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The Castaways


The Lowry, 9 October 2013


In a way the four works on show told not just a story but a history.

The first, L’Apres-midi d’un faune, pointed towards Rambert’s origins: during her year with the Ballets Russes, Marie Rambert saw Nijinsky himself dance this role.

There followed two works, What Wild Ecstasy and Monolith, characterised by inventive choreography and invigorating, exciting movement: all that we have come to expect of Rambert.  You could describe the first of these as a riff on the theme of germination, the birds and the bees and all that; the choreography is by Mark Baldwin, Rambert’s present artistic director.

As for the final offering, Barak Marshall’s The Castaways, which received its world premiere here, it is a fractal work full of colourful, kaleidoscopic movement.  What you look for in such segmented works – besides absorbing spectacle and a goodly quota of Wow moments, that should go without saying –  are intriguing lacunae and suggestive connections.  And the music – Yiddish songs, Andalusian rhythms – did a grand job in that regard.  You don’t go away disappointed.

Was Marshall’s work a pointer towards the future, perhaps?  At any rate, with Rambert choreography will never be a chore.

Rambert perform at The Lowry until 11 October, then tour throughout the UK.  Full tour dates are here.