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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 3:07 am 
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Visions Fugitives
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent

Rambert is another company for which discipline boundaries melt away. It's years since they danced anything so classical as Hans Van Manen's Vision Fugitives – made in 1990 for Nederlands Dans Theater, a more classical company – yet they have duly chiselled their bodies into its academic shapes and the result, premiered in a triple bill in Woking, is as cleanly powered as if they'd been born with their feet in fifth position.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 5:04 am 
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Two super reviews for a great programme at Mold, including the premiere of "21":

Rambert Dance, Theatr Clwyd
By Philip Key, Daily Post (Liverpool)


IT WAS all action in this triple bill by the Rambert Dance Company, and no more so that in its new work, 21.

Created by Spanish choreographer Rafael Bonachela and getting its world premiere in Mold, the work was unusual in having an appearance by pop singer Kylie Minogue.

In fact she only appeared half-way through as a film projection, attired in a flowing dress and looking decidedly spectral.

The screen was at the front of the stage while behind her the Rambert dancers went into all kinds of contortions.

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

Rambert Dance Company
By Victor Hallett , The Western Mail (Wales)


Diminutive diva Kylie Minogue guests with Rambert Dance Company in Mold.

Now there's an eye-opening statement and it's true too.

But first thing's first - I'll get to Kylie later. The opening piece in Rambert's stunningly varied triple bill was also the most difficult. PreSentient, choreographed by Wayne McGregor and danced to Steve Reich's relentless Triple Quartet played live, and excellently too, by London Musici, hardly gave the audience time to breathe, let along the dancers.

As a study in strength, grace, movement and speed, and with the semi-Grecian costumes, it was like watching early Olympic Games contests organised by Isadora Duncan.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 3:37 am 
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Congratulations to Rafael Bonachela on this appointment and for the successful work over the past few years which have lead up to this achievement. If you scroll up you will see a number of reviews and interviews connected to the first performances of Rafael's "21", which includes some video of Kylie Minogue.

NEW ASSOCIATE CHOREOGRAPHER FOR RAMBERT

Rambert Dance Company is delighted to announce that its Artistic Director, Mark Baldwin, has invited RAFAEL BONACHELA to take up the position of Associate Choreographer at Rambert. Rafael will continue to dance for the Company but will also be given the opportunity to work on external projects and develop new work.

Rambert Dance Company has famously nurtured choreographic talent from within its own ranks. Previous Associate Choreographers include Siobhan Davies and former Artistic Director, Christopher Bruce.

Mark Baldwin comments ‘Rafael has been creating work for the Company for some time and has also picked up considerable experience from projects outside of Rambert. This has helped him develop his choreographic vocabulary and other skills necessary to produce powerful dance. I am extremely pleased with his new work 21 and I think we can safely expect great things from this talented young artist’.

Rafael said ‘I feel honoured to have been offered this wonderful opportunity at Rambert. It is an important step in my development as a choreographer and will enable me to dance and create with some of the best dancers in the world’.

Rafael was born in La Garriga, Barcelona and trained at the London Studio. He danced with Lanonima Imperial before joining Rambert Dance Company in 1992. His first choreographic work for Rambert Three Gone, Four Left Standing received its London première at Sadler’s Wells in May 1999 and he has subsequently created seven pieces for Rambert dancers. The most recent, 21, is a multi-media presentation of dance, music and film and sees him collaborating with William Baker and Alan Macdonald, Kylie Minogue’s creative team. Incorporating a short projected film featuring KYLIE MINOGUE, 21 is performed to a specially written score by young British composer BENJAMIN WALLFISCH. Rafael first worked with Kylie, William and Alan while choreographing the award-winning Fever world tour in 2002.

21 receives its London première at Sadler’s Wells on 20 May 2003 and will tour the UK throughout the Autumn.

<small>[ 06 May 2003, 06:23 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 2:38 am 
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<img src="http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39072000/jpg/_39072021_kylie203.jpg" alt="" />

Kylie's backing for premiere
From the BBC website


Kylie Minogue as she appears in the video
Pop diva Kylie Minogue has ditched her sex siren image and covered up for her role in the world premiere of a contemporary dance show in north Wales.
The Australian superstar with family roots in south Wales appears in a long-flowing dress in a video shot for 21 - a show performed by the London-based Rambert Dance Company.

Twenty two dancers will perform Rafael Bonachela's new work, described as 'choreographed movement with elements of ballet', at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold on Wednesday.

The show is a collaboration with William Baker and Alan MacDonald, the men who help style Kylie's image.

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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 7:49 am 
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<img src="http://www.criticaldance.com/images/rambert-ghostdances.jpg" alt="" />

<big><big>Sadler's Wells, London</big></big>

Rosebery Avenue
Islington
London
EC1R 4TN

Box Office: 020 7863 8000
Book Online Now

Tuesday 20 - Saturday 24 May, 7.30pm

- 21 [LONDON PREMIÈRE], Bonachela (More information soon)
- Visions Fugitives [LONDON PREMIÈRE], van Manen
- Ghost Dances, Bruce
Duration: Approx 1 hour 50 minutes including 2 intervals

Family Matinee: Saturday 18 May, 2.30pm - Programme to be confirmed.

Here is the link to the relevant page on the Rambert website.

And here is the link to the Sadler’s Wells Rambert page.

I always look forward to seeing Rambert, but this visit to Sadler’s is even more promising than most. Hans van Manen is a fine choreographer that we don’t see enough of in the UK, apart from the excellent programme by Dutch National Ballet that visited the same venue a couple of years ago.

Rafael Bonachela has been coming on in leaps and bounds as a choreographer over the past few years as his appointment as Rambert’s Associate Choreographer indicates…..and I can’t wait to see Kylie.

Finally, it’s the last chance to see live one of my two-hanky favourites, “Ghost Dances” by Christopher Bruce. This emotionally charged piece inspired by the torture and murder of Chilean musician Victor Jara never ceases to delight and move me and many others. If you haven’t seen it before, do catch it this time as we don’t know when it will be revived again.

<small>[ 29 May 2003, 07:21 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 3:40 pm 
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Rambert at Sadler's - first thoughts

A strong programme with two very interesting works new to the Comapny that will pay further viewings - van Manen's "Visions Fugitives" and Bonachela's "21". And between these two "Ghost Dances", already a 20th Century Classic, which has the knack of appearing stronger every time I see it. This is the last time it will be performed for quite some time, so catch it while you can - the trio of Ghosts are as powerful as I can remember and all the cast perform with passion.

Sadler's was almost full on the first night and I hear that booking for the rest of the week is also heavy. Book soon!! - details higher up.

<small>[ 20 May 2003, 05:48 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 6:15 am 
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RAMBERT: No Movement is Devoid of Meaning

You can read all kinds of things into a dance. Least of all what the choreographer or even what dancers aim to convey at the end of several weeks of rehearsal. A choreographer can state that his choreography has no meaning but saying this is a meaning that comes with a significance and purpose of its own. Seeing dance is sometimes like seeing visual art. The eye scans the painting taking in the colour, noting the texture of the paint on the canvas and then I am faced with choices. Do I go beyond what is portrayed or linger on the surface. Photography presents a reality but can, like visual art, become a portal to what is really in my head not what is on the canvas or in the photo. No movement is without meaning. Every gesture, every step of locomotion, transfer of weight from one side of the stage to the other, the shaping of torso to progression around or by someone has a meaning created in my mind’s eye. Rambert’s performance was like this. Each work different in its use of space and movement vocabulary but the relationship of dance to dancer, she to he, and the carving of space supplied ample images, drew on memories, and touched interesting infatuations even though two of the works indicate a non literalness.

Visions Fugitives Hans van Manen London premiere finds its inspiration in Rudolf Barshai’s string orchestra rendition of 15 of Prokofiev 20 miniature pieces for solo piano. Van Manen’s program note states, “The choreography is what you see with no deeper meaning”. Oh how easy it is to say dismiss your inner ear and shade the theatre of the mind. But a work of such simple, infinite grace is such a vast canvas for my eye to see the movement, chase metaphors, and supply images that will last a lifetime. Six dancers, four duets and manoeuvres from stage left to stage right range a colour scale that although presented in blues, greys, and black travel vast shades of cool and hot. The vocabulary of conventional contemporary dance is pared down to lines with incidental curves. Movement without mood strangely alluded to meetings and passings, sassiness and playfulness combined with taunting glances and stern rebuffs. A pointed finger points a way as well as sends one off. Swaying hips camouflage while conventional 2nd position plié engulf and turns into something alluring and moody. Hope Muir’s command and presence worked a counterpoint with Martin Lindinger’s youthful exuberance while Lucila Alves and Andrew Hurst added their own particular dynamic to the palette. By the end a duet by Paul Liburd and Miranda Lind leaves Lind on the floor. A duet began seemingly devoid of expression and chilly turns into anguish. The mind has time to play around when looking at this work making up images because the movement is easily seen, well crafted and articulated. I, the witness can choose to enjoy the beauty of exquisite dancing or gallop through my own inner landscape and design my own significance. The music is a wiling accomplice and so the dance despite van Manen’s advice has so much meaning.

Ghost Dances, Christopher Bruce’s masterpiece using South American folk music arranged by Nicholas Mojsiejenko is well known. There is a story to be told here and here also simplicity is the key. After all this time, the work still has those heart wrenching moments. The ghost portrayed by Simon Cooper, Paul Liburd and Martin Lindinger have not lost much of their dread and the weight is still in evidence. From the start the stage space is a way station that the ghost populate and the folk pass through. Death moves around us all and claims everyone. Death waits and prowls before close proximity take a man or a woman. In the mean time, just as life does, the dance goes on, solos, duets and group configurations of intricate foot and arm work. Folk moves synthesised within the fabric of contemporary dance. As each member of the group meets an end the progression from upstage left corner to downstage right corner to exit, the ghost move in, hide, watch and in the end take their place to wait for the next group.

21 is a London premiere by Rafael Bonachela. This work was collaboration between Bonachela, Benjamin Wallfisch who created the sound scape and William Baker and Alan Macdonald who created the video scape. The protagonist in this work is Kylie Minogue whom Bonachela has been choreographing for the past year. No there was no pop culture remixes here; only contemporary dance of the sort that would probably not bode well with hard-core pop culture addicts. You have to have a good ear to hear the rhythmical textures in Wallfisch’s soundscape and a good eye to catch all the movement “signs” in this work. In three seven minute long sections, hence the name, 21 begins with a tame dynamic. Non literal in intention, the composition begins with three female dancers in underwear complete with stocking holders. This choice of costume, built on female undergarments, is across the board for all the dancers. The feel is not androgynous even though some of the lifting is unisex. My reading of this dance is that the imagery has parallels with similar castings in visual art. The 3 graces portrayed by Ruben’s curvaceous figures and Picasso’s variations of mood blue, smooth curved women hint at the myth of Aphrodite. With the opening cast as three female dancers, is Minogue the Aphrodite of this landscape, a spirit to be adored, an object to be coveted? The lithe muscularity of Amy Hollingsworth, Miranda Lind, and Samantha Smith ooze a spirit that flops, raps around, and coils. The dancers’ legs slash and whip to the side as the other lifts one dancer or two carry the one. The dynamic is a monochrome glow like the neon light that stretches from side to side and rises as one section of seven minutes ends and the other begins.

The backdrop rises to reveal the projection machinery and with it Minogue the image becomes “goddess” who walks as if on air from up to downstage right. Minogue’s image becoming clearer as the video screen lowers making a celluloid 4th wall that encloses the dancers in a movement scape. At times the dancers’ shadow cast an enlarged shape on Minogue’s image but her visual impact is not diminished by this intrusion and in some ways compliments the action. Is it a bacchanal because after all Aphrodite is the goddess of love and perhaps revelry is the metaphor to be applied here? The dynamic oddly has hardly escalated and now there are 14 dancers on stage. The beginning entanglement of the first three dancers becomes the viewer’s entrapment but it seems some of these dancers do not know the power they have. I believe there is another layer in this dance that needs to be discovered by the dancers’ performance that will take a bit of time to accomplish. The dancers’ movement as well as their postures has to seem bigger than Minogue’s if not individually as a group.

Minogue’s postures look back at you; there is vulnerability and also a sense that she knows where and what her power is. There is that slight bit of poutiness but there is also something alluring about how she stands then is shown laying. At one point while standing her hands move from her diaphragm softly pointing gently down to below her navel; sexual, sensual, provocative. All the while the dancers are twisting around, flinging legs, raping around each other being dragged from one side of the stage to the other, tossed in the air enveloping in same sex and opposite sex duets or trios or solos in this or that corner. The movement is crafted and its manner distinct. If it is bacchanal it is controlled, sedate even. Just when one would have thought the dynamic of the movement would have changed with the changing of the light to red, it coasted along on the same level, becoming more tangled in itself. Minogue though remained the rapturous image.

_________________
THEA NERISSA BARNES


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 7:35 am 
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The Rambert Dance Company programme at Sadlers Wells this week really is unmissable. It opens with the company’s recently acquired work by Hans van Manen, Visions Fugitives, danced to an arrangement for string quartet of the familiar piano works of the same title by Prokofiev. According to the choreographer, “the choreography is what you see with no deeper meaning”. Van Manen has always been the master commentator on the battle of the sexes and frankly it is difficult to watch some of the encounters without sensing underlying emotional attachments. For example when you watch a male dancer repeatedly put his hands around a woman’s throat, you can be forgiven for thinking that something more than mere abstraction is going on!
This is a well-constructed work with strong dancing from all involved. My only reservation was about the costumes, which consisted of unitards decorated with diagonal pin stripes: not flattering at all I’m afraid.

The second work of the evening was Christopher Bruce’s wonderful Ghost Dances, a ballet that I’ve been watching now for over 20 years. Bruce never shirked from difficult subjects and this homage to the “disappeared” of the Pinochet regime in Chile has never failed to move me. The ballet opens with three male spirits dancing in silence in the wilderness of the high Andes. The lovely Chilean music begins as the spirits are joined by the ghosts of the recent dead, the victims of oppression who relive their former happiness in dances that frequently refer to the traditional folkdances of the region. They dance out their former lives and loves under the ever watchful gaze of the sinister spirits that move among the dancers seemingly terminating their memories and ushering them into the realm of death. Does that sound depressing? It should be but it isn’t. It is meant as a tribute to those that suffered under an evil regime, tortured and subjugated but never totally extinguished.

21, the final offering of the evening was about “the meaning of celebrity and adoration”, a very topical issue at a time when the word celebrity no longer has a clear meaning and the general public apparently has an insatiable appetite for everyone the media tells them is an icon. Frankly I approached this work expecting satire of some sort, were I a choreographer I would see the theme as ripe for comic spoof but Raphael Bonachela clearly sees no irony in his chosen subject. Kylie Minogue is the featured celeb and Bonachela literally elevates her into a goddess as she occupies the stage in the form of a giantess looking down on the dancers as Lilliputians. Ms Minogue is regarded as much for her looks as for her singing and the camera zooms in on her body lovingly lingering over ever curve. Meanwhile the scantily clad dancers execute some high-energy choreography to a score that reminded me in part of the sound of an earth tremor I once experienced while on holiday in Greece. It was all very enjoyable, the dancers were terrific and the use of film was very striking but it didn’t tell me anything about the preoccupation with celebrity in contemporary society. In other words great fun, but I didn’t get it.

<small>[ 21 May 2003, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 12:30 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Times.

Quote:
THERE are few better ways to draw attention to yourself than by hooking up with a celebrity. And few better ways of making yourself totally invisible. Which could be the statement Rafael Bonachela is making with his ambitious and mostly enjoyable new piece for Rambert Dance Company. His 21 explores the nature of celebrity, its intangibility and artificiality, and it stars the image of Kylie Minogue.
MORE

And from The Guardian.

Quote:
There's no mistaking the love object in 21, Rafael Bonachela's new piece about celebrity worship. Not only does the piercing little voice of Kylie Minogue feature in Benjamin Wallfisch's accompanying score, but her face and body cast a giant video spell over the dancers during the whole of the work's middle section.
MORE

<small>[ 22 May 2003, 02:39 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 1:57 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Debra Craine wrote:

Quote:
I was enjoying the flair of van Manen’s classical-contemporary writing right up until the moment the whole thing turned brutish and sour.
Amazing! Not a hint that Debra Craine asked herself what the choreographer was trying to say with this final scene or how it relates to the change in mood of the music. At that stage it would be appropriate to opine whether the device had worked.

Ballet seems to be one of the few Arts forms where some critics get upset when real life intervenes - it can't always be like "Coppelia".

<small>[ 22 May 2003, 05:49 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 5:06 am 
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Great reviews Cassandra and Thea - thank you very much.


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 12:40 am 
I was amazed to witness the selling out and dumbing down of Rambert Dance Company in one of their latest dance pieces - 21. Whilst I acknowledge that there maybe some cross over of popular music and modern dance, Rambert has until now provided the British and alot of the world's art loving public with dance at some of its highest levels. Not so anymore apparently. We are subjected to visions of a giant Kylie Minogue looming over, and if that wasnt enough, in front the dancers making them just an enhancement for an all consuming and omnipotent "video" of Kylie Minogue. Why would Rambert believe that its dance audience, who go to Rambert productions seeking a few cherished moments away from a sex, idol obsessed, factory produced pop art world, would want to see more visions of Kylie Minogue, under whatever artistic pretense.

Whilst there are of course references within the piece to fame and celebrities towering over the masses.... So what! The fact is we, Rambert's paying public want to see modern dance at its highest level. We do not want a video screen obscuring the dancers and making appreciation of them in any detail, impossible. We want to see form, technique and relationships between the dancers. These things have made Rambert the successful company it is today. Rambert is a company capable of rivalling the great modern companies of the world including NDT.

This 21 production is merely a cheap short term shot at bringing in a few extra patrons. I must ask at what cost will this be to Rambert's long term future. Firstly how must Rambert's traditional fan base feel when the dancers cannot be seen. Secondly, how can the dancers themselves feel challenged and motivated, given that know they can barely be seen.

Stop selling out Rambert.


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 2:50 am 
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Feedback for the performance on 22 May at Sadler’s Wells

Second interval after “Visions Fugitives” and “Ghost Dances”

John: We haven’t seen “Ghost Dances” before, but I like it very much, especially the band.

Mary: I enjoyed “Ghost Dances” and also the first piece “Visions Fugitives” – I loved those costumes. The ending is dark, but it fits in with the wonderful music by Prokofiev.

Jane: I thought “Ghost Dances” was wonderful. I’ve seen it so many times before, but this is a good production and the Ghosts are great. I enjoyed “Visions Fugitives” as well and I liked the music.

Hugh Anderson: I very much liked the first one [“Visions Fugitives”]. I liked the fluidity of the movement and the lighting was very well done. Also the costumes helped to demonstrate the differences between the men and the women. Everyone else loved “Ghost Dances”, but for me the music didn’t go as well and the movement did not seem as interesting or as fluid. It seemed to fall between two stools for me and I almost wanted it to break into real folk dance. But everyone else seems to enjoy it.

Laura Anderson: I liked both of the pieces. The first one has very sharp choreography and I liked the fluidity and the way it kept going and the music. I liked the second one [Ghost Dances] a lot as well, because it’s so emotional and theatrical. It’s unusual to see a modern dance company using painted scenery like that. You associate that with 19th Century ballet, so it was an interesting combination. You can feel the emotional charge from Christopher Bruce’s concerns for the South American people.

Post-performance after "21"

Pat: What we have seen tonight is the juxtaposition of fashion and art and I leave you to guess which is which.

Ruth: I really like “Ghost Dances”, but the last work “21” was trying to be too clever and throwing in too much. I don’t know why they chose Kylie Minogue to put up there – I’d rather have seen one of the dancers on screen. It left me absolutely cold; I didn’t feel anything towards it.

Angela: I thought “21” was great and that was my favourite with the colour play and the costumes.

Jenny: Yes, "21" was my favourite too.

<small>[ 25 May 2003, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 3:42 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Ticket availability at Sadler's as at 12.30 on Friday 23rd May

Friday and Saturday evening performances:

Heavily booked, but tickets still available from £9-£37

Saturday Family matinee:

Also heavily booked, but tickets available for this two-work programme of "21" and "Ghost Dances" from £8 to £20 with a family ticket for 2 adults and two children of £40.

Box Office: 020 7863 8000

<small>[ 23 May 2003, 05:43 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Rambert Spring Tour 2003 - News and Feedback Forum
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 8:45 am 
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I've consolidated these posts from another topic. Welcome Chloe and thanks for this feedback - you may be our first poster ever from Jersey:

Chloe Ellis wrote:

Rambert at Jersey Opera House

I just heard the song Hurricaine by Bob Dylan and it made me remember the fantastic Rambert performance i saw last year. It was the first time i'd seen the Rambert but hopefully it wont be the last. The piece Hurricaine- a pantomime was mesmorising, and has obviously made an impression on me because it still sticks out in my memory. :) The work shop we had with the dancers at school was probably the best dance workshop i've had, and i've had a fair few! so thank you Rambert, you taught me a lot about what contempory dance can be, the pieces were all so different, from cheese to hurricaine, but all were very inspiring. Thank you!

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

Emma Pegler wrote:

Chloe - have you just joined us - welcome! Now I am London based but since we are also a US website I thought I would check that you mean the Channel Islands Jersey? That would fit because Rambert do not travel to the US in recent years is my understanding. Do tell us where you are in Jersey, what you are dancing etc. I know Jersey very well as my best friend and god daughters live there so I visit frequently. What other dance companies have been to visit in recent times?


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