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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Okinawa San San

Ship Of The Ryukyu

Genre: Dance and Movement Theatre

Venue: Greenside @Nicolson Square


Low Down

The fisherman works hard and finds a wife. They build a house in which they are blessed with a child. The whole community are part of their journey and rally round to give us one of the happiest stories you are likely to find anywhere in Edinburgh in August.


This is a straight story of contentment. We see the fisherman working hard, his future wife dance solo before they meet in the market. There he gives her his best catch as the other sellers look on in envy until they realise this is a love match. The courting begins until the marriage is sealed within the house built for them both. We end with the entire community dancing round in celebration of their love.

This is one of the happiest casts and stories to be seen on any stage. You add traditional live music – as well as audience pleasers like Auld Lang Syne and Amazing Grace – and the type of dance and movement that is simply all about the culture that it celebrates and we have 45 minutes of sitting back and just enjoying the enthusiasm of the cast.

The narrative has no drama or peril involved and the music, which is all live, adds to the simple storytelling which is good. Each dancer has an individual style that shines through their collective narrative.

Both the costumes and the props are very effectively used and critical to the piece. We have quick changes, houses that are constructed in minutes, backdrops that are swept away in seconds and hand held props that would look dangerous in anyone else’s hands.

It feels like a Japanese advert and in many ways this is what it is. It is a very high quality advert and you are not likely to see massive misery anywhere in the script or their dance. It is designed to be appealing and appealing is what it is.

I saw this company last year and loved their work. This year I loved it again but perhaps needed something a little more than a similar happy style. Don’t get me wrong this is dance of the highest calibre but adverts are what appears between the main programme and I was hoping for something with a little more drama.

That notwithstanding if you are looking for 45 minutes of intense pleasantness I don’t think you will get better in August in Edinburgh.