Dance: Rambert's Garden grows

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Indy Lifestyle Online
When the final clod of cement was craned into the roof of the new Sadler's Wells Theatre at last year's "topping out" ceremony, Rambert's artistic director, Christopher Bruce, was there to watch. Bruce's company will be the first to perform at the theatre when it opens in October. As he wandered around the interior - at that point a mere concrete shell - Bruce gazed appreciatively around the space, perhaps picturing the dances that would fill it.

Despite a scare story in the press last year suggesting that Bruce found the dual role of director and company choreographer insupportably onerous, the 52-year-old is still talking very much in the future tense. He announced last Thursday that Rambert will, over the next three years, be dancing works old and new by a Who's Who of contemporary choreography: Siobhan Davies, Merce Cunningham, Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, Mats Ek and, of course, Bruce himself.

Meanwhile, the company is currently touring Britain with a repertoire that exemplifies Bruce's commitment to cherishing old works while creating and importing new ones.

This week in Oxford, the company revives Cruel Garden, the fantastical dance drama that Bruce and Lindsay Kemp created for Rambert in 1977. The piece is based on the life and work of Federico Garcia Lorca. His tale is told in dance, song, mime and verse, and uses the original music of Carlos Miranda and a bullring-type set by Ralph Koltai. The authenticity of the revival should be assured by the fact that Bruce, Kemp and Miranda are working together on the re-staging.

The Cruel Garden performances in Oxford, Edinburgh and London are neatly sponsored by Gonzalez Byass - the sherry people. The timing of the revival is pegged to the fact that Lorca would be 100 this year - if he hadn't been assassinated in 1936.

Oxford Apollo Theatre (01865 244544) 6-9 May; Edinburgh Festival Theatre (0131-529 6000) 29-30 May; Sadler's Wells, London EC1, 10-15 Nov (booking opens later this year)