It’s not often I get the opportunity to review a night of contemporary dance, so it was a lovely surprise to get a Rambert ticket at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre.
The evening entertainment was split into 3 performances -” A Linha Curva”, “Ghost Dances” and “Goat”.
The first piece was bursting with energy, a stage full of vibrant dancers in fluorescent hot pants. I enjoyed the use of lighting, cleverly segregating and reuniting lines of bodies as they leapt and shimmied. The choreography was mesmerising and my thoughts wandered to imagery of tribal dances and the addictive movement of carnival. The freedom and abandonment was infectious – upbeat, cheeky, sexy fun.
Section two brought an entirely different feel to the evening. Interestingly the first few minutes were music free, which is a bold move indeed. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to walk across a stage quietly, let alone leap and lift without each landing mimicking thunder, yet the Ghosts were so silent I could hear their breath! Christopher Bruce’s combination of ballet and modern dance worked perfectly, and created a melancholy yet hopeful feeling amongst the characters. The repetition of movement, spliced with the beautiful panpipes and haunting Ghosts was thought provoking, bringing together the vitality of life and love with the unavoidable, cloying touch of death.
The final part of the evening threw me completely. From the upbeat, to the political, we finally landed at the utterly bonkers. Initially I couldn’t work out what the title had to do with the piece, but I clocked on fairly quickly (before it was explained, go me!) After two intense performances I was delighted by the irony of Miguel Altunaga whose perfectly timed, entirely inappropriate questions brought a beaming smile to my lips, his sensual accent welcoming me in. I found myself transported to what seemed like some sort of 70s cult meeting/love in, which wasn’t where I’d imagined I’d be on a Thursday evening, but I sat back and enjoyed the ride. Liam Francis was an intriguing lead, his character’s intense persona a stark contrast to our friend the TV presenter. There were so many themes to absorb and reflect on, it’s the kind of piece you would watch multiple times and continually notice something new, or perceive a different message. The closing section was captivating, Liam and Hannah Rudd left me a little teary eyed with their passionate final dance. What a beautiful pairing.
I hadn’t realised there was a Q&A after which is a real shame, but in a way it was quite cathartic to enjoy my own interpretation of the evening, and take it away to ponder some more. Contemporary dance isn’t for everyone, as it doesn’t always have an exacting conclusion and may not answer the audience questions directly, but in a world of Google and instant gratification, I found an evening of Rambert the perfect therapy.
If you need to escape, click the link below to check ticket availability