Rambert’s adventurous programme shows a commitment to new work and artistic collaboration that gloriously affirms the company’s long heritage and roots in the post-Diaghilev dance diaspora.  The evening opened with Kim Brandstrup’s Transfigured Night, followed by Didy Veldman’s The 3 Dancers, and concluded with a revival of Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances. Live musical accompaniment was intrinsic to the immediacy and vigour throughout.

Brandstrup’s study of painful choices as a couple’s relationship teeters on the brink of failure courageously uses the music (Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht) that Antony Tudor chose for his ballet Pillar of Fire, but his conception is original and completely different from Tudor’s. (more…)

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A welcome return to Oxford’s New Theatre by the magnificent Rambert Dance Company bringing a powerful triple bill which combines one of the company’s most iconic works with two recent successes.

Christopher Bruce’s 1981 work Ghost Dances is one of the most celebrated contemporary dance pieces of its generation.  This masterpiece is an evocative tribute to the victims of political oppression in South America. It tells stories of love and compassion, as death – in the form of the iconic “ghost dancers” – interrupts the daily lives of a series of ordinary people. Visually referencing celebrations of the Day of the Dead, and driven by the bewitching rhythms of traditional Latin American songs, it’s a moving, intensely human work.  Ghost Dances returned to UK stages for the first time in 13 years in November 2016, and tours throughout 2017.

Love, desire and betrayal are the ingredients of the shocking true story which inspired Picasso’s masterpiece, The Three Dancers. Rambert springs Picasso’s painting from the canvas to the stage, bringing to life his Cubist vivid imagery and the themes of ecstasy and doom which haunt the work. Didy Veldman’s The Three Dancers, with orchestral music by leading Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, reveals the passion within one of the 20th century’s greatest artworks.

Didy Veldman is a former Rambert dancer who has an international choreographic career. She co-founded Compagnie Alias with Guilherme Botelho in Switzerland, and has worked extensively with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and with Cedar Lake in New York.  Elena Kats-Chernin’s original score is jointly commissioned by Wimbledon International Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Dancenorth in Australia, and Sitka Summer Music Festival, El Paso Pro Musica and West Bach Festival in the USA.

In Transfigured Night two lovers meet by moonlight, and a dark secret threatens to tear them apart. Created by two-time Olivier-award winning choreographer Kim Brandstrup, it is a dramatic love story, with intimate duets and spectacular ensemble dancing amplifying the beauty and romance of its Schoenberg score.  In February 2017, Kim Brandstrup won the award for Best Modern Choreography for Transfigured Night, at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2016.

Performances:  Wednesday to Friday 15th-17th March 7.30pm

Venue:  New Theatre, George Street, Oxford OX1 2AG

Tickets:  £13.90 – £33.40 plus £4.00 transaction fee*

Book online here

On Thursday 16th there will be a free pre-performance talk at 6.30pm

Find out more about the works and Rambert Dance Company here

Three of the four pieces shown by Phoenix Dance Theatre at the Linbury last week were new (or nearly new) works by Christopher Bruce, Ivgi & Greben and Darshan Singh Bhuller. This year has seen our dance companies commemorate the Great War and Bruce’s Shift (2006) seemed subtly to echo this theme. It opens with three women walking purposefully onto the stage, their hair tied up in headscarf turbans that immediately conjured up images of factory war work. Sometimes they and their male counterparts seemed to operate machines, at others, it was as if they themselves were the machines as they repeated movement sequences in canon. John B Read’s lighting design projected a shadow pattern of small rectangular panes onto the floor of the stage, as though light entered through a high window, adding a further geometrical dimension to the choreography. (more…)

Rambert is one of Britain’s national dance companies – an ensemble of world-class dancers and live orchestra performing classic and contemporary works to give audiences an exhilarating theatrical experience.  They return to Oxford’s New Theatre this week with a programme which combines works old and new.  Back on the UK stage for the first time in thirteen years, the iconic Rooster by choreographer Christopher Bruce brings the rock’n’roll swagger of the Rolling Stones thrillingly to life in this evocation of the swinging sixties.  Transporting the audience to the coolest nightspot in town, sharp-suited, snake-hipped men and strong, sassy women perform virtuoso courtship dances to some of the Stones’ most famous tunes, including: Not Fade Away, Paint It Black, As Tears Go By, Sympathy for the Devil and, naturally, Little Red Rooster. (more…)