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Rambert Dance Company's Spring Season


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Starts off at Sadler's Wells this week. Includes a version of L'Apres-midi d'un faune, and a new work by Mark Baldwin, What wild Ecstasy. Here are a couple of views:

 

 

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Rambert Dance Company - L'Apres-midi d'un faune (Pieter Symonds as Lead Nymph, Dane Hurst as the Faune)

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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Rambert Dance Company - What Wild Ecstasy (Otis-Cameron Carr, Antonette Dayrit)

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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Rambert Dance Company - What Wild Ecstasy (Eryck Brahmania, Julia Gillespie)

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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Dave Morgan gallery of Rambert's Spring Season

Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

EDIT: Dancer correction - now corrected middle picture to show Otis-Cameron Carr dancing with Antonette Dayrit. Profuse apologies to him.

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I'm sorry I didn't get to see this bill: by the time I realised that Rambert were at Sadler's a week earlier than usual, I was too booked up to fit it in. I could have made the matinees, but since the works I was particularly interested in seeing were spread across both matinees I'd have had to go and watch two performances to fit both of them in.

 

Has anyone else seen it and got some comments to make?

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I saw this programme this evening. I haven't seen much contemporary dance but, having read some enthusiastic reviews, I decided to go and see it for myself. I enjoyed all four pieces which were quite varied and, on the whole, well performed. It was interesting to see L'Apres-midi d'un Faune again (I'd seen ENB's in March). Like ENB's, Rambert's Faune was stiff rather than sensual. I've come to the conclusion that this apparently simple piece is in fact very difficult to pull off successfully. The Itzik Galili piece was very well lit and the dancing was enjoyable to watch, if not wildly original. The Siobhan Davies piece had beautiful copper coloured panels around the stage which created a lovely warm glow. There was some arresting choreography but it dragged a little towards the end. Interestingly, the music for the piece was played on the harpsichord. The last piece, by Mark Baldwin, had a carnival feel to it and was performed under three huge hanging wasps (or were they bees?) to a striking original score. The piece ended with a shower of yellow plastic balls which was supposed to be pollen, I assume. The programme was enthusiastically received by a varied audience.

 

 

 

 

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It's interesting to see from today's Observer that critic Luke Jennings feels this bill shows Rambert resting on its creative laurels, with a fair sprinkling of similar views being expressed on Twitter. In the pursuit of the new and cutting-edge, perhaps no company over 10 years old is safe and all thought of 'legacy' is to be disregarded? Back to the 'kitchen sink dramas' perhaps? Though having lived through all of that, I didn't see them as much fun then, and I'm pretty sure that I don't need the theatre for a reminder of things 'relevant today' when I can see them each time I leave home. Perhaps there is a Critic's Syndrome caused by going to the theatre too often?

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I thought that Luke Jennings was very harsh about Rambert Dance but, to be fair, I haven't seen anything else by the company and so his criticism may be valid. He does seem to expect that contemporary dance companies like Rambert should constantly be cutting edge and "saying something" about the world today (which presumably he does not expect of classical ballet companies). I don't know what the remit of a company like Rambert is supposed to be. If you are a contemporary company are you not supposed to restage previous works or perform choreography which is similar to choreography which has been performed before? Is contemporary dance a style of dance or dance which has been choreographed recently?

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I like the way Rambert preserve some of their heritage and introduce new choreographers too. I suspect with this programme LJ is saying "same old same old". I don't think Itzak Galili is particularly admired by the press in this country but the audiences (including me) seem to like his stuff.

 

Aileen, I was in to contemporary dance before I discovered ballet and have found, over the years, a lot of the choreography to be pleasant but disposable. There again, I guess I could say the same about ballet. Rambert are always worth seeing because of the wonderful dancers in the company and usually with the mixed programmes they show there is something to enjoy even if you don't like the whole evening.

 

I'm starting to ramble a bit but to me there is a similarity between LJ's review and the "whither ballet" thread.

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  • 1 month later...

I'd also like to go but I'm taking a group of children to see an amateur production of Beauty and the Beast! It's a shame that the performance is not on the company's website. Did you receive an e-mail alert, Chris?

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Twenty 12 minute new compositions were commissioned as part of the cultural olympiad (some ended up a little longer): http://www.prsformusicfoundation.com/Partnerships/Flagship-Programmes/New-Music-20x12/

 

Many are on at the South Bank around this weekend. I only found out about it at the last minute and then only because Imagined Village are playing - it was woefully under-publicised and with so little notice I can't make any of them. What Wild Ecstasy seems to be the only new dance work but there are some interesting mini-operas. It implies that it is on with L'Apres midi d'un faune which is around 10 minutes, so I'd guess it will be half an hour altogether.

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Thanks to Chris, I did manage to get to see this: well, sort of. We had probably a 5-minute intro, then L'Après-Midi, done without sets (apart from the Faun's perch, placed in front of the on-stage orchestra), with Dane Hurst and Pieter Symonds in the leads. I managed to make a fairly good job of ignoring the reading lights from the orchestra, although they were a bit distracting. What I was totally unable to ignore, though, was the ushers allowing latecomers through during the performance. As you may know, the Queen Elizabeth Hall is divided into front and rear stalls, with the main gangway between the two. Did the latecomers get told to go up the side aisles and occupy the seats at the side/back, or even stand? Did they heck. They were escorted straight across the centre aisle to empty seats in the centre section, and "escorted" of course meant that the ushers had to return to their places by the doors, thereby getting in everyone's way a second time. No attempt at all made to stoop, or reduce their silhouettes, either. Just totally blocking the view. And then there was a second batch ... and a third. By the time all the latecomers had been seated, the Faun was just about to re-ascend to his perch. Not only was it incredibly inconsiderate of the audience (I know we hadn't paid, but that's not the point), but it was even more discourteous to the dancers, as if their performance had no value whatsoever. Not even at Sadler's Wells have I ever experienced quite that level of disregard for the audience.

 

We then had a discussion on the new work, What Wild Ecstasy, featuring the composer and choreographer (which, after all, was what the session was supposed to be about), and then settled down to watch the new piece. After all, 1/2 an hour into the session, there wouldn't be any more interruptions, so we'd be able to watch unhindered. You can see where this is going, can't you? :) Yes, no sooner had the dancers got going on stage than we had another batch of latecomers escorted to seats in the middle of the auditorium. I swear the ushers actually waited until the dance started before leading them in front of everybody ...

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