Choreographer: Benoit Swan Pouffer, Rafael Bonachela, Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar
Reviewer: Dominic Corr
Eight hundred hopefuls from across the globe applied to the fresh, younger sibling of the long-established Rambert. This sister corporation – Rambert2, would accept a mere thirteen of the exceptional dancers. Focusing on this new talent, Rambert2 showcases their abilities to shape the future of movement with a triple bill of original dance pieces.
A convulsing mass of flesh, Grey Matter draws us inwards to ourselves. Largely a group composition, the swaying of cells and bulk works in tandem with the music of GAIKA. It’s a vivid soundtrack, matching with the involuntary muscular twitches from dancers. Choreographed by artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer the movement shows the considerable talent of the dancers serving as a unit. The shifting cellular patterns, somehow working as one body – yet each an induvial performer.
There is not a toe out of line, no comment can be remarked to the quality of the choreography outside of its exceptionally high standard. This is why Rambert is among the best. They possess an ability to work as one erupting nebulous of thought throughout Grey Matter, yet it’s not difficult to get to grips with each individuals way of movement – who has grander curvature, tighter shoulder pops or exaggerated expression.
Remnants of a traditional form of movement remain, laced into small fluid steps located in all three of the performances, though notably in the finale. Rambert2 above other creations from the company has youth at the forefront of its intention. With this in mind, it’s the second piece named after a previous dancers postcode which looks to the contentious trials of the future.
Dystopian aggression, a building resentment which combusts onstage is at the heart of E2 7SD, the shortest of the triple bill. Length aside it has the prospect of being a powerful piece, losing this ability in its sound sculpture. Conor Kerrigan and Aishwarya Raut manage to communicate with the audience well, their bodies snapping into one another in a volatile movement, building slowly upon one another. The rhythm is not at fault, lines are attempted above the already heavy beats of the score as they become drowned out, losing focus. The overlaying sound work seeks to enhance but draws attention away from the dance.
Killer Pig is what Rambert2 has been building up to this evening. Choreographers Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar achieve a hypnotic form of physicality within their performers. To make the dance feel inhuman, pumping chests with dancers on demi-pointe. How limbs pulse and dislodge in synchronised perfection is mesmeric, the entire routine feels unnatural, but this is the desired effect. Their recognisable dance forms, as previously stated, several in the form of cabaret. Gnarling fingers contort the once majestic ballet swan, technically it is the superior of the three.
While an extreme piece, with every dancer bringing an unnervingly grisly performance element, the endurance works both ways. With dancers visibly draining from the experience – the audience finding themselves tiring of Killer Pig’s multiple false climaxes.
Rambert is the envy of others in its field, though Rambert2 has an odd sense of pacing. For a generally short production, it feels drawn out. Taking aim at the future of the movement, the harshness of the dance is strikingly bold, Killer Pig, in particular, an amalgamed swaying of disturbing, yet enticing visuals. If this is where the sister company of Rambert is heading, it is succeeding in latching our curiosity.
Reviewed on 24 May 2019 | Image: Foteini Christophilopoulou