If you have any interest at all in contemporary dance, try not to miss Ballet Rambert wherever and whenever it appears near you. One of the oldest and most important companies of its type in the world, the tradition of innovative choreography, challenging music and the brilliant technique drilled into the dancers, Rambert performances remain one of the best places to discover what modern ballet is all about.
In the current season I was completely captivated by The Castways, a new ballet by Barak Marshall that covers a wide sweep of musical and movement styles. Special mention should be made of Miguel Altunaga in this and in Rooster, a witty and totally charming piece choreographed by Christopher Bruce to eight famous tracks by the Rolling Stones. Mark Baldwin (choreographer of the piece and Artistic director of the company) and Gavin Higgins’ (composer) piece What Wild Ecstasy is an homage to the seminal ballet Afternoon of a Faun which is revived as well in a production that comes near to the original set, costumes and choreography of the Nijinsky piece that caused such a storm in Paris in 1912 and pointed forward to Le Sacre du Printemps the next year. Marie Rambert actually must have seen this as a young dancer with Diaghilev’s company at least thirty times and it became one of her signature pieces after she formed her own company in 1926.
Contemporary dance as a serious art form internationally owes as much to Marie Rambert as it does to any of the other pioneers of Modernism and the current programme proves that the tradition not only continues but is completely relevant to today’s art scene.
New Theatre Oxford
Wednesday 19 & Thursday 20 March, 7.30pm
Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne
Tuesday 25 – Thursday 27 March, 7.30pm Matinée: Thursday 27 March
The Churchill Theatre Bromley
Thursday 3 & Friday 4 April, 7.30pm Watch trailers on YouTube
Sadler’s Wells, London
Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 May, 7.30pm
- Dance Theatre
- Choreographers: Barak Marshall, Ann Whitley based on Nijinsky, etc
- Dancers: Muguel Altunaga, Vanessa Kang, Julia Gillespie and Jon Savage
- New Theatre, Oxford
- Until 20th March 2014 and then touring
- Review by Mel Cooper
- 20 March 2014