Dance review: Rambert, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

THERE’S a certain alchemy that goes into crafting a dance programme, just as there is in picking the dancers who perform it. As Britain’s oldest dance company, Rambert has always known how to assemble the right ingredients, but this current triple-bill is particularly dazzling.

The Rambert dancers have produced a dazzling triple bill
The Rambert dancers have produced a dazzling triple bill

Rambert, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh *****

Two of the works have been seen before, Wayne McGregor’s 2002 piece, PreSentient and Hofesh Shechter’s In your rooms from 2007. Yet they feel as shiny and new as Marion Motin’s Rouge, which premiered last May and is sandwiched between them on Rambert’s current tour.

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McGregor’s leg-stretching, fast-paced style demands much of the bodies executing it, but Rambert approach it with reassuring ease. No matter the urgency or passion of Steve Reich’s Triple Quartet, they can match it.

Motin’s Rouge requires something entirely different of them, but again the dancers grab her theatrical approach with both hands. Better known for her work in hip hop, Motin somehow manages to be laid-back and punchy in the same movement.

Conjuring up a nightclub atmosphere, the stage feels like it should have sweat dripping down the walls, as the dancers free themselves from the constraints of modern life and let go.

Shechter’s In your rooms beats with the very pulse of human existence, fusing the personal with the political, hope with despair, humour with pathos. But, as with the other two, dance is only one component of this magnificent offering.

The live music that accompanies the whole evening is every bit as integral as the movement, and performed just as brilliantly.

KELLY APTER