Review: Rambert’s Summer Livestream performances. Eye Candy and Rouge.

Photo credit: Mariano Vivanco

The static opening Live Streaming  image is of Rambert’s dancers on London’s Millennium Bridge. The effect is sharply artistic and places the work in the capital. As a Midlander I once knew the brand- new bridge as the ‘wobbly bridge’ due to its unstable nature on early completion. The bridge spans the river Thames and connects the St Paul’s Cathedral, the journalistic quarter (Fleet Street) and financial districts (The City) with those on the other more artistic side of the bank which feature the artistic gems – the Tate Gallery, The National Theatre and The Globe Theatre. It is no longer wobbly but a solid construction of some modernistic merit.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

The very same can be said of Rambert. Most definitely they are as far as one can get from being considered anything at all wobbly and, most certainly, their startling dance work is world class in terms of artistic beauty and merit in the dance world. Rambert’s dancers move in most unpredictable ways (unlike the bridge – thankfully) and in doing so reveal a beguiling dance craft and style that is almost uniquely theirs. The combined visual and tonal effects are mesmerising. Their work sits on the high altars of pure gob-smacked admiration, deeply quizzical interpretation and contemplations both artistically and spiritually for their audience.

Eye Candy

This whole dance work seems influenced by ancient modes of self-understanding and depiction of the human body. Initially, a female body is gently manipulated and brought into life by touch. She is joined ( a reverse role Adam and Eve?) by a supine male suddenly made agile as if being invisibly coerced into a series of rapid investigations and [man]oeuvres. Genetic acrobatics come to mind and the action is watched by a hybrid of bare-chested static male onlookers.  Could this be the birth of mankind combined with a heroic vision of gymnastic poses straight out of the mythical world of Dionysus and the Greek Olympic athletes depicted on old pottery now gathering dust in museums?

Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell

Eye Candy is no dusty relic but an acutely alert dance work including frightening contortions of body and face like those of the seriously mentally ill. Beauty may be subjective but there is a strange compunction in the viewing (however briefly) of the human body dancing the spasmodic dance of the mad. It’s a kind of bacchanalian rites and repetitious gymnastics mix up gone terribly wrong all depicted against the solid Acheronian backdrop of a coal face or the underworld of Hades. It’s brilliantly executed by the magnetic dancers of Rambert and created and choreographed by Marne van Opstal and Imre van Opstal. The composer is Amos Ben-Tal. The piece is danced by Aishwarya Raut, Antonello Sangirardi, Conor Kerrigan, Daniel Davidson, Guillaume Quéau, Juan Gil, Liam Francis, and Simone Damberg Würtz

Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell

Rouge

Created and choreographed by Marion Motin Rouge is a costumed (costumes by Yann Seabra) dance work of incredible timing that fluctuates between dancers on the edge of sudden bouts of collapse to astute states of standing up awareness and focus. As the piece progresses backed by a pulsating guitar sound it morphs into snap-biting scenes of rivalry on the dance floor then made lushly disco like and becomes suffused in red. The crescendo impression is of sweaty human flamingos with astonishing muscle memory talents that become quite martial in places and even resemble kata. At times the dancers appear the human embodiment of heraldic with their arms raised in the universal expression of worship. Rouge takes the inspiration of disco into a completely new realm. Micka Luna gives us an energetic musical soundtrack. The Rouge dancers are Aishwarya Raut, Alex Akapohi, Alex Soulliere, Antonello Sangirardi, Guillaume Quéau, Juan Gil, Liam Francis, Max Day, Naya Lovell, and Simone Damberg Würtz.

Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell
Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell

Rambert’s Summer Livestream performances are performed and filmed live and broadcast in real time on Rambert Home Studio.

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