CriticalDance Forum

Rambert Spring Tour 2005, Does Einstein
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Author:  Patricia Somerset [ Wed May 25, 2005 6:30 am ]
Post subject:  Rambert at Sadler's 24th May

I enjoyed "Judgement of Paris" for its humour and its pathos. The dancers had the opportunity of acting as well as dancing and they used it to the full. The costumes (designed by Hugh Laing) were perfect for this piece, as was Kurt Weill's music.

"Momenta" was created by the choreographer, Mikaela Polley, in collaboration with the composer, Patrick Nunn. Both were inspired by Kandinsky's painting "Gentle Ascent". The result was a fast moving but smooth dance piece, beautifully danced and a pleasure to watch. The lines and colours of the costumes (designed by Sasha Keir) enhanced the theme of the dance.

I did not feel involved watching "Dark Elegies" until the second half, when for me the emotion and drama of the piece shone through. I liked the echoes of folk dance and the simple flowing peasant style dresses (costume design by Nada Benois), The dancers were elegant, but strong. However, although I do enjoy Mahler's orchestral music, I did not like the poem set to music, which I found gloomy rather than moving. "Dark Elegies" was a quite extraordinary contrast to Antony Tudor's opening piece of the evening: "The Judgement of Paris".

I loved "Constant Speed"! I found the non-stop movement and stunning dance exciting and absorbing. The lighting (designed by Samantha McNern) was excellent. The costumes (designed by Michael Howells) were another matter. Why were the men dressed to look super-cool and the women dressed to look silly? The colours were great, but not the style. Although in some ways Lehar's music is an unlikely choice for this modern dance I think it worked well.

Author:  corrival [ Wed May 25, 2005 8:03 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you Patricia for your comments and review. :D
The Rambert program sound interesting and varied. How fortunate you are to have such a wide variety of quality Modern dance available to you.

Author:  David Lye [ Wed May 25, 2005 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Constant Speed

Congratulations on a triumphant show in London on 25 May. Constant Speed's colour, wit and fluid grace was joyous. Physics was never this much fun at school.

The movement and music in Momenta were hypnotic. My companions all agreed that we didn't want it to end.

The programme - these two, plus Dark Elegies and The Judgment of Paris - was superbly balanced, showing all aspects of the Company. I've been a fan for almost 30 years and this was one of the best performances in all that time.

Author:  Lindalu [ Wed May 25, 2005 11:30 am ]
Post subject: 

Rambert Dance Company’s current performances at Sadler’s Wells confirm the pursuit of the troupe’s mission: to encourage innovative and daring new choreographic works, while at the same time performing less recent and more established pieces of their almost eighty year old repertoire. The result is a mix of styles, travelling through time, from a comic scene in a bar in the 1930ies in Judgment of Paris by Antony Tudor, to artistic director Mark Baldwin’s newly conceived Constant Speed, inspired by the groundbreaking work of Albert Einstein one hundred years ago. Also included in this journey are the new Momenta by company member Mikaela Polley and Dark Elegies, another of Tudor’s works and his masterpiece according to Marie Rambert herself.

The two established repertoire pieces of the programme, Judgment of Paris and Dark Elegies, were exquisitely performed, while being so refreshingly different from one another. Whereas Judgment of Paris, the show opener, is comic and light hearted, emphasising characters and gestures that tell a story to live piano music, the atmosphere of Dark Elegies is much sadder and more subdued. Although the choreography of the latter does not follow a specific plot, the tone of the piece is nevertheless distinctly tragic, notably because of the musical score, Gustav Mahler’s Songs on the Death of Children, which was also sung live.

Mikaela Polley’s Momenta was a clear demonstration of the company’s creative efforts and the dancers’ fantastic technical and artistic abilities. The ten dancers in simple blue and green costumes moved to an original score by Patrick Nunn, gaining momentum, constantly building in energy, until one didn’t know what was actually giving the impulse to increase the speed: the music or the movement?

The intended climax of the evening was Constant Speed, commissioned by the Institute of Physics as part of the celebrations for the Einstein Year 2005. With a cast of nineteen dancers, a score consisting of a medley of pieces by Franz Lehár, costumes of every colour of the rainbow, including the headdresses of the ladies, and an inventive lighting design, the piece had every chance to impress – and it did. It opened with a group of dancers in white whirling around on stage, executing very fast and complex sequences of steps, evolving into solos, duets, trios – every configuration possible - whilst exchanging the white costumes in favour of coloured ones. The different sections ranged in character from comic to sexy and seductive, from competitive to contemplative, not to forget the occasional circus effect, so that Baldwin’s piece was full of happy surprises. Don’t expect to learn anything about physics though, because I think Ray Rivers, a professor of theoretical physics who was consulted while the piece was conceived, was right when he said, ”I see Constant Speed in the first instance as a celebratory work … but definitely not attempting a literal representation.” And a celebration it was!

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu May 26, 2005 12:47 am ]
Post subject: 

Rambert Dance Company
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

It's a lovely piece, the first Baldwin has choreographed as Rambert's director - and the rest of the programme shows how inspired a job he's been doing. In Momenta, a new work by company dancer Mikaela Polley, Baldwin more than justifies his policy of encouraging home talent.

published: May 25, 2005

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu May 26, 2005 1:02 am ]
Post subject: 

Rambert Season Sadler's Wells, London
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

I have reservations, though, about Judgment. ... The present Rambert cast are too good as dancers and too nice as women.

published: May 26 2005

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri May 27, 2005 12:33 am ]
Post subject: 

Thursday evening, 26th May, saw another virtually full house at Sadler's Wells and loud applause for all the works. This time I sat in the balcony, as opposed to the stalls and the three large scale works all looked better, as you'd expect. I've come to think that "Dark Elegies" is one of the most moving and beautiful works of the 20th Century.

I sat next to someone seeing Rambert for the first time. who loved it all and appreciated the wide range of work on show.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri May 27, 2005 12:53 am ]
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By Debra Craine for The Times

THERE are two ways to approach Mark Baldwin’s new work for Rambert. The first is as a science lesson, which makes perfect sense since it was commissioned by the Institute of Physics to mark Einstein Year. The second way to approach Constant Speed is as pure dance, and that makes perfect sense too, since Baldwin’s creation is both novel and hugely enjoyable. I suspect that most of those in the audience for the premiere on Tuesday night chose the latter course, and they certainly weren’t disappointed.

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Author:  Guest [ Fri May 27, 2005 5:51 am ]
Post subject: 

Constant Speed, Sadler's Wells, London
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

Solo dances are effortful. Baldwin is fond of shoulderstands, kicks and wriggles, and he often sets them hard against the music.

published : 26 May 2005

Author:  kurinuku [ Sat May 28, 2005 5:42 am ]
Post subject: 

A whirl of bare limbs in Brownian motion
by ISMENE BROWN for the Daily Telegraph

Lehár's chocolate-box music seduces us, dark, sweet, frothy, while 19 performers dance in an uninhibited whirl of bare limbs, with gymnastic tumbles and, once, an impossibly long handstand. The ghosts of Marie Rambert and Frederick Ashton are there in the cartwheels and the fairy flurries of elegant zooming about.

published: May 26, 2005

Author:  Alex R [ Sun May 29, 2005 4:13 am ]
Post subject: 

I went on Thursday night, another fine performance all round, the extremely colourful Constant Speed definitely my favourite, though Judgement of Paris was performed well and was funny in all the right places. good effort all round, can't wait for Christopher Bruce's new work in November!

Author:  avrilkaye [ Sun May 29, 2005 12:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Audience comments from the Family Matinee. Introduction by Mark Baldwin and demonstration of classical and contemporary technique followed by Dark Elegies/ interval/ Introduction of Constant Speed by Mark followed by the performance.

During the interval

Arthur aged 12 “ I really liked it especially the end bit when they were all going round in a circle. I liked the boys dancing especially, it was very strong.”
Rosie aged 7 “ It was really good. I enjoyed it.”
Mum added “ The male solo ( Simon ) was amazing. The talk was really interesting and it was great to see them all warming up. The explanation about the picture at the end was very helpful. The children both dance and their grandmother was a founder member of Festival Ballet.”

Natasha aged 7 ¾ “ I thought it was really good. I liked the movement and action in it.”
Mum added “ I liked Mark’s introduction, especially how the distinction between classical and contemporary was shown.”

Zoe 13 “ Great”
Mum said “ The director’s talk was great, it made it easier to follow.”

Jack 8 “ I thought it was good. I liked all the jumping in it and there were lots of stretches. I liked the man singing, I thought it was relaxing and Mark’s talk was good and funny.”

Kathleen from Bromley. “ As I sit here and watch Tudor’s choreography I am taken back to when I was 10 and lived in the East End and was recommended by my teacher to go to ballet classes that were taken by Anthony Tudor. I only had a few but I really enjoyed them. I have enjoyed this but I must say I do really enjoy more contemporary work so I am looking forward to the next piece.”

At the end

Arthur and Rosie again. Arthur “ I really liked the colours and the way they danced in lines when they pirouetted from the front to the back and the patterns that were made. Rosie “ I liked it especially when the light ball came down and you could see all the lights going round the room.”

Octavia 6 from Italy “ I liked it when they all danced together, the colours, the music, everything. I really liked the pink costume. The first one made me a bit sad but I liked them wearing pointe shoes because we do ballet.”
Camilla 10 from Italy “ I liked it when they were all dancing together but doing different things and the costumes, especially the white ones. The second one made me completely forget about the first one. I want to dance here one day.”
Mum “ The class to show the differences between classical and contemporary was excellent. I thought Mark was fantastic, unique and very creative. “

Mia 11 “ Really good. I particularly liked all the different colours in the last one. The talks were helpful.”
Mum “Wonderful we all liked Mark , he made his explanations so entertaining. I thought the first was an unusual choice for a children’s matinee, the musical score rather than the dance, but with the explanation it was great and the two pieces complimented each other.”
Tania “ An absolutely wonderful afternoons entertainment.”

As you can see from the comments the whole afternoon was a great hit and the format very successful and much appreciated. All the children were wonderfully behaved and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun May 29, 2005 10:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Let’s get physical
Rambert’s celebration of Einstein bursts with colour and energy, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times

This is Einstein Year, the centenary of the publication of his theories on atoms, light and relativity, and the Institute of Physics came up with the bright idea of commissioning a new dance work to mark it. The result, Constant Speed, by Mark Baldwin, premiered by Rambert Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells last Tuesday, is a real fun ballet, wittily inventive and full of colour and energy (appropriately Einsteinian), that should delight audiences around the country on next season’s tour.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun May 29, 2005 10:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

Constant Speed
By Jann Parry for The Observer

To celebrate this year's centenary of Einstein's discoveries, Mark Baldwin has tackled the task of showing how the world works. Constant Speed, his first creation for Rambert Dance Company since becoming its artistic director two years ago, is an imaginative commission from the Institute of Physics. Briefed by scientists, Baldwin decided it must be fun being a photon. He set out to entertain rather than instruct (though schools workshops are part of the package).

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon May 30, 2005 10:47 am ]
Post subject: 

Hats off to Rambert for not dumbing down in the Children's matinee on Saturday and including "Dark Elegies". With its sadness and the serious song cycle accompanying it, this is not standard children's fare, but the contrast with "Constant Speed" will have meant that the children will have seen a fine spread of what dance is capable of.

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