Rambert brings three very different performances this season to The Festival Theatre Edinburgh with one, “Goat”, having its premiere on stage tonight. There is always an element of the unexpected to any Rambert show as the company always has a programme that delivers classic contemporary dance that will appeal to everyone while constantly pushing the boundaries of what dance can do in other performances that, depending on your own personal tastes, will be a hit or not with you. Tonight was no exception to that combination of always taking their audience on a journey in dance, rhythm and music.
In order of appearance tonight
A Linha Curva
Choreography, lighting and costumes: Itzik Galili
Staging: Mikaela Polley
This is Rambert in party mode as 28 performers fill the stage in a carnival of samba fuelled dance backed with an impressive trio of live percussionists, and some of the most innovative lighting I have seen in a long time on-stage. Everything here is crucial to the overall impact of this piece and the rhythyms and lighting are just as much part of the dance as the dancers themselves.
A Linha Curva breathes the very exuberance of samba itself as girls and boys face off one another to strut their moves and show everyone around has what it takes to be the best of them all.
Choreography Andonis Foniadakis
Music llan Eshkeri
Costume design Tassos Sofroniou
Lighting design Sakis Birbilis
With a newly commissioned score by Ilan Eshkeri and the luxury of live musicians to play it, Symbiosis is a wonderful celebration of the fluidity, grace and sensuality that is a dancer’s body. Also integral to the look of this work are lighting, set and costume design. As with the previous work “A Linha Curva”, Rambert are combining visual and audio elements together here to not only highlight the dance choreography and the dancers, but using all the elements to produce a wonderful fluid celebration of dance itself.
Choreography Ben Duke
Design Tom Rogers
Lighting design Jackie Shemesh
Music - A selection of Nina Simone’s most popular songs, with music direction by Yshani Perinpanayagam. Vocals performed live on stage by jazz singer Nia Lynn.
Goat was receiving its premiere performance tonight at The Festival Theatre, and I really don’t want to give too much of this one away as it should be a surprise for the audience to experience new and first hand. Goat is a multi-media performance that explores the boundaries of where dance, theatrical performance, multi-media, jazz and vocals can co-exist together. With very good live jazz musicians and Nia Lynn (check out the “Points of View” album by Nia Lynn's Bannau Trio) and some of the unforgettable music of Nina Simone, this was a performance very different from the previous two. I think it fair to say that there will be no middle ground on this work – for good or bad though, you will have a very strong opinion about it. For my own personal tastes, I always like to see and hear collaborations by different artists, so I liked “Goat” a lot. Dance may be the very physical and visual representation of rhythm, but that same beat pulses through music, poetry and prose as well as being all around us in everything we hear and experience everyday in our lives without sometimes even noticing it. “Goat” is an unusual work, but raises some interesting questions as it draws divergent strands of performance art together.
Review by Tom King