Rambert2 - Double Bill, Norwich Playhouse review

Rambert2 dancers in Micaela Taylor’s Home.

Rambert2 dancers in Micaela Taylor’s Home. - Credit: Deborah Jaffe

Two striking pieces that successfully showcase the talent of some of the best young dancers make up this double-bill from Rambert.

The opening 10-part ensemble piece Home has a minimal set – a doorway, a carpet, a lamp – that evokes a domestic setting, although the movements that ensue in this new commission from Micaela Taylor are anything but comfy.

This is angular, aggressive, undead even – with hints of Michael Jackson’s Thriller as we hurtle towards Halloween – and unfailingly synchronised, with a soundtrack mostly compromised of spoken word loops and periods of unsettling silence.

It’s perhaps invidious to pick out an individual in such a group piece, but Seren Williams commands focus throughout and gives a dense, stellar performance. The detail and movement packed into the half-hour is phenomenal.

Rambert2 Dancers in Sharon Eyal's Killer Pig.

Rambert2 Dancers in Sharon Eyal's Killer Pig. - Credit: Deborah Jaffe

Sharon Eyal’s Killer Pig is less cohesive, despite sharing an opening group huddle. While neither piece has a traditional narrative, the second too often resets abruptly – including its rather awkward curtain-close ending - making its 45 minutes a more testing watch.

It is also slightly less well-executed, with occasional signs of difficulty holding positions and less coordination through the corps, with the bare stage and minimal costumes giving nowhere to hide.

These exhibition pieces often seem more chosen to demonstrate the breadth and skill of the dancers than because of their inherent strengths. I’d prefer to see more, shorter, stronger pieces – perhaps even something without an atonal score - but there is no escaping the excellence of the talent on stage.

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Rambert2 – Double Bill finishes at Norwich Playhouse on October 21.

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