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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 9:32 pm 
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Bravo Stuart for the posting re Debra Craine's review of Visions Fugitive. For me an excellent piece beautifully performed and life is sometimes dark! Interesting to read the interval comments -much in tune with those I heard around me when we went on Tuesday - which go to prove Rambert have yet again given us a wide ranging, thought provoking program . I have watched Ghost Dances many times and it is still as strong for me - I still find it chilling and leave glad that I live within the political freeedom we have. Miranda Lind's defiance and strength was mesmerising to watch. I have greatly enjoyed watching the evolution of Rafael's choreography and look forward to seeing more of his works.


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2003 3:05 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Spinning around Kylie
Luke Jennings reviews Rambert Dance Co at Sadler's Wells for The Daily Telegraph

Kylie Minogue is not a figure one would immediately associate with modern dance, but she has been drawn into the sphere - or at least her voice, image and spirit have - by Rambert dancer and associate choreographer Rafael Bonachela.

After creating several dance routines for Minogue's touring show, he has choreographed a piece for Rambert entitled 21, which sets out to examine the nature of celebrity as personified by the pop star and former soap actress.

The Kylie image appears in the second of the three seven-minute sections into which the work is divided. A gauze screen is lowered on to which she is projected, towering over the dancers as she muses with Olympian detachment on the nature of her fame. Sometimes she hovers horizontally over their heads, gazing down like a sleepy-eyed, bubblegum Aphrodite.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 12:20 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Sunday Times.

Quote:
Rambert Dance Company’s programme at Sadler’s Wells last week included two London premieres: one fascinating, the other plain baffling. The latter is titled 21, because it is in three seven-minute sections, and is by Rafael Bonachela, a versatile dancer who has recently been appointed Rambert’s associate choreographer.
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And from The Observer.

Quote:
Bonachela took time off from Rambert in order to choreograph Minogue's Fever tour last year. In return, she has contributed her video image for 21, floating over the dancers like an animated billboard. While they strut and fret below, her girlie voice wonders: 'Am I you in the shape of me?'

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<small>[ 27 May 2003, 06:19 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 9:15 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Some random thoughts looking back over the week at Sadler’s Wells.

As “Ghost Dances” was one of the works on the programme, I was there two nights and with some colleagues from my local Amnesty International Group, we raised £200 for the organisation. Both Rambert and Sadler’s Wells were helpful as always and a number of people came and spoke to us about human rights at our information table in the intervals. This work is as powerful as ever and perhaps more so, as human rights is much more centre-stage now. The cast did it proud and Miranda Lind, as the pivotal figure of the Woman in Red, was exceptional, as she was in all of the pieces performed. She will be leaving Rambert soon and I have to say I will really miss her movement quality and expression.

“Visions Fugitives” is a good addition to the rep with an excellent score by Prokofiev, so much better then the same composer’s “Trapeze” performed here recently by ENB. The movement is inventive and varied and the mood goes from romantic to playful to dark tragedy at the end. This latter proved too much for some of the critics, despite the fact that van Manen was picking up on the mood of the music in the final sections.

“21” was inevitably the most controversial piece, sharply dividing opinion. To be clear, it cannot be seen as an audience pleasing pop ballet, as the movement and score are mainstream modern dance. The plusses for the work include a terrific opening passage for three dancers in spiky, off-balance moves. Bonachela makes the dancers look very good throughout, with Amy Hollingsworth articulating the steps brilliantly. Also eye-catching was the high-resolution video of Kylie Minogue in the central section. Less successful for me were the larger ensemble sections, which were not as sharp as the initial trio and image overload at times, especially in the central section with dancers, video and large shadows all claiming our attention. Most significantly, the tie-up between the images of Kylie and the dancers eluded me, as did the connection with fame and idol worship. Perhaps it will be clearer when I see it again.

The audience figures were great for Rambert at Sadler’s Wells, which is particularly good at a time when theatres generally in London are struggling – perhaps contemporary dance has really broken through at last? As always with this Company there were a large number of school students in the audience and their enthusiasm at the end of the works is great to behold. Sometimes it bubbles up at the wrong times, but this development work is a crucial way to ensure the future of dance.

<small>[ 25 May 2003, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 11:43 am 
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Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
WOW! :eek: That's all i could say after watching 'Ghost Dances' at Sadler's Wells last night. i have watched the video of the dance several times so i thought that i would just enjoy seeing it live and nothing more, but i never realised that the combination of live dance and wonderfully played live music would have such a great impact on me, i was almost brought to tears it was so good!
i would also like to say well done to Mr Bonachela, i was also very impressed with '21', i wasn't really sure what to expect, but i was amazed at the sheer speed and style of the movements, i didn't think it was possible to move that fast!
'Visions Fugitives' was also a joy to watch, i liked the idea of 15 'mini dances' all linked together.
also, meeting and getting the autograph of Christopher Bruce, a man who i have been obsessed with since the start of the year as i've been studying him and his works for my AS level course, was a highlight too! i felt humbled and honoured to be talking to the man who has made dance a part of my life ever since i first saw a video of 'Rooster'.
it was clear that the dancers had put in an enourmous amount of practice and commitment into the show, their elastic bodies moving with the greatest of ease through three difficult works.
last night was the first time i had ever been to see the Rambert Dance Company, and it certainly won't be the last!

<small>[ 25 May 2003, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: Alex R ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2003 5:00 am 
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Pop goes Rambert
By Kelly Apter for The Scotsman

What do Madonna, Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue and Donna Karan have in common? Well, apart from rather sizeable bank balances, they’re all linked to Rambert Dance Company. It’s not often that contemporary dance enters the realm of celebrity, but a new artistic director at the Rambert helm could well provide the model for the future. Mark Baldwin took over the reigns from Christopher Bruce last autumn, and audiences are now catching a glimpse of the company’s new direction.

Last week’s London show featured seasoned works by Hans van Manen and Bruce, alongside 21, an in-your-face look at the cult of celebrity by Rafael Bonachela. Having choreographed Kylie’s Fever tour in 2002, Bonachela asked her to return the favour by appearing in his new creation for Rambert. Kylie agreed and audiences heard her vocal accompaniment to Benjamin Wallfisch’s score, while her diminutive figure danced on a video backdrop.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 10:31 pm 
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Rambert Dance Company, Sadler's Wells, London
By Nadine Meisner for The Independent

The title of Rafael Bonachela's 21 for Rambert Dance Company apparently comes from its musical structure: three seven-minute sections, with replications of those numbers in the composition's fine detail as well. Is that all? It seems hardly impressive, to choose a title with such throwaway arbitrariness, especially when your piece has been trumpeted as including elaborate film effects, a theme concerned with the modern phenomenon of celebrity and the participation of popster Kylie Minogue.

Ah, Kylie. A while back, Bonachela (recently appointed Rambert's associate choreographer) received an unexpected invitation to choreograph for her. He became acquainted with William Baker and Alan Macdonald, the creative team behind Kylie's Fever tour and now responsible for the 21's staging.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 2:03 am 
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Adult Toys
Karole Armitage choreographed Madonna's Vogue video and is bringing a raw, energetic world premiere to Glasgow. Ellie Carr for The Sunday Herald meets an old punk ballerina who's still young at heart.


YOU may not know the name Karole Armitage. But if you're a fan of vintage Madonna, before the star embraced motherhood and brunette hair, you'll know Armitage's work.

The former 'punk ballerina' of New York -- who hung with hip artists David Salle and Jeff Koons and inspired young British punk dance icon Michael Clark -- was the choreographer behind Madge's camp-era video for Vogue and the Madonna World Tour 1990. Looking for suitable blokey dancers for the tour, Armitage and Madonna advertised for: 'Fierce male dancers who know the meaning of Troop Style, Beat Boy and Vogue. Wimps and Wanna-Be's [sic] need not apply!'

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 7:15 am 
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Simply walking on air
Mark Baldwin is raising the curtain on a new era at Rambert Dance, reports MARY BRENNAN for The Herald

MARK Baldwin is one of those dance-makers who talks with as much panache as he choreographs. But even he is slightly at a loss for words to describe what it's like to be in charge of one of Britain's foremost companies, Rambert Dance.

"Let's say - exhilarating and panic-making both at the same time" is his cheerful conclusion. "For every tiny triumph, there's something that falls through - so it's a learning curve, a pretty huge one, and I'm quite humbled by it actually. But . . ."

But it's clear the task ahead could be Everest without crampons, and Baldwin would still be thrilled by the challenge and responsibility of taking this long-established company forward in the 21st century.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 1:06 am 
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Review from The Scotsman.

Quote:
IN AN unpredictable world, it’s nice to know that one thing can always be relied upon: quality control at the Rambert Dance Company.

Artistic directors and choreographers may come and go, but the dancing is never less than excellent. Which makes programming slightly less arduous - even if the works don’t hit the spot, we’ll enjoy watching them try.

As ever, the line-up was eclectic: two Christopher Bruce crowd-pleasers, a sensuous Jiri Kylian duet and a world premiere from New Yorker Karole Armitage.
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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:29 pm 
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Rambert Dance Company
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian


Mark Baldwin's promise that, as new director of Rambert, he would revitalise the music, as well as the dance repertory, has been kept by his very first company commission. Living Toys is set to the 1993 score in which Thomas Adès sealed his reputation as a unique conjuror of sound magic. Even without its title as a clue, you'd hear the stuff of a Hoffmannesque nursery tale in this score's astonishing instrumentation, its clamour of shrieks and flutters, its thin dreams and dark nightmares.

The only drawback to the work's richness is that choreographer Karole Armitage has a tough challenge making her mark on it. During the first half she and her designer Peter Speliopoulos almost rise to it, particularly since it takes that long to get accustomed to the sinister half-human appearance of its 22 dancers.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:54 pm 
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Rambert Dance Company
By Allen Robertson for The Times


NEVER one to do things by half measures, the American choreographer Karole Armitage has put all 22 of Rambert’s dancers into Living Toys, which had its premiere at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, the final stop on the company’s UK spring tour. She has created a work that both pushes and plays to the dancers’ strengths. There is no explicit narrative, but there is plenty of demandingly sleek and challengingly articulate dancing.

After starting her performance career with the Geneva Ballet, Armitage went on to dance with Merce Cunningham’s modern troupe (1976-80) before founding her own company. The Cunningham connection underpins the structure of Living Toys, particularly in the masterful ways she scatters and disperses dancers across the stage in brief but fulsome incidents of densely charged movement.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:39 am 
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Hans van Manen's "Visions Fugitives" has pleased a lot of people as Rambert have toured the work for the first time. Here is an interview with one of the original performers:

<big>Brigitte Martin, original "Visions Fugitives" dancer, repetiteur, and former NDT dancer.</big>

Interviewed by Jules Houben




Even as I stand outside Brigitte Martin’s door, I’m still not sure how I am going to have a conversation about a ballet that I have never seen. When I step into the sunlit living room, her little son starts talking to me in fluent French. In my ‘best’ French, I tell him that my name is Jules, but of course the computer game is far more interesting. Eventually, sitting on the couch in the home of the former Nederlands Dans Theater dancer, I get an animated conversation about her life, about NDT, and about the creation of a new ballet.



What can you tell me about the creation of "Visions Fugitives"?


‘I remember that when the rehearsals began for "Visions Fugitives", there was a certain lift that just would not work for my dance partner at that time. Eventually, Jean-Louis Cabane took over. That sort of thing is never pleasant, and happens rarely, but it is an enormous disappointment for the dancer in question. In the end, everyone understands that it is the final result which counts. "Visions" was a ballet that grew out of a lot of interaction between Hans van Manen and the dancers. Choreographers are people who spend 24 hours a day brainstorming, while dancers only kick ideas around during the rehearsals. Sometimes nice things come out of it which are then used, but also other things which don’t quite fit in that ballet. In an earlier Hans van Manen ballet, "Two", I suddenly noticed how differently he hears the music to me. Whilst I listen to the principal melody, Hans hears all the underlying melodies, and those are the ones he uses to guide the development of the choreography. It takes some time to learn how to hear those as well. That is not really the case with "Visions", but it is not absolutely on the melody, either. "Visions Fugitives" consists of fifteen short pieces of music, to which various pas de deux are set. This makes for a real mixture of styles and different atmospheres. It is a typical Hans van Manen ballet.’

What is Van Manen’s signature?

‘It is pure dance, abstract, with a clear dance language. A language which is easy to read, and which tells an almost obvious story. His ballets often have irony in them, and simplicity. You always see plenty of arabesques in his ballets. Visions is definitely a ballet from that particular period of Hans, when he didn’t have to make a big masterpiece. Whereas, in the past, he could come over as controversial and sometimes even shocking, this ballet is drenched in an ironic sauce. Although the end of "Visions Fugitives" is dramatic, to say the least. I remember seeing a Van Manen ballet for the first time and thinking that all the female dancers had so much ‘attitude’. I couldn’t see myself as a ‘bitch’ at all’, says Brigitte. ‘Of course you can use certain facial expressions to portray it, if the choreographer asks for it. Then, if you see in the end that the ‘bitch’ is there, it is a sort of personal triumph. Luckily, Hans van Manen normally chooses to use the emotions that fit you the best.

This also points to the difference between Hans van Manen and Jiří Kylián. Hans is very direct, while Jiří Kylián is much more complex – as a person, but also as a choreographer. It isn’t that one is better than the other. Hans van Manen is more direct, but that can also be more painful.’

Did you prefer taking part in an existing ballet or a new one?

‘It is always more fun to be part of a new ballet. Then you feel like the choreographer’s muse. It’s fantastic to feel the excitement and euphoria when things go well, or when something beautiful is created. As a group, you look forward to the première with great intensity. Waiting for the reviews. However much you want to shut yourself off from what the press writes, it still gets to you. Especially if they write bad things about you. Once, on tour in the United States, we were labelled ‘eurotrash’, and that was hard to swallow. I remember Jiří Kylián coming to us and saying ‘Let them write what they like; we know better’. At moments like that it’s important that the choreographer is behind his group. And that’s how it was!’

Is it difficult to watch "Visions Fugitives" again, with another dancer in your role?

‘Yes and no. Of course you look at a ballet differently if you were there at its creation. Sometimes you sit in the audience and think ‘hey, these dancers are actually doing a better job of it than I did, back then’. But usually it’s a trip down memory lane, and in my mind I’m reliving my own première. And especially now that I’m so closely connected with NDT as repetiteur and know the dancers so well, I find it really special to watch somebody performing it well. I try to stimulate the dancers to put something of themselves into it. Copying what someone else did is never good; you must make it your own.’

You have been repetiteur with NDT now for four years and are busy with dance every day. Don’t you ever hear the call of the stage again?

Yes, I do, but when I made my decision to end my dancing career, it was definite. That’s not to say that it wasn’t very difficult. I always intended to stop at the high point in my career, and I seem to have stuck to that. I celebrated that farewell consciously, on stage with "Bella Figura". You know as a dancer that your chosen career is a short and painful one. That’s why I applaud the concept behind NDT III, but my future does not lie there.’

How did you find a balance between motherhood and dancing?

‘Actually, it is a natural process. Don’t forget that, at that moment, dance was just as important to me as my children. Dance is my life and my calling and you cannot just put it aside. You try to structure your life as much as possible, but it is not always easy. Once I went on tour for a few weeks and comforted myself at the airport with the thought that I had arranged everything well at home and could leave with an easy mind. When I arrived at my destination, I found my son’s dummy in my bag. It broke my heart. I didn’t feel a bad mother, but I did have the feeling that I had failed somehow. Now I am a repetiteur there is a bit more structure in my life, but it remains important to weigh things against each other.’

Now you have been involved with NDT for so long, what do you think is the biggest difference between then and now?

‘There is much more pressure now. It is difficult to safeguard that quality and hold on to it. You have to keep building up the company. You mustn’t think that it is all plain sailing, and that brings extra pressure with it. You feel it as a choreographer, but also as a dancer. There used to be less of that. But it is also a challenge and it still feels good to be a part of that challenge. Things change, and that is as it should be. You can’t wait around for a second Jiří Kylián or Hans van Manen – they’ll come by themselves, and anyway, they’re probably very close by. You mustn’t forget that nobody knew beforehand that they would turn out to be the celebrities that they are now. It used to be the choreographer who was the star of a dance company, and he or she made the dancers into stars, too. Perhaps that has changed a bit in recent years. As a dance company, it is important for us to be open to these developments. Sometimes there are great things right in front of your nose, sometimes you bring them from far away.

*******************************

This interview first appeared on the NDT website.

<small>[ 03 June 2003, 10:34 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 12:02 am 
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Living Toys
By John Percival for The Independent

What a relief it is, after the negligible dances and silly videos of Rambert Dance Company's last premier, to see a creation where it is the music and choreography that matter, and both are entirely successful.

The title Living Toys is taken from the score, one of Thomas Adès's first successes, written the best part of a decade ago, when he was in his early twenties. This is not easy music to play, requiring virtuoso solos from 14 instrumentalists. Luckily, Rambert's orchestra, London Musici, is up to it, and luckily, too, the music, full of contrasted and unusual effects, makes an immediate appeal to its audience. I cannot improve on the assessment by the music's director, Paul Hoskins: that the listener experiences "a huge range of sounds, in turn disturbing, consoling, haunting, beautiful and surreal''.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2003 12:15 am 
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Splits Personalities
By Ellie Carr for Scotland on Sunday


On the cover of Rambert Dance Company's Spring Tour programme there's a spectacular photograph of a company dancer -- leg ratcheted up beyond 180 degrees; body at near vertical. The caption, a quote from a recent review, reads: 'They look ready for anything'.
In this quadruple-decker bill from new director Mark Baldwin, these 22 awesome performers look ready and willing to tackle anything a 21st century choreographer might throw at them.

Perhaps wisely, Baldwin plays safe by opening and closing the evening with two works by the company's former choreographer-director Christopher Bruce -- Hurricane and Ghost Dances -- that have proved Rambert classics in the past.

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