Rambert Dance Company comes to Edinburgh

Industry leading London troupe to serve up another triple bill this winter

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Rambert Dance Company comes to Edinburgh

For many dance companies, the triple-bill is almost a guilty pleasure. Brought out once a year, it can’t hope to compete with the pulling power of a full-length narrative. Yet, throughout its history, Rambert Dance Company has served up triple bills as if they were the plat du jour, attracting large crowds along the way.

‘It seems to be what we’re good at,’ says Rambert’s artistic director, Mark Baldwin. ‘We’re one of the few companies in the world whose diet is triple-bills, and I think it’s a lovely way to show people dance. Madame Rambert used to say it was like going to an art gallery, where you look at different paintings. So even though we sell the tour on one work, we pack other things around it to support that.’

This year, the central work is Awakenings, a dramatic piece choreographed by Aletta Collins, inspired by true-life stories in Dr Oliver Sacks’ book of the same name. ‘I think Aletta has pulled it off beautifully,’ says Baldwin. ‘Because when you’re dealing with a subject as serious as Encephalitis Lethargica, it’s nice to have little touches of black humour.’

Opening the evening is Monolith, a world premiere by Tim Rushton, an English-born choreographer who danced in Germany for many years before becoming artistic director of Danish Dance Theatre. ‘I can see all the European things Tim has picked up and filtered into his work,’ says Baldwin. ‘But he’s also got a tidy English precision, because he trained at the Royal Ballet School.’

The evening closes with Cardoon Club by Berliner, Henrietta Horn. ‘It’s the smiley fun piece,’ says Baldwin. ‘It’s cool, understated, sardonic, gorgeous to look at and a lovely sort of lollypop at the end.’

One of the skills involved in building a triple bill, is knowing what to position where. How does Baldwin go about it? ‘I’ll write the pieces down on a piece of cardboard and stand them up somewhere,’ he explains. ‘and as I pass them I’m thinking “is that the right order?” Because often if you change the order, it makes you see the works in a completely different way.’

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 16–Fri 18 Feb

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