Life is a Dream follows a different format than the shows Rambert usually bring on tour; instead of a myriad of pieces performed separately between intervals, this production focused on something like a full-length play, drawing on a range of influences.
The dance show is primarily based upon the play Life is a Dream, written by Pedro Calderón de la Barca circa 1635. De la Barca`s play is about a man who, having faced incarnation throughout his life, and is finally released for a single day.
Rambert’s production team have taken this further to show how whilst incarcerated, one’s creative ability might thrive within the silence. Here we watch the man choreographing and directing the company of dancers whilst sat at his desk, like a puppet master with his strings.
The costumes were beautifully tailored to the performance and blended well with the sets and stage design. The lighting allowed the dancers’ movements to be tracked across the stage as they move in and out of the light for added effect. Alongside the lighting effects was an abundance of incredibly detailed projections that added layers of detail onto the performance, particularly when the main character was dreaming of the outside world.
The strong company of dancers were accompanied by an outstanding live orchestra, masterfully conducted by Paul Hoskins.
Overall the performance was engaging, as to be expected from a leading company such as Rambert. It was certainly a performance designed to stretch the boundaries of contemporary dance and provided an insight into a very different genre.
Rambert – Life is a Dream will tour around the country until March 2019.