Rain at Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage
Movement based on mathematics is the inspiration for choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s dance piece Rain, performed by her company Rosas and filmed for Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage. Incorporating line, symmetry and pattern, the work is a conceptual arrangement of geometry as a dynamic entity.
The music by Steve Reich is captivating, redolent, intriguing, minimalist – both gentle and disruptive, relentless, propulsive, even jarring at times – maintaining a sense of urgency and tension. As a title, Rain suggests natural serenity, while the piece also evokes rain as a vital, driving element.
With an ambience reminiscent of students interacting and playing in a school auditorium or Grand Central Station’s helter-skelter activity set as ballet, the staging is effectively simple and step arrangements are sporadic: walking, jumping, running, swaying in groups, solo dances and pas de deux are all included, with dancers forming circles and various graphically inspired symmetrical and asymmetrical configurations.
The performers are elegantly athletic, while often eschewing classic balletic grace for pure energy and primary, chaotic physicality. An exception is a trio of beautifully coordinated, perceptibly congenial sequences by three female dancers – a contrast of harmonious suppleness with otherwise calculated disarray – which are intellectual but also organic and refined. Thinking in terms of the left brain (logic, science, mathematics) and right brain (creativity and the arts), it is fascinating to see a “right brain” medium translated via a “left brain” interpretation.
As it progresses, the production evolves from somewhat entropic to increasingly unified and structurally synchronised. Vocals and improvisation appear.
The stunning atmospheric lighting is pink, blue, violet or white, complementing a painterly abstract stage set with its wall of cascading, shimmering cords and a floor display of geometric designs (Jan Versweyveld).
A uniquely thought-provoking and compelling exploration of numerical and geometric renditions of form in motion, Rain is a visually remarkable and intriguing work, available for online viewing through until 17th April.