Tale of repression returns

TORTURE, skeletons and brutal political repression all feature in Ghost Dances – one of the most famous pieces choreographed by Christopher Bruce for Britain’s oldest dance companies, Rambert.

And yet, he insists: “I don’t make dances to make a statement…I want to make good, well-crafted

dance works and if it manages to say something, that’s wonderful. That’s the icing on the cake.” Ghost Dances dates from 1981 but he is reviving it and hopes that it will speak just as strongly to a new generation.

It was inspired by a letter he received from the human rights activist Joan Jara, whose husband Victor, a Chilean singer, poet and theatre director, had been tortured and killed in the Pinochet coup which seized power in Chile in 1973. Danced to the traditional folk music, it uses Day of the Dead images – the skeleton exposed on the front of the body – to suggest the ferocious oppression that led to thousands of people being murdered across South America at the time.

Rambert will bring a triple bill including Ghost Dances to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Tuesday 27 March to Thursday 29 March.


Rambert’s Ghost Dances. Photograph © Jane Hobson.

See 15 March issue for full report

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