Saturday, 15 November 2008

Eternal Light, Dance Rambert/Sadler's Wells

Howard Goodall's Eternal Light - A Requiem was commissioned for the twentieth anniversary of London Musici, Rambert Dance's associate orchestra. Seeped in the English choral tradition, as one would expect from an ex-chorister, Howard's Requiem calls on two choirs, two soloists and orchestra making it one of his longest and most substantial compositions to date. Whether its highly melodic accessibility is to every body's taste, Eternal Light will surely have no difficulties surviving as a stand alone piece in the concert hall. The problems arise with it as a vehicle for a dance company as demonstrated at Sadler's Wells last night. For hard as the excellent Rambert dancers tried, the music's soft-focus never really allowed the choreographer, Mark Baldwin, to dig deeper than the merely pretty. Bordering as it did at times on the cliched, the whole evening had a bit of a West Endy feel to it. Nothing wrong with that, but is that what Dance Rambert's for?

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