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Rooms - Rambert Livestream Review

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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Live Dance Show Depicting Eccentric Slice Of Life
After spending the best part of a year couped up inside, this latest dance production strikes a chord as it peeps into the dramas of 100 characters in various 'rooms'.

But with everything from Rubik's Cube competitors to a police raid on a cannabis factory and even a gorilla on the loose, expect something more eccentric than how most of us spent lockdown, binge-watching boxsets on the sofa.

Rambert, dance, Rooms, review, Birmingham Hippodrome, weekend notes
Flamboyant scenes from life in Rooms


London-based dance company Rambert is behind this new creative production from Norwegian choreographer, theatre and film director Jo Strømgren. Performances of Rooms are streamed live in real-time from April 8 to 10 and I watched it through Birmingham Hippodrome, which partnered with Rambert for this world premiere.

You never know what goes on behind closed doors and that couldn't be more true as the audience gets a fly on the wall slice of life through a cavalcade of often eccentric people.

From the start, Rooms is funny, sexy and yet also solemn as it stylishly moves swiftly between passionate French lovers to a lonely suicidal man and everything inbetween.

Dancers move through interconnecting doors at a block of flats as the momentum builds through this one-hour production, cleverly put together by Strømgren.

Rambert, dance, Rooms, review, Birmingham Hippodrome, weekend notes
Be a fly on the wall at Rooms


Rooms is a masterpiece in storytelling as the choreography and minimal dialogue take you through life and death moments. It's fresh and relatable escapism, although it does get more bizarre towards the finale when a gorilla starts to run amock.

These micro-stories combine dance and music styles from around the world too. There are Bollywood-esque sequences, Yiddish dancers and the modern avant-garde choreography that Rambert is more known for, that aims to push the boundaries.

The most poignant is an atmospheric section with a woman trying to break free from a cupboard she's trapped into. How many of us would have felt that overwhelming claustrophobia over the past year?

Rambert, dance, Rooms, review, Birmingham Hippodrome, weekend notes
Dance sequences strike a chord with lockdown feelings


What keeps you enthralled is the constant witty undercurrent, whether it's between the tension of opera performers preparing for a show and the beautiful aria that follows or antics in a radio studio by an unprofessional presenter and his producer that has clever similarities to the tale of Narcissus and Echo.

Then there's the bed swapping French lovers that will bring a wry smile.

Strømgren has created this dance production specifically for the camera although dancers are performing live.

You can't help but feel a crackle of excitement at watching a real-time stage production, even if it is on screen.

It's beautifully glamorous and colourful, bringing a vibrancy into your home. Rooms gives you everything that you've missed from the absence of theatre over the past year. Catch it while you can.

Rating:

Rooms is streamed online on 8 Apr at 12pm, 9 Apr at 8pm and 10 Apr at 8pm GMT.
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Why? Enjoy live streaming of an innovative dance show
When: April 8- 11
Phone: 44 (0) 20 8630 0600
Where: Online from your home
Cost: £10
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