Review: Rambert Dance is exhilarating, entertaining and thought provoking

Three very different dance pieces include performances of Eye Candy, Cerberus, and Following the Subtle Current Upstream

The respected dance company Rambert is at The Lowry, Salford this week with three enthralling contemporary dances, which are all very different to each other. 

The presentation introduces performances of Eye Candy, Cerberus, and Following the Subtle Current Upstream.

Eye Candy is choreographed by Imre van Opstal and Marne van Opstal, who through the movements of eight dancers depict a warning of how destructive today’s beauty standards are. 

The movement is versatile and diverse, one moment bodies move like fluid and the next they are jarring and harsh.

Photo © Camilla Greenwell

One dancer is carried onto stage and is almost unrecognisable as a human – in a silicon suit and with rigid movement, she effectively looks like a life size Barbie doll.

The dancers around her prod and poke at her until suddenly, she snaps. 

This is a brilliant physical display of the unattainable beauty standards people are held to today.

The costumes for this piece are silicon suits that provide the look of being nude, while the dancers are fully covered.

Interestingly, it could be interpreted that because the large chested suits on the women and the buff, muscular suits worn by the men are obviously costumes and not real bodies, it could imply the falseness of social media and the way people present themselves behind their screens. 

Eye Candy lasts approximately 25 minutes, and due to the impression of nudity and the themes of body image, it is recommended to audiences aged 15+.

Photo © Camilla Greenwell

Cerberus takes place following Eye Candy, after a twenty-minute interval.

Choreographed by Ben Duke, and the newest routine of the three on display, Cerberus premiered in Hall for Cornwall just a couple of weeks ago on 13th May.

It is a complete switch-up from the previous piece, as it is what can be described as a play performance with dance and music.

Based on the Greek mythology of the guard dog of the underworld, this piece is set at the funeral of one of the theatre technician’s friends. 

The ensemble is made up of seventeen dancers, each wearing dark coloured clothing to clearly indicate the setting of a funeral, as well as death itself.

Photo © Camilla Greenwell

The dialogue is cleverly comical, Romarna Campbell keeps a wonderful tempo with the percussion on stage and Rebecca Leggett and George Robinson deliver the emotive Romanian folk song Lamento Della Ninfa as the funeral song. 

The performance is a representation of the inevitable journey of birth to death, with life occurring in the middle.

Beneficially, an introduction to the meaning of Cerberus is explained to the audience before it begins, setting the scene for the mild depictions of death and comical tone.

This dance lasts about 30 minutes and is followed by a brief five-minute pause to allow for a set change.

Photo © Camilla Greenwell

Following the Subtle Current Upstream is the third and final dance of the evening’s performance.

Alonzo King choreographs and provides the uplifting message of how to find joy, which often means seeking out your roots. 

The costumes are efficient, made from the colours of greens, greys, and gold, which depict the idea of nature and belonging to it.

Solos, pairs, and trios enter the stage at various points and perform different styles of dance, which beautifully shows off the range and versatility of the talented dancers, while on their search for joy. 

Photo © Camilla Greenwell

The technical skill of dance is phenomenal, the professionals make the elaborate grand jetés look completely effortless.

This performance lasts approximately 25 minutes.

Overall, Rambert Dance provides excellent performances without tying up too much of your evening. The show lasts approximately 115 minutes including the interval and brief pause, which makes it a wonderful activity to do on a weeknight.

Rambert Dance is performing at The Lowry, Salford until Friday 27th May 2022. Tickets start at £18 and can be purchased here.  


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