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Edinburgh Fringe 2015


201 Dance Company

Genre: Dance and Movement Theatre

Venue: Zoo Venues


Low Down

A look at addiction, obsession, and commitment through dance.


201 Dance company bring Smother to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an urban dance piece exploring homosexuality, addiction, commitment and obsession.

The muted colours of their costumes against the plain black backdrop works well with the earthy movements and dirty beats of the hip-hop soundtrack, though while the choreography by Andrea Walker is beautifully done an even grittier choreography would have deepened the performance somewhat and created a more interesting show. There are flashes of real emotion which is brilliant to watch however they are not sustained and I found myself wanting more to come through into the performances.

Andrea Walker is amazing to watch and captures attention easily with the gracefulness of his movements, while Luigi Ambrosio is perhaps the most in tune to the urban beats. Alex Bowen provides incredible strength and grace through her movements, however it is Michaela Cisarikova who exudes the most heart through her dancing. All are very competent dancers however genuine heart and soul is perhaps what is lacking to pull it all together.

The lighting creates the dark, gritty atmosphere that remains constant while the incredible soundtrack is at times powerful, at others haunting and helps create a modern setting for a modern scenario. The club scene is a very real depiction of modern life, the highs of it spiraling down into the lows of reality. Pain, loss, and desperation are conveyed, particularly from Cisarikova, I would have liked to have seen more rawness from each of them though to really push the depth of feeling out into the audience. The decision to have homosexuality as a theme is excellent, for all equality continues to bound forward there is still a lack of representation towards mass audiences, shows such as Smother who include the LGBT theme without agenda are what we need more of.

All of the elements for an incredible show are there yet there is a lack of depth to the performance overall that prevents Smother from being more than just an entertaining dance piece. Smother is a joy to watch it is just lacking a fundamental ingredient. I will definitely be watching out for 201 Dance company as they have potential to become something magnificent.