DanceNorth WestReview

Rambert: A Linha Curva plus other works- The Lowry, Salford

Music: Percossa, Daniel Bjarnason,Somei Satoh and Kate Whitley

Choreography: Itzik Galili, Alexander Whitley and Malgorzata Dzierzon

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham

Rambert’s new triple bill features an award winner, a premiere and a piece chosen for GCSE Dance. This last one may explain the vast number of terrifying teenagers crammed into The Lowry. But whatever the reason the teens certainly add to the raucous atmosphere of the closing dance A Linha Curva.

Flight, the title of the opening dance, brings to mind the promise of freedom yet Malgorzata Dzierzon’s choreography suggests that, in modern society, liberty has been replaced by disassociation. It is a restless dance; against gentle piano and violin the dancers seem to be constantly striving towards a goal that is never articulated and so cannot be satisfied.

Dance is not associated with constraint but that is the impression created by Flight. The dancers are compressed into tight spaces and growing numbers of them are compelled to repeat the same movements. One set of dancers in bright clothing gradually adopt the drab grey clothes of another creating a mood of assimilation as individuals from one culture are absorbed by another. Only in the closing sequence, a rapidly paced number in which the movements of the dancers are duplicated by their exaggerated shadows, is there a literal glimmer of hope.

Elements of everyday life that become oppressive arise in Frames. Against Daniel Bjarnason’s relentless driving score Alexander Whitley’s choreography uses simple flexible frames to simulate the pressures of the working day, competitive sports and even a dance studio. The frames taking flight at the conclusion evokes a sense of wonder and leaves the dancers free to finally express themselves.

The remarkable choreography bends the bodies of the dancers to reflect the shape of the Frames. The bodies twist into sharp angles as if the dancers have become so conditioned by their environment their individuality has been blunted making their final liberation all the more powerful.

Itzik Galili’s A Linha Curva is a straightforward expression of the pleasures of life. Affectionately mocking the ridiculous displays we make in our efforts to seduce. Guests from The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance join the core cast and create an awesome spectacle. The orchestra, set above the stage in plain view, belts out Percossa’s lively Cuban score.

A Linha Curva is not subtle and has no other objective than to get the audience in the mood for a party. The young audience is certainly willing clapping and stamping along from the start. Dressed in garish swimwear the unbelievably flexible dancers seem to be almost parodying efforts to portray dance as a ‘serious’ art form exaggeratingly waggling their arses and, at one point, spinning across the stage on skateboards. The conclusion, in which a dancer gets so carried away as to break ranks, is the perfect ending for this addictive joyride.

Runs until 30th September 2016

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