Mixed Bill (What Wild Ecstasy) – Rambert Dance Company: Sadler’s Wells, 15 May 2012

Oh bee-hive yourself

His come-to-bed eyes always knocked the ladies out for six. Rambert Dance Company indulge in some Wild Ecstasy. Photo by Eric Richmond

With three giant wasps dangling from the roof it was immediately clear that the London premiere of What Wild Ecstasy, Mark Baldwin’s luminous response to L’Après-midi d’un faune, was not going to be your run-of-the-mill contemporary drudge-fest. Bedecked in funky headgear, hot-hued waistcoats and tight-tight shorts the Rambert dancers buzzed around to Gavin Higgins’ caustic score, initially to no great effect. However, a tenderly sensitive series of languidly erotic duets spliced up the affair and saved it from overwhelming garishness. Then everyone sat down in a circle and the wasps let loose a barrage of pollen/eggs/poo which left the stage in the semblance of a sunflower. Not a wholly successful work but certainly one not easily ignored.

The revival of Rambert’s L’Après-midi d’un faune, based directly on Nijinsky’s headline-grabbing original, sadly looked a little stylistically dated with its flat-handed hieroglyphics. If the erotic shockwaves of its 1911 context are difficult to reproduce now there was at least a superb central performance from Dane Hurst as The Faun. He was the essence of nervous control and lustful vigour, although his actual copulation technique could do with some refining.

Siobhan Davies’ excellent, if overlong, The Art of Touch, was magnificently performed. It’s full of inventive choreography, including some quite extraordinary strobing jabs from Pieter Symonds and Gemma Nixon, and concludes with an imaginative evolutionary line-up.

It was, however, the UK premiere of Itzik Galili’s Sub, an extended sequence of mostly ensemble set-pieces for seven stripped-to-the-waist male dancers, that took the laurels for the evening. With a deft sprinkling of swooping capoeira kicks it demonstrated the elegant strength and poise of the Rambert men in a display full of rock-solid dancing.

Gerard Davis

This entry was posted in Itzik Galili, Mark Baldwin, Rambert Dance Company, Sadler's Wells, Siobhan Davies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Mixed Bill (What Wild Ecstasy) – Rambert Dance Company: Sadler’s Wells, 15 May 2012

  1. Pauline Orford-Wright- says:

    Seeing the performance last night Sub at Sadlers Wells one amazing piece loved it and was opened mouth at dancers the strength skill.Truly a must to see.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s