Rambert returns to the Festival Theatre for it’s 2017/18 tour with three stunning pieces. An established part of the Edtheatres programme, this respected theatre company doesn’t disappoint and its three vibrant layered pieces perfectly show the talent and creativity the company wields.
Starting with A Linha Curva, recently added to the AQA GSCE Dance syllabus, this piece choreographed by Itzik Galili is an explosion of colour and passion on stage. Celebrating Brazilian culture it’s so loud and vivacious, it quickly gets the whole audience wishing they were on stage dancing too. The symmetry of the work was so aesthetically pleasing that I immediately fell in love – there was so much happening on stage to fool you into believing it was totally organic and improvised but it was clear how well rehearsed and carefully executed the movements were to create this vivid dance. The Latin American spirit was so brightly brought to stage with flirtatious sections such as The 5 Guys where five men try to impress a solo female dancer. Instead she responds with a powerful solo putting them back in their place and rebuffing all their suggestive and passionate moves. The whole piece felt so empowering for all the dancers on stage and really engaged the audience, it ended far too soon for my liking! It was inspiring to see performers from the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance included, subtly showing the audience the talent lined up to appear in the Company in the future. A Linha Curva has to have one of the largest ensembles I’ve seen in a dance number which made the flawless execution even more impressive.
After a short interval we return for the more classic contemporary piece of Symbiosis. Very much what one would expect from a contemporary piece it takes the audience on a journey lit and highlighted by different colours and movements for different relationships. The company’s professionalism shone through in this piece but personally I didn’t connect with it. There was far less obvious passion throughout the piece with all the dancers being a lot more measured in their movements. However, my friend who attended with me really enjoyed Symbiosis and felt it told a beautiful story that he could really emphasise with. As always, Rambert provides a programme with someone for everyone.
However, by far the standout piece of the evening was Goat. A piece I never imagined encountering on stage at a dance show, inspired by Nina Simone’s most popular scenes, it was both humorous and heart breaking at the same time. Its story of rituals, love and death was woven throughout with humour fronted by the charming Michael Altunaga. Having a funny piece on stage lightened the mood for the audience, attempting to break the fourth wall in a dance work was intriguing and challenging. It was a refreshing introduction to the many ways dance can both surprise the audience and push itself to new limits. The set was interesting with different heights and some impressive video and live streaming work. Nia Lynn singing Simone was chilling with music direction from Yshani Perinpanayagam bringing a new level to the piece.
Rambert upholds its fantastic reputation with this wonderful programme continuing to show audiences around the UK why it’s one of the UK’s leading companies.