Rambert2 is a group made up of some of the world’s best young dancers. Their show consisted of three pieces: Grey Matter by Benoit Swan Pouffer, E2 7SD by Rafael Bonachela, and Killer PIg by Sharon Eyal. Despite the high level of technical mastery each of the dancers displayed, I found that the show overall was missing a certain something.
The first piece we see is Grey Matter, which has been newly created by Pouffer. The movements on stage vary greatly from moment to moment, with some being flowing and smooth and others crisp and sharp. In addition, the costuming for this section was very visually engaging. Since grey was the primary color on stage, the splashes of red and orange in the costumes really stood out and made an impression.
However, I felt that what Grey Matter had in technical skill, it lacked in momentum. The piece took a long time to build up, and was occasionally very slow. It felt longer than its relatively short duration.
E2 7SD had a very different feel from the previous piece. The music and choreography alike held a lot of tension that persisted throughout and kept the piece moving along. Both Conor Kerrigan and Aishwarya Raut delivered standout performances; even though they were the only ones on the stage, it never felt empty. I found myself trying to catch what was being said in the vocal clips in the soundtrack, but the actual words generally eluded me. This was strangely fascinating. As the piece progressed, I felt I was being given a glimpse into the lives of two individuals in a dysfunctional relationship filled with a lot of emotions, and I longed to learn more about them. This was my favorite part of the show.
After the intermission, the dancers performed Killer Pig, the longest of the three pieces. This featured multiple moments when individual dancers got a chance to shine, which was enjoyable to watch. The overall movement on the stage was also striking. I felt that Killer Pig had the most visual flow out of the pieces. Since it was considerably longer, Killer Pig could take its time to develop moves and interpret them in different ways. This was an effective use of time.
At the same time, I felt that the length of the piece often worked against it. Sections would sometimes drag on without any significant new concepts being introduced, which was not as engaging as the ever-changing world of E2 7SD. Simultaneously, certain concepts were introduced very suddenly. At one point a dancer screams, then another follows suit seemingly without rhyme or reason, and this continues until the screams stop coming. This is the most prominent example. Additionally, the build-up and breakdown of sections sometimes took too long to remain engaging, despite the dancers’ high level of skill. Killer Pig would have benefited from being shorter, or perhaps from an increase in its overall pace.