Rmabert Dance Company at the Wells

Article excerpt

Rambert Dance Company at the Wells there were just two works in the first of the Rambert Dance Company's two programmes at Sadler's Wells Theatre, which I saw on 14 May. It began with She was Black, choreographed by Mats Ek to the Second String Quartet by Henryk Gorecki. Ek's work is curious and often tortured and this was no different. To the sound of a Cello, two bodies move in an apparently seamless flow until this is interrupted by the arrival of other dancers. Vincent Redmon briefly appears without clothes and then shortly after reappears fully clad, with a Harpo Marx style hat, a coat and on pointe shoes. From time to time the audience can see a brown amorphous mass moving slowly across the back of the stage and finally making it to the front. The outer covering of this mass is shed to reveal a figure in a brown body stocking which covers the head as well. Throughout it all dancers come and go in vigorous movement, and it all seems a bit pointless.

Much more entertaining was The Parades Gone By by Lindsay Kemp. Christopher Bruce as an aging film director pulls drapes off motionless figures which come to life. Valentino and Carmen-type girls with frills and flounces lead the galaxy of stars which parade on stage. Dancers mime to Someday my Prince will Come while fairies bourre around waving their wands and there are frequent quotes from different genres. Fred and Ginger and Dracula are all there in the Lullaby of Broadway and there is a wonderful Busby Berkeley tap routine, arranged by Arlene Philips. No turn is left unstoned and no trick of high camp is missed in this hilarious take on the Hollywood of the thirties. And then there is mayhem and it all comes crashing down; presumably the war and the end of an era. Great stuff!

Programme 2

There were three works in the second programme of the Rambert Season, which I saw on 21 May. …