Reviewed by Jo Hardy
Rooms is a performance streamed live from the Rambert studio featuring 17 dancers, 36 scenes,100 characters and 1000 costumes. The show runs for 60 minutes and there is a 20 minute pre show.
It has a classification of 15+ as it contains adult themes,brief nudity, suicide and domestic violence references and some strong language.
The pre show is an interview with executive producer Benoit Swan Pouffer and director, choreographer, set designer Jo Stromgren. During the interview we hear about how the show was conceived and a little about the back ground of the two and how they were brought together. The show was liken to catching glimpses of people’s lives as you pass by their windows, something I love doing when on a train journey. During the interview I heard that this performance was especially made for live streaming and it is thought that this is going to be a popular new media in the future.
Each scene was filmed on a set that looked like a different room which is where the title comes from. I didn’t find much of a connection between the scenes and maybe that was the point, although some of the characters made appearances in more than one scene and if there was a story I didn’t understand it . Most of the dancers were just wearing flesh coloured underwear which at first glance looked like they naked. The dancing was very contemporary in style and all very slow and controlled. There were 8 musical pieces but I didn’t recognise any of them apart from the one playing over the end credits which was moonlight serenade. None of the music was very uplifting or memorable, and I found it quite random. There wasn’t a lot of dialect in this show and not all of it was in English.
Unfortunately I’ve got to say this whole performance went right over my head , I found it all very strange and didn’t understand any of it , I think it was made for someone on a higher intellectual plane than me.
I stuck with it to the end and really did try to make sense of it but it just got more weird, in fact some of the scenes depicting violence and suicide I found very difficult to watch and at the end of it all I felt like I’d been watching someone’s bad dream.
The show is billed as a live broadcast but just before it started there was a message saying it had been recorded previously , I thought this was a bit confusing , it is only available at exact times and I was expecting it to be a live performance.
Tickets are £10 and available from rambert.org.uk the dance studio where the performance was filmed and also 10 UK venues on 8th,9th and 10th April 2021 and 4 UK venues on 11th April 2021 , I recommend checking for the booking closing times.
Although this show may not of been my cup of tea I do appreciate the benefits of all performance art, I am open to new experiences and it is good to challenge any preconceived ideas we may have of the theater.