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Rambert Dance Company review

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Arab Today, arab today Rambert Dance Company review

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The beating heart of Rambert\'s new programme is L\'Après-Midi d\'un Faune – the ballet of dappled, feral eroticism that launched Nijinsky\'s choreographic career. Rambert acquired Faune in 1931 and today\'s revival goes a long way to reminding us how sexy, touching and strange it must have originally seemed. Stripped of the monumental Bakst backdrop that usually frames it (too large, too unaffordable for 1930s Rambert) and performed by a wonderfully alert cast, this Faune has an entrancing intimacy. Dane Hurst in the title role does vivid justice to the choreography\'s experimental angularity, but even better is his shy, sensual responsiveness. When he and the Nymph first gaze at each other, the shock of their startled desire reverberates across the theatre. Mark Baldwin has created a new piece, What Wild Ecstasy, as a contemporary take on the primal eroticism of Faune; a tribal rave that I thought I was going to hate. Designer Michael Howells suspends three giant bees, with ponderous symbolism, over the stage and dresses the dancers in a wilfully bizarre motley of feather, fishnet and fur. Gavin Higgins\'s blasting, warping score drives the choreography into an enjoyably wild kaleidoscope of apache dances, tango and ballet; cleverly cantilevered duets stagger in and out of sharply percussive ensembles. It\'s energetic and fun, and its eccentricity matches Faune for strangeness. Two works choreographed for seven dancers complete the programme. Itzik Galili\'s Sub is a showcase of male athleticism but the choreography is nuanced, with an almost animalistic heft to some of the movements that modulates into moments of molten tenderness. At the opposite tonal range is Siobhan Davies\'s The Art of Touch, with its exquisitely detailed movements plucking and striking the air with delicate precision. An exemplary mixed programme that leaves us gobsmacked, as always, by the shining versatility of Rambert\'s dancers.

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