ONE of the UK’s top dance companies wowed a sold out crowd on the first night of its three day run at the Alhambra Theatre last night.

Britain's national dance company Rambert brought their acclaimed Ghost Dances, by Christopher Bruce, to Bradford, with their high energy performances eliciting a huge response from the crowds.

The performance is split into three parts - the headline act being Ghost Dances, a Latin American themed performance that features three skeletal dancers and is inspired by political oppression and the Mexican Day of the Dead.

The other dances are Goat, a piece that mixes the music of Nina Simone, comedy and energetic performances to create a segment that both celebrates and at times pokes fun of, modern dance.

And starting the evening is A Lina Curva - an energetic piece that sees 26 dancers on stage moving to the beats of a live percussion band.

The run got off to a spectacular start yesterday, enthralling a crowd that included members of numerous local dance schools.

All three performances are hugely different, but each one was impeccably performed by the incredibly skilled dancers, with equally skilled musicians backing them up.

A Lina Curva was exhausting even to watch, with the stage filled with dancers who seemed to be in constant movement across the stage, like a human murmuration. The percussion based dance was backed by a live band at the back of the stage, creating beats with all manner of instruments and even by slapping their faces and pounding their chests.

Ghost Dances was a complete change of pace, with a much smaller cast of dancers performing to more subdued music - and even in moments of near silence. The most striking part of the routine are the main "ghost" figures - three skull masked dancers that move around the stage like a triumvirate of rhythmic Skeletors, interacting with the "human" dancers and luring them to their deaths while Central American folk music plays in the background.

Goat is by far the most bizarre of the three performances. It starts as a kind of mocumentary looking behind the scenes of a dance school, playfully mocking many of the stereotypes of contemporary dance. It then moves to a dance tribute to Nina Simone, with some of her songs performed live, backed up by a jazz band. It then took a bizarre turn to almost Lord of the Flies territory before bringing the evening to an end with thunderous applause.

The most striking thing about the night is just how different these three performances were, despite the same dancers performing all three within just a few minutes of each. It seems like three completely separate shows, rather than three chapters of the same production.

Each of the thee performances were met with awe by the crowd, with the many young dancers attending likely having found new inspiration for their future careers.

Ghost Dances runs until tomorrow, and for tickets visit