O'er Rambert We Watch

We caught a fleeting glimpse of Christopher Bruce's supremely musical gift for movement last season when the San Francisco Ballet staged Sargeant's Early Dream, Bruce's Rodeo-like suite of dances set to Irish folk music; when Rambert Dance Company performs this weekend, we'll catch another. The company, founded as Ballet Rambert in Britain by former Ballet Russes star Marie Rambert, found firm footing among the world's ballet companies and nurtured ballet greats like Antony Tudor before shifting its emphasis from classical to avant-garde back in the '60s, eventually changing the company's name to reflect its expanded aesthetic horizons. A handful of die-hard classicists grumbled about the addition of modern-dance works by Merce Cunningham and Lucinda Childs to the company's repertoire, but anybody who cared about good dance has gotten over it. Modern meets mod in this program, as Bruce, a Rambert protege, demonstrates his range with Rooster, a collection of dances set to old Rolling Stones rockers like "Sympathy for the Devil"; Swansong, which floats over Phillip Chambron's percussion score; and Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin's Axioma 7, set to Bach's Brandenberg Concerto No. 4. The show begins Friday at 8 p.m. (also Saturday) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $18-40; call (510) 642-9988.

-- Heather Wisner

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