Rambert at Sadler’s Wells
The Rambert Dance Company made a triumphant return to Sadler’s Wells yesterday evening with a triple-bill show including the premiere of Dark Arteries, the world’s first brass-band dance work.
The show opens with Frames, choreographed by Alexander Whitely. The dancers are all in uniform white shirts and brown trousers, the music is menacing, dark and industrial, onstage are bars that are fixed together and torn apart, accompanied by harsh lighting. It’s a powerful piece, evoking strong emotions; there is the sense of a struggle, of things coming together only to be torn apart, of uniformity and something darker. The use of lighting here is particularly effective, creating what is essentially a second dance in the silhouettes cast onto the grey walls that border the performance.
Next up is Four Elements, a delicate, more traditional piece. Choreographed by Lucinda Childs, the dance falls into four sections named for the elements, water, earth, air and fire, each accompanied by a painted background. Though the music is beautiful and the dancers move with the kind of fluid grace that is usually only dreamt of, bracketed by two bold and powerful pieces as it is, Four Elements seems a little out of place and a little dull in comparison. The costumes too are quite odd, and though some make sense, others are a little less obvious and honestly, there can be no excuse for skin-tight plaid leotards.
Finally the main event, Dark Arteries, is reached. Accompanied onstage by the Tredegar Town Band (something that gleans many an excited “ooh” from the audience), the first wave of dancers flow forward. The music begins as a series of crescendos, like Frames it’s dark and tense, but soon it reaches its peak and begins to taper off into a more gentle finish, reflected in the movement. This dance begins energetically, with the dancers moving almost frantically but as the music grows softer, so to do their movements. It is a truly incredible piece born of such an unlikely pairing.
For dance fans, the triple bill is not to be missed with such unique and powerful pieces as Frames and Dark Arteries.
Photo: Alastair Muir
Rambert is on at Sadler’s Wells from the 12th May until 16th May 2015, for further information or to book visit here.