Jo Tomalin’s Dance Choices for the Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Shows based on dance range from pure technique of a single style, or a creative mix of more than one style, to those that integrate other skills such as physical theatre or spoken word in their visual storytelling. Topics and inspiration vary from personal experiences to research about important issues in the world. An empty space – with one or more dancers of any style of dance, is all that is needed to create, choreograph, rehearse and then perform the dance piece to an audience. Here are our recommendations for 2023.

Ageless at Assembly @ Dance Base comprises two new works for this Edinburgh Fringe about stereotypes, life, loss and creativity. PRIME is Scotland’s leading dance company for those over 60, their website describes each piece:“Toeing the Line? responds to our ever-changing times, shifting between set choreography and improvised movement phrases. The Infinite Life Journey, translates the narrative explorations of water, grief and incarnation to map the life journey of each dancer.”

The Art of Falling from the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland and Koolitantsu Kompanii, Estonia is a dynamic triple bill of contemporary dance pieces that explore “the concepts of falling, resilience and connection in this uncertain and chaotic world” playing at Assembly @ Dance Base.

Beyond Boundaries is a Hip Hop dance show combining the cultures and explorations of four different performers, playing at Assembly @ Dance Base. “Asili by Dorine Mugisha explores Dorine’s multicultural journey of self-discovery as she navigates systems, people and places. Broken Circuit by Max Evans delves into our connection with AI and questions its capacity to fulfil our emotional needs. Reflection by Nevil Jose and Ursula Manandhar expresses an internal conflict between the artists traditional culture and the freedom they desire.”

Dances Like a Bomb is a dance theatre piece created by Junk Ensemble, performed by two performers: actor Mikel Murfi and leading dance artist Finola Cronin (formerly of Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal). While playing off of each other with both dramatic and comedic flair they find relatable situations in a relationship, theirs is with a focus on staying independent while aging, playing at Zoo Southside.

Harvest is a piece about agriculture and dance from Recoil Performance Group. The piece was developed from research in Denmark about farming, playing at Zoo Southside. Two dancers from very different traditions come together – one is a contemporary dancer and the other is a neo-flamenco dancer – to express their points of view through dance in their own way on this eco topic.

Magnetoreception is a contemporary dance duet from Odyl Creations by Sarah Hirsch and Philip McDermott playing at Greenside @Infirmary Street. This lyrical and emotive dance is set to a soundscape of natural sounds and gentle classical music. Hirsch and McDermott explore what pulls and pushes people towards and away from each other.

Mass Effect from Denmark’s Himherandit Productions is a high energy athletic dance piece that pushes dancers to their limits through complex running formations, physical movement, rhythm and sound. If you are looking for an immersive dance experience go and see what happens as the ensemble of several dancers use the space fully to create a joyous spectacle. Playing at Summerhall.

You and Me from the Amina Khayyam Dance Company melds Kathak dance with energetic physicality and emotive characterisations to tell the story about “Man meets man… discovering happiness he has never known before; but he has a wife and family at home. A dance piece choreographed from a south Asian feminist perspective…developed with two LGBTQ+ performers” playing at Summerhall.


Jo Tomalin is FringeReview’s editor in San Francisco, USA. She is an expert in movement, physical theatre and voice.