To mark Rambert’s 90th anniversary it has culminated its biggest and most exciting programme, which is clear from the ambition and professionalism achieved by the three pieces performed in the Festival Theatre last night. Included in this programme is Ghost Dances: the revival of one of the most requested works from Rambert’s repertoire, Christopher Bruce’s iconic 1981 work, premiering in Edinburgh, sat alongside two other dance pieces before touring in 2017. Having been invited to the first of the three nights, it was a pleasure to watch such competence and stylish proficiency.
Flawless in all three performances, the dancers really offset their versatility, coordination and skill with these pieces. Frames in fact is beautifully and elaborately choreographed with the dancers not only flawlessly sliding and sculpting movements through the frames but also choreographing the movements of the framework itself.
The first of the three dance pieces performed was Tomorrow, which uses dance to tell the story of Macbeth, and reveal the dark desires that lead a man to murder. Despite this conceptual dance piece highlighting the skill of the artists, this is not entirely clear from the performance alone. The piece insinuated division, a divide between the light and the dark, which was perhaps a little obtuse, albeit certainly a theme in Shakespeare’s play. The futuristic elements, however effective, also throw the audience off from this scent, as the aural scape was filled with discordant electronica.
Our eyes were automatically drawn to the dancers in white due to the lighting but the moves they performed flowed more than the rigidity of those in the darker clothing. It was a fantastic piece but the context of it being the story of Macbeth had to be explained or the concept devised in a more vivid manner.
Frames, was a particularly stunning piece to indulge in, as aforementioned, with the dancers infallibly using the metal poles to create movement and allow for furthered movement from within themselves. The coordination required for such is immense, and if the conceptual contemporary piece had little in the way of meaning, it certainly allowed for the dancers to shine. Delectably, there was much of this show within a show type feel to this choreographed piece.
Despite it being my personal favourite of the three, Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances did not quite fit with the programme of the other two. With both Frames and Tomorrow having a limited colour palette, and a score of electronic noise, there is somewhat of an overlap with those two. However, the wonderful Spanish guitar scoring Ghost Dances, as well as the vibrant colour of the costume, did enhance its vast difference to the two. This may well be deliberate in order to stand out and stick in the memory of the audience, as it was a delightfully emotive and stunning piece. Either way, all three pieces exemplify the talents of the highly professional dancers on stage and it is worth the trip.
Wed 23 to Fri 25 November | Festival Theatre