Friday, 8 November 2019

REVIEW: Rambert at Sadler’s Wells

Celebrating the centenary of late Choreographer Merce Cunningham’s birth, Rambert have created an Event to showcase his contributions to the contemporary dance world. With live installations on each level of Sadler’s Wells, from the moment you walk through the doors you are greeted with Cunningham’s extraordinary works from previous pieces ‘Changing Steps’ and the Rambert Event itself. Radiohead’s Philip Selway has been commissioned to score the event and has collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Adem Ilham and musician Quinta to create what is described as a ‘modular electro-acoustic score’. It is perform live throughout the performance by Philip Selway, Quinta and Adrian Utley, blessing us with a range of textured vocal soundscapes, classical and electronic sound.

The hanging backdrops and costumes based off Gerhard Richter Cage’s paintings Cage (1)-(6) inspired by composer John Cage, Cunningham’s life partner- emphasise the strong connections between the performance and his life’s work. Rambert Event is a stunning piece of live art; it feels like a painting is brought to life. Every performer danced beautifully and commemorated Cunningham’s familiar isolated, angular movements with grace. The entire production is mesmerising; their interactions to each other fascinating and pleasing to the eye. Rambert’s diverse group of dancers tribute Cunningham’s significant work magnificently. Moments when the music ends and the dancers continue performing with nothing to hide behind really emphasise their abilities; truly astonishing. 

For lovers of Cunningham’s work, I highly recommend attending the Rambert Event. It is a true credit to his work and is soothingly nostalgic and uplifting- definitely to be enjoyed by all. 

Review by Hannah Storey

Rating: ★★★★★

Seat: First Circle, F19 | Price of Ticket: £45
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