Gavin Higgins / Rambert - Dark Arteries reviews

29 May 2015

Gavin Higgins’ new score for Rambert ballet, the first for brass band orchestration, receives rave reviews across UK media.

Reviews have been flooding in after Rambert’s staging of the world’s first ballet scored for brass band. Featuring previous European and British brass band champions, Tredegar Town Band, the ballet ran at Sadler’s Wells from 12-16 May 2015.

Gavin Higgins and Rambert Artistic Director Mark Baldwin have created a work that is powerful and uplifting, celebrating how brass band music endures as the legacy of the communities which mined the coalfields – the ‘dark arteries’ – of Britain. It is a dance which draws you into its emotional heart, even as the sound lifts the hairs on the back of your neck, then raises the roof.

[music] ‘of such ingenuity, flair and skill’ The Stage

‘Gavin Higgins score is ‘full of deep rumbles, driving syncopation and sweet clashing chords’ Evening Standard

‘Higgins’s music will certainly stand on its own as a concert piece… its flickering power comes from the ensembles and the music driving them.’ Dance Tabs

Gavin Higgins is a properly orchestral composer, capable of handling textures and harmonic and rhythmic complexity in a way sadly too rare in contemporary dance scores’ Dance Tabs

‘Higgins’s music is slow and subtle, and I would really have liked to listen with my eyes shut’ The Arts Desk

‘The dark, glittering sound palette of Higgins’s score’ The Guardian

‘Dark Arteries is driven by its music’ The Independent

There were also articles written on the ballet in The Times, BBC Music Magazine, Classical Music Magazine, BBC News, Music Matters on BBC Radio 3 and Front Row on BBC Radio 4.