Rambert Ballet, Norwich

A triumphant visit to the Theatre Royal from this group, surely Britain's most exciting contemporary dance company.

A triumphant visit to the Theatre Royal from this group, surely Britain's most exciting contemporary dance company.

Performing two completely different yet equally evocative pieces, the company is saying goodbye to Christopher Bruce, its artistic director of eight years, with an outstanding evening's entertainment.

The first piece, Grinning In Your Face, is Bruce's swansong to the company as he stands down later this year.

It was created by him last year to celebrate Rambert's 75th anniversary.


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Set in the baking American mid-west to music by blues and folk guitarist Martin Simpson, there's no storyline but a sequence of numbers which see nine dancers interpreting the music with passion and power.

In The Parades Gone By, Bruce took to the stage last night in the role of the ageing movie director.

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The piece, designed by the flamboyant Lindsay Kemp, has that rare ingredient – a healthy slice of humour. As it pokes gentle fun at countless cinematic clichés, we are treated to some wonderful Hollywood stars such as Valentino, Dracula, Beauty and the Beast and a terrific Fred and Ginger show-stopping number.

The dancing – its quality and variety – shows the company's range and ambition and indicates how much dance has progressed in recent times. It's so very much more than tutus and arabesques with the dancers pushing boundaries all the time.

Everyone gets a go at being top dog and it's thus impossible to pinpoint any one dancer – apart from Angela Towler who was as good as the “real” Ginger Rogers!

Make sure you get a ticket for this show – by whatever means you can!

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