Magazine article The Spectator

Hypnotic Qualities

Magazine article The Spectator

Hypnotic Qualities

Article excerpt

Dance

Rambert Dance Company

(Sadler's Wells)

Hypnotic qualities

Giannandrea Poesio

Few modern dance companies can boast Rambert Dance Company's artistic and stylistic eclecticism. And there is little doubt that Rambert's well-deserved popularity depends mostly on it not being a choreographer's company, but a company whose repertoire is constantly informed by specific choreographic aesthetics. There are also first-rate dancers, without whom its many experiments with different choreographic genres would not be as successful. As soon as they appear on stage, these artists capture the viewer with their drive, their stamina and their technical excellence. Thanks to such a winning combination of well-fostered talents and a repertoire that is seldom repetitive, the company is now one of the few existing ones to be the favourite of both a new, young audience and a more experienced one. Catering for mixed tastes, however, is not easy and there can be occasions when what is on offer ought to be more carefully presented to dispel the risk of disappointing one side of the paying public. Alas, the first of two new programmes presented at Sadler's Wells suffers from the programming and does not have the same explosive, breathtaking qualities of other previously seen mixed bills.

Despite being structurally, stylistically and dramatically different, the four dances presented on the opening night in front of an over-enthusiastic yet not exactly full house are everything but well matched. Twin Suite 2, by Kinson Productions, is an ideal piece to start with. Its abrasively rarefied, apocalyptic atmosphere and its linear, yet never simple or simplistic movement vocabulary create from the first moments a subtle yet haunting dramatic tension that gradually builds up without ever reaching a cathartic, final explosion. And it is that intentional lack of a conclusive statement which, exasperating as it might be for some, confers a special hypnotic quality on the whole creation.

The lack of a dramatic conflagration, however, is also what, in my view, impinges on the appreciation of the following solo, Hurricane, by Christopher Bruce. Based on the story of Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, the black American boxer who served 20 years for a crime he had not committed, this work is presented as a pantomime set to Bob Dylan's song 'Hurricane'. …

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