Rambert, Sadler’s Wells, dance review: Long and unfocused

The evening opens with Ashley Page’s Subterrain: more gloom

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The Independent Culture

Everything in Triptych, Rambert’s latest mixed bill, is too long. Mark Baldwin’s new The Strange Charm of Mother Nature has some sumptuous dancing, slowed down by episodic structure and dim lighting. Shobana Jeyasingh’s new Terra Incognita is just murky.

Terra Incognita is Jeyasingh’s first work for Rambert, Britain’s flagship contemporary company. She draws on the Indian classical style Bharata Natyam, with delicate hand positions and deep pliés for dancers in kilted skirts, but the phrasing is choppy. Translucent green screens drop, making the dance even more remote. Jeyasingh’s duets are needy and dull, the dancers clinging to each other to Gabriel Prokofiev’s dark score.

Recent works by Mark Baldwin, Rambert’s artistic director, have been inspired by science. In The Strange Charm of Mother Nature, he draws on ideas of quarks and the Large Hadron Collider to create an old-school pure dance work for 13 dancers in shiny unitards. The performances are luscious, with Pierre Tappon and Simone Damburg Würtz standing out in speedy, dipping steps.

Rambert’s own orchestra play stylishly, but the mix of music by Stravinsky, Bach and Cheryl Frances-Hoad makes Strange Charm overlong and unfocused. The evening opens with Ashley Page’s Subterrain: more gloom.

Until 22 November. Box office 0844 412 4300. Touring until 29 November.

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