Dance review: Rambert Dance Company, Aberdeen

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IT WOULD have been so easy to let the music do the talking.

Rambert Dance Company

His Majesty’s Theatre,

Aberdeen

Star rating: * * * *

Thirteen years ago, when Christopher Bruce created Rooster, he walked into the studio with an armful of Rolling Stones classics, which were in danger of dominating anything he created. Yet, in the end, nothing could be further from the truth. Each song is matched by masterful choreography that adds wit, poignancy and drama to the music and lyrics. In a work of pure genius with countless highlights, the combination of Paint It Black, Bruce’s choreography and the powerful movement of Dane Hurst (one of the finest dancers of his generation) sears itself on to the memory.

American choreographer Barak Marshall’s The Castaways is a work filled with exotic flavours. During the moments of unison, set to Middle Eastern, Romanian and Yiddish music, the piece is an absolute joy. The “drama” woven through it, however, is sound and fury signifying little; a poor relation to Marshall’s passionate movement.

After ten years at the helm of Scottish Ballet, Ashley Page is now on the freelance circuit. But within seconds of Subterrain starting, it’s clear he is still on the same track, both musically and choreographically.

Ballet runs through Page like a stick of rock, and it’s wonderful to see how the Rambert dancers respond to this. Leaps, lifts and the kind of high legs that require uber-flexibility dominate the work. A clear response to his chosen score, by Mark-Anthony Turnage and Aphex Twin, the piece could use some trimming – but it’s great to see Page back on the Scottish stage.

Seen on 13.02.14

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