Saturday, February 19, 2011

So. Let's see.


Rambert Dance Company.

I'm very ambivalent about contemporary dance as I think it can be beautiful. And it can be absolute rubbish. Sometimes both. Rarely only the former.

It's very often very well lit is the consolation prize. Though I've said this here a thousand times before.

Thursday, happily, was both beautiful and beautifully lit.

We had three pieces of work. I might say "dances" but that's because I don't know any better.

The first was apparently based on Oliver Sacks' Awakenings. I only found this out afterwards but it certainly explained why they all looked so unhappy. Luckily, they were beautiful and unhappy. They rushed around the stage making uneasy movements in little fleshy coloured clothes for the most part. Although a couple of luckier chaps got to wear suits. Exquisitely lit. I barely know what I'm talking about here but there was hardly any - I don't know how you call it - JGH? - "spill" as far as I could see. V clever.

Second was called Monolith and indeed, the stage set for this consisted of four large pillars. The dancers ran around them looking uneasy. The music for this one was also sad (Peteris Vasks' Quartet, movements I, II, III, V and VI apparently).

Neither coaxed my arms out of a suspicious (defensive) position. Although I believe all of the dancers would make a rather better fist of my Body Balance class than I myself manage.

But the third "thing". This was a delight.

Imagine the back of the stage has a curtain of silver beads run across its width. The front of the stage has this same curtain but gathered into bunches.

Lights up on a tiny girl at the back of the stage wearing the cutest tiny pink dress, a (very fashionable, I gather) green swimming cap and pink sunglasses. Oh and she's got these long very long talon finger nails, also in green, spiking up to the sky. (Well, overhead lights, anyway.)

Nice springy music. Bouncing along. At one point, veering into an arrangement of Mac The Knife.

And a whole bunch of other beautiful people burst onto the stage, technicolour dressed, fingernailed to the hilt. The front silver curtain is unleashed and tethered. The colourful beautiful strut and swarm. We, the audience, imagine we half understand and laugh along with them. And it's all sparkley and bouncy and lovely.

Once again, I have no idea what's going on. Their commentary says: filled with bizarre silhouettes and stranded angels; part fun fair, part star gala, with a dash of Rio thrown in. But confusion aside, I'm terribly tempted to stand up and dance along. (Which I'm sure, in my prize seat two rows from the front, would have been welcomed.)

This. This funny little Cardoon Club, whatsoever it stands for, is why I'll indulge (occasionally) in the obscure and impenetrable artform that is contemporary dance.


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