Brilliantly choreographed and strongly performed: Season of New Choreography by “85 years young” company, Rambert Dance, featured five pieces and was performed at The Place, earlier this month. Once again, Rambert Dance demonstrated incredibly talented and unexpected approaches to contemporary dance, merging movement and live music with a deep conceptual underpinning.

The total engagement of the viewer – so distinctive for Rambert productions – resulted in an almost unconscious understanding of the idea behind the piece, sharpening one’s perception of the performance and immediately invoking a physical and mental response. 

Common surprise changed into a murmur of amusement…

Unconscious understanding

One of the pieces, Mamihlapinatapai, takes its name from one of the most capacious words in the world, meaning “a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to do.” The trembling, perhaps even shaking, of a dancer during this piece transferred this physical feeling of misunderstanding and speechlessness to the audience and caused a similar shiver.

The choreographers went even further in the process of audience engagement with another work, 07941 611971, which opened with the message: “Please make sure that your mobile phones are turned on. If you would like to take pictures you are very welcome to do so.” Common surprise changed into a murmur of amusement, when the audience was asked to create the piece. Every dancer had a mobile phone, with the number displayed on the screens above the stage, and headphones. Audience was asked to call and “choreograph” using the “Dancespinner” – a twister-like palette of various moves, body parts and directions, which the viewers found on their seats. The dancers, listening to commands such as “tilt head left,” were incredibly impressive in their communication with the audience and each other, creating a fluid piece about human interaction.

…repeatedly conquered the hearts of audiences…


Fortunately for the lovers of contemporary productions, Rambert Dance Company returns to London in November to perform a new piece set to live music called Seven for a secret never to be told, followed by Elysian Fields, which is the creation of the incomparable Javier de Frutos, and the spellbinding Rainforest, which has repeatedly conquered the hearts of audiences since the 1960s.

From 15-19 November Sadler’s Wells will welcome one of the strongest dance companies in the world to once again surprise and inspire its audience.

Images courtesy of Rambert Dance


About The Author

Studying Art History and Philosophy at UCL I enjoy reflecting on various events of the art world. Musing on their origins and ideas inspires me in my own projects and writings.

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