Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Nottingham Theatre Royal

Not only do you get one dance performance with this show, you get four, The Castaways, Dutiful Ducks, Sounddance and Rooster.

The show, for me personally, was a bit hit and miss. I enjoyed the first section, "The Castaways" as a group of diverse people  who are spied upon and controlled, so it seems, from a large industrial metal rectangular shaft, a bit like an air vent in a warehouse which delivered parcels every now and again. A touch of the Big Brother there. The dance looks, and I'm not sure if it was meant to, not as synchronised as it maybe should have been, but this didn't last for long as the synchronicity soon kicked in and the pairs soon began to dance as one.

The second dance, after the first break, was short and used a clever multi tracked voice to produce a piece for Adam Blyde to perform some almost tradition ballet moves to, called "Dutiful Ducks". This section was choreographed by Richard Alston, a big name in dance and ballet for anyone who didn't know. A bare stage meant that you concentrated totally on Adam.

Part three was the part which I really could not get my head round. There was no music, only sound effects on what seemed to be a loop which sounded like crickets. I may be wrong but that's what it sounded like. To my untrained eye it just looked like a warm up session at the dance gym and just a touch too contemporary for me.

But come section four which I absolutely loved. Contemporary dance to the music of The Rolling Stones. Absolutely mesmerising and your eyes were glued to the dancers and the stage. their moves told the story of the song and were brilliantly hypnotic. Just a shame that some of the people in the audience didn't decide to stay for this excellent section of the show after the third part.

I imagine that it is entirely up to the individual as to how they decipher the story through dance for all of these sections, and what I understood to be the story may not have been what the person next door gleaned from it. And that is the magic of contemporary dance. What I also imagine may have been in the mind of the choreographer when he dreamt up the individual parts of this entertaining show was to allow the audience member to make of the pieces what they will instead of trying to enforce a certain storyline.

Whatever you think of the dance or the music you cannot take away from the dancers the incredibly structured discipline they go through for their art. Some great costumes and some fine comic moments in "The Castaways"as well as some emotional moves in that "Rooster" section.

Rambert can be seen at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Thursday 23  October

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