Femme fatales from Rambert frolic into town

THE Rambert Dance Company will bring a female first to Woking next week.

The contemporary dance group are all set to showcase three fantastic new dance pieces on the New Victoria Theatre stage – all three choreographed by women.

“It’s a very rare thing to have three female choreographers on the same bill,” says Mark Baldwin, Rambert’s Artistic Director.

The headline performance will be Didy Veldman’s The 3 Dancers, which is based on a Pablo Picasso painting about three lovers. “They were all in love but also wanted to strangle each other,” explains Mark, adding that show’s music will also have a female touch courtesy of Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin. “It’s a bit like a tango… it’s quite intriguing and pulls you in; it’s fantastic,” says Mark.

Another piece of which Baldwin is very proud is Hydrargyrum, choreographed by Patricia Okenwa; a Rambert dancer. “She’s got this amazing new piece, Hydrargyrum, which is named after a Greek word for mercury,” explains Mark. “The dancers pick up on the pulse of the music in their movements as the story explores ideas of connection and disconnection.

New York-based Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov provides the musical score, which Mark adds is ‘extremely beautiful’, adding: “The show is quite brilliant, I haven’t seen anything like it.”

The third piece is Terra Incognita; choreographed by Shobana Jeyasingh, of which Mark says: “I’ve known her [Shobana] for years and for ages I’ve wanted to have her do something with Rambert.

“She’s British but of Indian origin and she’s got the dancers using fingers and hands to make shapes.

“It’s about travelling, about this journey to unknown places, and the music is by Gabriel Prokofiev, the grandson of the composer Sergei Prokofiev. He’s living up to his famous name in a different way.”

After 30 years with the prestigious dance company, and last year’s awarding of an OBE to his name, New Zealand native Mark says that Woking dance enthusiasts are in for a treat.

“Rambert is a big company. We have 22 dancers and they’re varied in size and style and age, so you get different dancers doing different things. We also bring our own orchestra, so the show is a real experience.

“For my money these dancers are the best in the world. I like to think our dancers offer a great introduction to contemporary dance but they can do classical styles too.

“If you like dance that’s physical and demanding, we’re the company provides that! But we also have two dancers who were principals at a classical ballet company. We also have some who used to be street dancers… and that mix creates something special.

“They’re also from all over the world – Australia, Africa, America, Cuba, Singapore, New Zealand… even Essex.”

The Rambert Dance Company will be at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Thursday 3 March to Saturday 5 March.

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