Sadler’s Wells, London
November 4, 2019
The company may have a ‘2’ in the title but there is no denying the first-rate quality of the dancers fuelled by the passion and energy of youth. This triple bill was something of a roller-coaster with highs and lows, but it closed on a definite high with Andrea Miller’s new creation Sama.
Dressed in vibrant orange, the work blends shades of the orient, a tribal throb, lights that scream ‘look at me’ and dance that goes off the Richter scale. There is a good measure of circus with scary lifts, tumbling and walking on stilts and a climax that rivals the dance to the death of Rite of Spring. The dancers seemed to have a supply of reserve energy that kept both the quality and spirit while also finding space for solo spots where they could find depth in more expressive moments.
Jermaine Maurice Spivey made his choreographic debut with Terms and Conditions. “If I could say it – I wouldn’t have to dance it!” I can’t remember who said this, but it’s true that dance and words each have their own sphere of expression and melding the two is a fine art. Spivey struggles with this aspect as, after an initial strong opening, the words lose impact and seem superfluous. Thankfully on the call of ‘Let’s play’ the company get down to some serious dance and Spivey is back on form for a while, but then loses it on a tortuously long ending. The curtain falling brings a sigh of relief. The concept of belonging and isolation, indicated in the programme notes, remains elusive in the murky lighting.
Sin by Damien Jalet and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, draws material from their award-winning Babel, in a celebration of the beauty of bodies in harmony. Prince Lyons and Minouche Van de Ven, two exceptional artists, made light of the technicalities and brought soul and depth to the movement. As the relationship moved through layers of passion and ruptures, the dancers held the audience in the blazing honesty of their interpretation.
The twelve dancers in Rambert2 have only a one-year contract but what they will gain from this experience, working with a range of new choreographers and getting plenty of performances, gives a priceless career boost.