-punk days. I was gutted to read in Luke Jennings' review that Saturday was his last day as a member of the company.

 

But the standard of all the dancers is very high. I was surprised not to notice any Royal Ballet regulars there; but Kevin O'Hare did attend.

 

I assume that the Saturday matinee format  is a regular at Sadler's Wells. It is informative, entertaining and great value so it might be worth others booking next time Rambert are at the Wells.

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As ever, I was blown away by the beauty of Dane Hurst's dancing. Its purity and musicality made me remember Michael Clark in his pre-punk days. I was gutted to read in Luke Jennings' review that Saturday was his last day as a member of the company.

 

Now I *really* wish I'd gone back and seen it again :(

 

Thanks for the report on the matinee, Sheila.  I've been to their Thursday ones before (which I assume showed a different programme), but am not sure I've actually ever made it to a Saturday one.  I didn't realise the dancers now alternate ballet and contemporary: I was under the impression they did a ballet class first thing every morning and then went into contemporary for the rest of the day.

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Now I *really* wish I'd gone back and seen it again :(

 

Thanks for the report on the matinee, Sheila.  I've been to their Thursday ones before (which I assume showed a different programme), but am not sure I've actually ever made it to a Saturday one.  I didn't realise the dancers now alternate ballet and contemporary: I was under the impression they did a ballet class first thing every morning and then went into contemporary for the rest of the day.

They have alternated ballet and contemporary for many years. Rehearsals take up the remainder of the day.

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A bit late to post here but I just wanted to say that I also went to this bill on Saturday evening. I've seen Rambert occasionally before but by no means am I a "Rambert faithful". This bill appealed to me because I admire Brandstrup's choreography very much and the Royal Ballet programmes this season are disappointing to put it politely. Anyway, it was one of the most enjoyable dance programmes I've seen for a while and it knocked the current RB mixed bill firmly into a cocked hat ! It served to emphasise that expensive staging, costumes and fancy lighting are no substitute for skilful choreography which was executed to perfection by the superb Rambert dancers. The Brandstrup was the standout piece for me : wonderful dancing to the gorgeous Schoenberg music played live !  I've seen Rooster before and I thought it was a fun choice to close the evening and a good balance to the other two more sombre pieces. 

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