Rambert Dance Company, burst onto the stage for a short stay at the Theatre Royal Bath with a mixed programme of contemporary dance including a piece choreographed by the legendary Merce Cunningham.
Opening with Labyrinth of Love choreographed by Marguerite Donlon with some stunning imagery from the visual artist Matt Collishaw, the piece was a response to a selection of poetry and prose. The dance narrated by the soprano Kirsty Hopkins is a journey through life and its associated emotions, the dancers swiftly change from interpreting the words to using the dynamics of the music to guide their way. Set and costume Connor Murphy and lighting Charles Balfour make this a most engaging piece on all levels, in particular the effective use of the raised area and the rhythmic work which punctuates the score creates a thought provoking and engaging piece.
Merce Cunningham’s Sounddance with music by David Tudor is as expected a study of nature, creating life from nothing and returning to the same emptiness. Accompanied by an entirely percussive score the dynamics of the dance mixing erratic speed with a much slower pace creates a golden world of shapes and forms that is quite mesmerising.
Elysian Fields, by far the most accessible item on the programme, is inspired by the work of Tennessee Williams. Choreographed by Javier De Frutos with music composed by Alex Norththe cyclical nature of the dance alongside the repeated fragment of script is both powerful and compelling; the packed house reflects the place that this company has in the world of contemporary dance and the skill of the dancers can never be underestimated.