Thrilling, jaw dropping and laugh-out-loud funny are just some of the words that could describe Rambert at Norwich Theatre Royal on Thursday evening. The audience were treated to three performances – The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses, Symbiosis and the iconic Ghost Dances. Each were outstanding in their own right. I was in awe of the talent, strength and skill of each and every one of the dancers as they glided harmoniously around the stage, to the chilling sound of a live orchestra.
Aletta Collins’ The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses opened the show. Inspired by Rybczynski’s short film Tango, it was a hilarious, emotional and stunning piece which showcased the repetition of daily life. The dancers performed mundane tasks inside a house over and over again. New characters would appear and there were dramatic pauses as the piece honed in on one character. The child chasing a football was hilarious, as were the ladies with the bottles of Gordon’s and the young lovers. There was always something new going on to catch your eye. I honestly felt like I needed four pairs of eyes to truly appreciate the piece. The house then melted away into a breath-taking exploration of the characters stories and relationships through solo and seamless group performances.
Symbiosis was a chaotic, exhilarating piece inspired modern-day, technological life. Subtle changes in lighting and the pace of music emphasised the instant chaos that technology can cause. The dancers went from moving gracefully as one unit, to small groups breaking off, becoming out of sync and rejoining. At times this utter chaos reminded me of rush hour London. Despite being the most physically exertive, it’s said to be the dancers favourite to perform. It showcased incredible feats of human nature, as well as the sheer physical and mental strength of the company. Dancers were picked up and spun around with grace and ease. They made it look like a walk in the park. It was poignant too. Standing as a reminder that beauty that exists in every single moment of life.
Finally, we were treated to a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Ghost Dances, which was originally performed to highlight the brutal Chilean regime in the 80’s. It draws influences from the Day of the Dead festival, and is a celebration of life and death. Despite being 30 years on from its creation, the political and cultural references were sadly still applicable today.
The piece opened with three ghost dancers, dancing around to the whistling of the wind in the mountains. The masks, their gaze and the way they moved made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The atmosphere was tense as a groups of people slowly entered and took centre stage. They joyously performed a celebration of their relationships and lives, before the ghost dancers would creep back in and take one of them away, leaving them limp and lifeless in their partners arms. It was a heartbreaking and visually stunning reminder of the realities and atrocities of life.
Rambert at Norwich Theatre Royal were outstanding. Each performance drew you in, until you were completely engrossed. It was a perception altering, emotional rollercoaster of an evening. It’s easy to see how the company have become so iconic with such a loyal set of fans. If you ever get the chance to see a performance I would highly recommend doing so. If nothing else you’ll leave with a new-found appreciation of the beauty of the smallest things in life.
A few tickets remain for Friday nights performance at Norwich Theatre Royal before The Rambert Dance company continue with their UK tour in Edinburgh. If you would like to read my other theatre reviews, click here.
With thanks to Jane Hobson and Ellie Kurttz for the images.