Sadler’s Wells, London
Christine and the Queens’ choreographer Marion Motin delivers a pounding debut, alongside early work by Wayne McGregor and Hofesh Shechter
French hip-hop choreographer Marion Motin is best known for making videos for Christine and the Queens and Dua Lipa, and has now created her first work for a contemporary company. It’s a statement of intent from Rambert’s new artistic director, Benoit Swan Pouffer. Rambert might be Britain’s oldest dance company but they’re downing the elixir of youth.
Motin is moving away from commercial dance here, but the best bits of her piece Rouge are the ones that look as if they could be in a music video: pounding repetitive motion in tight unison, bodies jacking hard against a four-to-the-floor beat with full-on strobes and a wall of sound (Micka Luna’s guitar-heavy score). The run-up to this pure adrenaline kick is less exciting. In an unfocused first half, not much happens for a long time. Seven people are stranded in the middle of the night, dressed as if they’ve rampaged through a vintage shop (feather boa, fur coat, pearls). Once costumes have been shed, each dancer retains their individual character, their own posture and attack, so even when they come to dance the same steps the result can be fey, funky, muscular or, in the notable case of dancer Daniel Davidson, waspishly articulate. Rouge is a rush, but also a flawed piece; it almost feels as if it needs a lead singer as a central focus.
Rambert: McGregor / Motin / Shechter review – an adrenaline rush