Rambert at the Theatre Royal Brighton Review


Theatre Royal, Brighton

25-28 March 2015


Reviewed by Meresa Bergin

When I was asked to review Rambert at the Theatre Royal in Brighton I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it or not and I had never written a review about a dance show before. Dance is not really something I have seen a lot of live, with the exception of Billy Elliot, so off I headed to the theatre to see what the show would bring. Would I enjoy it or not?

Rambert is the national touring company for contemporary dance and this latest tour consists of three or four pieces from their current repertoire. The Brighton leg of their Spring tour consists of three individual dance routines, each is put together by a different choreographer and are very different pieces.

Frames, choreographed by Alexander Whitley, was the first act on stage. The dancers filled the stage, each carrying metal frames and began to dance with them. Whilst the dancers were amazing and very skilful, especially as having to dance with the frames, I did begin to lose interest quickly. The music, by Icelandic composer Daniel Bjarnason, that accompanied the dance blended very well helping to tell the story but at this point it wasn’t doing enough to hold my interest. But then everything changed, the dancers began to construct and combine the frames and attached spotlights to the structures, creating a stage within a stage. The lights dimmed and I loved watching the shadows on the walls behind the newly constructed structure. As the dancers moved across the stage, it had a slight surreal feel to it almost out of this world. It was very beautiful leaving you not knowing whether to look at what was happening under the spotlights or behind them.

The Strange Charm of Mother Nature, by Mark Baldwin, was more typical of something I would think of as dance. The music, for me, was a lot better and I loved the eye-catching costumes the dancers were wearing. Performed at a much faster pace than Frames it held my interest

The act is about gamma ray bursts of the brightest, largest and most colourful explosions in space, a sun which has ran out of energy causing it to implode sending from its core huge sets of cosmic matter. This represents the discovery of the “God Particle”. As I said I have not seen a lot of live dance but I could feel this happening in front of me, it felt haunting and breath-taking to watch. A very energetic dance routine.

Rooster, by Christopher Bruce, was the act I think most people had come to see, it is one of Rambert’s best loved works and I can see why. This felt very much something I could relate to, it is a celebration of the swinging Sixties and is set to a series of Rolling Stones songs played out to dance and I loved it! It was very well put together with the dancers creating a little story through dance of each song. Little Red Rooster was outstanding but my favourite by far was As Tears Go By which seemed to tell the story of a young girl who wants to be friends with a group of girls but is ignored and young man who in turn wants to be her friend but she ignores him. I thought it was so well put together and suited the song. Paint It Black is one of my all-time favourite songs so I was delighted to see it included.

Each act is so very different it almost feels like three different shows in one. For me Rooster was the standout performance and I would have happily have gone to see this alone with a longer performance, I think it was best placed at the end of the three. The Strange Charm of Mother Nature was also a surprising hit for me.

The show had two intervals which to be honest I didn’t feel was needed but it did give you time to reflect on each individual performance.

So as I asked at the start of this review, would I enjoy it or not? The answer has to be yes. I am pleased I was asked to review this show and I would be interested in seeing more of Rambert in the future. There are some other routines in the tour that were not performed in Brighton and I would be interested in seeing these.

So whether you love contemporary dance or a novice like me, the Rambert tour is definitely a must see! Each performance is beautifully performed and each tells their own story.

Rating: 4/5

Tickets cost from £11.90 to £32.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).

Rambert – featuring Rooster is at the Theatre Royal in Brighton until 28 March 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 7650.

Theatre Royal. New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1SD | 0844 871 7650

4 Star

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