Choreographers: Micaela Taylor/ Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar
Will Killer Pig ever get old? Sharon Eyal’s sharp pulsating dance from 2009 is a feat of endurance as much as it is a dance and feels as fresh as ever. It’s a heady mixture of rave and ballet and is by far the better piece in Rambert2’s double bill currently at Sadler’s Wells.
It begins, however with a new commission: Home by Micaela Taylor. Home, a voice over tells us, is a place of stress as much as it is place of safety, and Judy Luo on stage for most of the time appears like a woman trapped inside a house. Sometimes she’s free to dance alone; at other times her limbs are manipulated by other bodies that come through the neon-lit door. At one point a male dancer seems about to strike her.
Mixing ballet, contemporary and Gaga, a kind of dance vocabulary created by Ohad Naharin, Home is danced to the sound of scratchy records, alarms and modern jazz. Sometimes the sound design stops completely, and the only noises audible are the dancers’ breaths. But overall the piece lacks tension and intention. The narrative is obscure and the dance lacks drive.
Thankfully, the momentum in Killer Pig never stalls. Indeed, at times, it is nothing else but momentum and this raw response to Ori Lichtik’s unremitting music is thrilling. Mainly moving as one, eight dancers jerk and pulse to the relentless beat. Occasionally one or two break from the group to perform more traditional ballet steps in the guise of jetés or forms of arabesque where the dancer turns behind to lift up their own leg.
In an early section, dancers spend so much time walking on their toes that their muscles must be screaming. When they walk like a pack away from the audience their calves stick out, tight and solid. Kevin A. Jones’s light design ensures that the dancers are always visible on the dark empty stage. Sometimes they stand in lights that come in from the side, as if a club dance floor is only metres away. The ivory-coloured underwear, designed by Odelia Arnold and others, highlights the physicality of the dancers who contract their shoulders in an endless rhythm.
When the curtain falls, the dancers are still dancing. Perhaps they’re still dancing now.
Runs until 13 November 2021