Sunday, 21 May 2017

REVIEW: Bruce's Ghost Dances returns after 14 years to Rambert triple bill

Sat 20 May
Sadler's Wells
Aletta Collins - The days run away like wild horses
Didy Veldman - The 3 Dancers
Christopher Bruce - Ghost Dances

Rambert's triple bill promises the triumphant return of Ghost Dances, one of the company's most requested works, and triumphant it is. 

The evening features the premiere of Aletta Collins's The days run away like wild horses, which takes inspiration from 80's Oscar-winning director Zbigniew Rybczynski's animated film Tango. Interlacing repeating mundane snapshots of life, Collin's protagonist sitting in her house becomes crowded by her memories- a boy retrieving a lost football, a woman smacking her head mid-romp, a bored school girl doing homework. Designer Katrina Lindsay's colourful staging and vibrant costuming is reminiscent of some of Matthew Bourne's bright productions.

Ghost Dances is showing in Salford, Southampton, Norwich, Bath and Bradford in the upcoming months. See more here.

Didy Veldman's The 3 Dancers draws upon Picasso's painting The Three Dancers. Veldman ties cubism, love and pain into dance, with it's geometric set design and sharp, clean lines. The dancers knot their hands and arms, creating images of lusty and intertwined relations.

Finally, Bruce's moving Ghost Dances doesn't disappoint. It's known that Bruce handles socio-political issues with sharp precision. So, the revival of Bruce's protest to Pinochet's brutal regime in Chile and the systematic persecution of around 35000 civilians still feels relevant today. 

From the outset, the trio of masked ghouls, who stalk and glide, landing silently out of their muscular jumps, contrasts eerily to the folksy playfulness of the dead. Every tender duet, spirited antics of ordinary people and moments of yearning are interrupted by the slinking ghouls. Nicholas Mojsiejenko's haunting arrangement of traditional Andean folk music drifts off, replaced by the desolate sound of wind, as the ghouls lift their victims from the ground.

Having established himself as a politically vocal choreographer in the early 70s, Bruce's works are excellent examples of how art- and specifically dance- can and should, challenge politics. 

Maya Pindar

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