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Review: dance

Rambert

not fading away: Rambert relives the 60s rock'n'roll swagger of the Rolling Stones.
not fading away: Rambert relives the 60s rock'n'roll swagger of the Rolling Stones.

Rambert

His Majesty's, Aberdeen

Mary Brennan

I'm-a gonna tell you how it's gonna be ... On-stage, slick dudes in velvet jackets and bright shirts - very peacock, very 60s - will strut snake-hipped stuff as if they are God's gift to the dolly birds prancing by. But the mini-skirted girlies have sassy moves of their own, thanks. And they'll soon suss the macho swaggering and preening for what it is: wishful posturing that takes its cue from the early music of the Rolling Stones.

It is 20 years since Rambert first delighted audiences with Rooster - and more than a decade since they staged the piece in the UK - but Christopher Bruce's choreography wittily nails the period, and the essence of the music, in a way that is timelessly appealing and not likely to fade away any time soon.

Two new additions to the repertoire bookend Rooster. Barak Marshall's The Castaways sees a dozen strangers coralled in a limbo with no exit - did they arrive by the giant rubbish chute that occasionally delivers props? Their ingrained character defects emerge in dances set to a pot-pourri of world rhythms, Balkan folk music and Yiddish pop among them. There is humour, energy and poignant twists in Marshall's deft vignettes where hopes of freedom keep everyone dancing. Funny, but tinged with all kinds of dark associations.

The programme opens with Subterrain, Ashley Page's smoky, brooding interplay between five couples set to conflicting music by Aphex Twin and Mark-Anthony Turnage.

The Rambert dancers carry off the sculpted angularities, complex lifts and slow-smouldering love-knots of pliant limbs with an unhurried precision, as if they are playing a mysterious game in some shadowy underpass - though as the ceiling lowers down, the notion of impending pressure cooks in the mind.

Repeated tonight

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