A mixed bill that crescendos into a celebration of movement.
Rambert’s junior dance company, Rambert2, is a group of twelve dancers in the early stages of their careers. Artistic director Benoit Swan whittles down 800 performers to a final dozen through a gruelling audition.
After this extensive process, the dancers only stay for a year. But if the premiere at Sadler’s Wells is anything to go by, they’re making every performance count.
Terms and Conditions, a piece for six dancers by Jermaine Maurice Spivey, opens the programme.
Unfortunately, the concept falls flat. One repeated motif consisted of the dancers violently throwing themselves on the floor. Music was sporadic and jarringly inserted. The premise of the piece felt contrived and was reminiscent of an amateur improvisation workshop.
In 1984-esque boiler suits, the dancers repeatedly shouted criticisms of modern life, which left you wondering when the proper choreography might begin. The ideology of it all hits you square in the face. At one point they even held up a physical mirror to society.
When the dancers were given the opportunity, their performance was undeniably impressive. This standard continued throughout the programme.
Sin, a piece originally intended for the Olivier award-winning Babel (2010) by Damien Jalet and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, was a powerful pas de deux, full of anger and energy. Aggressive and sensual, the choreography explores how destructive the passion between two people can become.
Sama, by American choreographer Andrea Miller, closes the triple bill with force.
When eleven dancers rush onto the stage, accompanied by pounding electronic music, the rhythm becomes infectious. The movements are playful and innovative. Suddenly, three dancers are performing in sky-high stilts.
The energy incites spontaneous cheers from the audience. It is unavoidably awakening to witness the next generation of dancers attack the movements with such fearless vigour.