Rooms: Birmingham Hippodrome in partnership with Rambert Dance Company

Jessica Harris watches a small screen collaboration.

Different rooms, different worlds. Through this series of beautifully performed dances, Rambert presented cameos of how we live our lives, and of the diversity of human experience and identity.

As we peeked through windows, we saw a shifting sequence of encounters and experiences. And we glimpsed the marks these made. As the encounters changed, so did the impressions left on our minds: images of disorientation and dissonance, of tension and trust, and of uncertainty and hope.

Some of the pieces were humorous, others were surreal and filled with ambiguity. A bit like life, really. But running through the work was a sense of our interconnectivity as human beings, and of our inter-dependency.

Produced specially for the small screen, the large stage more normally used for dance gave way to small spaces confined by four walls. This enabled a feeling of being almost in the rooms. It was a joy to be so close to the dancers, courtesy of clever camera work, and to recognize a little of the physical and emotional challenges of their performance. The production was all the more poignant for our intimate positioning within it, as an audience.

The production’s lighting was well considered, enhancing the effectiveness of Rooms on a small screen, whilst the musical score was as diverse as each of the dance pieces.

Choreographer and theatre and award winning film director was Norwegian Jo Strømgren. Talking about Rooms, Jo said; “Diversity is a bouquet of different colours and I love it… Rooms offers glimpses through the windows of different people’s lives, to create a kind of mosaic of the cityscape environment. It’s like the unfinished narrative you create in your head as you pass by windows on a bike ride.”

Rooms involved 17 dancers, 36 scenes and 100 characters. As part of a new partnership between Birmingham Hippodrome and Rambert, it promises an exciting and creative future.