Rambert on top form as Draw from Within takes to the stage

Sadler’s Wells, London
June 2, 2021.

Rambert dancers bounced back on stage at Sadler’s Wells as though they had never been away. The live version of Wim Vandekeybus’ Draw from Within, that was streamed over the lockdown, is very much alive with 80 minutes of high energy dance to pounding music and a kaleidoscope of ideas that will leave you reeling.

The ebullient Daniel Davidson, as confident as MC as on the dance floor, opens with some neat moves in partnership with Juan Gill on a stage littered with screens where the partial lighting, augmented by lighted matches creates tension and edge to match the camera’s roving eye, that worked so well in livestream. Other scenes the manic partying and the brilliantly choreographed episode with taut bands of elastic dissecting the stage, offered the advantage of seeing full-blooded dance so exposed, lost its tightness without the sharp focus of camera angles.

There are the dark moments, the bodies strung up on huge sinister hooks. In the neatly constructed sterile corridors of the clinic, an apprehensive Kym Sojourna is stripped to her underwear but later given a glamourous gown to rejoin the party. Roles mix and match like a reality game of charades where everyone has an opportunity to shine. The clever theatrics of the birth of the man-size baby, accompanied by very convincing screams and a perfect media storm before the precocious creature turns Oedipus and kills his father. All the while the side-show of a switchboard operator with attitude and accent adds yet more distraction.

But at the heart of the evening is exhilarating, amazing dance. The company are in top form buoyed up by the thrill of performing for a live audience. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Draw from Within is at Sadler’s Wells to June 5. Visit www.sadlerswells.com for details.