May 11, 2016
Rambert’s new season hosted a clunky title and an odd mix of dance works. Opening the bill, Shobana Jeyasingh’s Terra Incognito is a classy piece of work and one of her best. Jeyasingh knows her craft intimately and practices it with a deft touch. The concept of searching for new land opens a space for innovation and exploration complemented by Jean-Marc Puissant designs that glow in jewel-like colours and Gabriel Prokofiev’s score. The music brings so much to the work. The opening section is full of tension, then shifting with the narrative, it shapes the mood, ranging from lyrical to intense. Jeyasingh’s movement rides on the changes, at times sharply punctuated at other times flowing with ease. The dancers were seen at their best in this work that offers such a range of dynamics and eloquent structure notably in the duets. It made compelling viewing and a fine addition to the repertoire.
In Tomorrow, inspired by Macbeth, choreographer Lucy Guerin panders to the modern taste for split screen viewing. The set from Connor Murphy is quite the most dramatic element with a central bar that raises and lowers to dissect the stage, a back wall of panels to add interest and all effectively lit by Lee Curran. On one side of the stage the dancers, dressed in black mimed out the play in gestures drained of emotion and, for reasons not explained, in reverse order. On the other side the witches, a rather benign troupe of wickers did little to evoke the ‘supernatural psychological disturbances’ promised in the programme notes. Their pale costumes with flayed streamers flowing behind added interest to the shapes but had little help from the movement which remained stubbornly pedestrian.
Thankfully the evening closes on Itzik Galili’s, A Linha Curva: fun with fiendishly clever underpinnings. It opens on a blast and closes on a giggle and in between the pace never flags. Percossa, a raft of four multi-skilled musicians hover on a platform while below the dancers cavort with wild enthusiasm. The lighting has its own agenda, dancing to the Brazilian beat and picking out the movement in psychedelic hues. The dancers absorbing the brightness of the colours and the warmth in the music move with incredible coordination formidable fluidity. This is a work that glows with the feel good factor and is quite the best finish to the evening.