Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Esme Rowe:
Hi, my name is Esme Rowe, and my nickname is Mimi. I am 13 years old and I love to dance, sing, act, play the piano and do calligraphy. This is my life and I love to live it in my own way. I dance at Totnes School of Dance and I go to KEVICC’s in Totnes. In the future I would love to attend a Dance College. This year has been amazing for me, as I was selected to dance for England at the Dance World Cup in Spain. I participated in 3 group dances and won 2 gold medals and a 4th place. Then at the end of the summer I attended the Brighton Tap Festival and won the Intermediate Cutting Competition. I love having the opportunity to review Devon dance shows because I love to watch dance shows and see different styles, I then try and copy their ideas and use them in my dance.
Review of Life is a Dream | Rambert by Esme Rowe
Tuesday 27 November 2018 at Theatre Royal Plymouth
Life is a Dream, choreographer Kim Brandstrup’s work for Rambert, sets an amazing atmosphere that was eerie and intriguing. The work is based on a play by Pedro Calderon ‘Life is a Dream’. With a live orchestra playing music from composer Witold Lutoslawski. Music and choreography both combined in equal amounts, to make watching this production seem haunting and dream-like.
The stage was set in a dark room with two tall windows at the back, a bed and a man was slumped over a desk, the desk lamp flickering on the table added effect. The dancers appeared and were dressed in a mix of costumes from 17th century men’s pleated culottes and fitted bodices to the shapes of the 1950’s. The black, grey and white costumes added to the feel of confusion not knowing which timeframe you were watching.
Projections onto the windows would appear showing moonlight, trees blowing in the wind and strange images. The orchestra played sounds over the music, of waves crashing, rustling leaves, scratching and other strange sounds.
My most memorable part was of the sleeping man dancing a mirror like dance with himself, the timing of the two dancers during this scene was amazing.
I was intrigued by the strong contemporary performance of the dancers. I went home and read further about this fabulous production. What I then learnt was; the sleeping figure was a director and in his dream the actors returned after a day’s rehearsal to get to grips with the play. He found he could manipulate the actors like marionettes. (This explains the marionette on the stage that the dancers danced with). The play itself was about a Prince that had been imprisoned by his father. The Prince was released for a day and the freedom he experienced in outside life filled him with greed and anger. At the end of the day he again was imprisoned. When waking he was told everything was a dream – or was it!
If I am honest, I felt confused and reflective, not really understanding what the dance was about but knowing how much I had enjoyed the performance. The dancers, music, mystery and atmosphere were amazing and exciting.
Top Image: Rambert’s Life is a Dream