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Review: Rambert at Newcastle Theatre Royal

The popular dance company return to Tyneside with a programme featuring the return of Christopher Brice's Rooster. Stewart Carr caught to the show

CHRIS NASH Scence from Subterrain, Rambert Dance Company
Scence from Subterrain, Rambert Dance Company

Raucous dancing with the sonic thrill of a live orchestra was the flavour of the evening as dance company Rambert returned to Newcastle.

This was a unique performance divided into three distinct parts, each with its own music, choreography and style.

From the opening of the darkly atmospheric ‘Subterrain’ the bar was set high, with six pairs of men and women sparring with each other for control across a shadowy stage.

The mood was one of thwarted desire, and the jarring violins and cellos of the orchestra added to the feeling of discord.

Rambert, which has dropped its ‘Ballet’ pre-fix, boasts a truly international team of dancers and their versatility in adapting to different styles was impressive. They alternated leads and partners with ease, and the overall flow and tightness was never lost.

A rockier edge followed in ‘Rooster’ with a soundtrack of eight hits by the legendary Rolling Stones. Dressed in jazzy suits and dresses, the style veered wildly into 60s pop culture much to the audience’s delight.

The chemistry on stage between the dancers was palpable and a with a body of songs including ‘Paint It Black’ and ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ it was hard not to be entertained.

Special mention goes out to Cuban dancer Miguel Altunega, who shone as the rock ‘n’ roll lead in this segment - a Rambert classic which hasn’t been seen for more than a decade.

The final dance segment was an ethnically-inspired performance, in an impoverished refugee-like setting, where dance was a creative outburst for all the frustrations and petty jealousies of living in poverty. With thumping Armenian folk music, it was easily the highlight of the show.


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