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Edinburgh Fringe 2019


Cie No Way Back / Milan Emmanuel

Genre: Breakin’, Dance, Hip Hop, Physical Theatre, Theatre

Venue: Summerhall


Low Down

“FrontX shows a range of international street artists who combine exceptional energy and resilience. Their fascinating personal life stories are the main theme of the show. What interests us most is highlighting their inner motivations and what pushes them to specialise in their unique techniques.”


An ensemble of six performers – all very different – tell their stories and perform their specialist skills.

One arrives carrying an interesting prop – he starts to beat box and loop his explosive vocal sounds until it sounds like several people are contributing. Immediately this is intriguing. One with hyper fluid movement moves across the stage in rhythmic undulations. Then another performer arrives and starts break dancing, three others appear and burst into movement, it’s exciting stuff!

Milan Emmanuel, Director of FrontX and based in Belgium is an accomplished break dancer and he has collaborated on theatre projects with several renowned directors. He has brought together these artists and created an entertaining show that is fresh, charming and dynamic. Each performer’s individuality is especially interesting – and they all seem to really enjoy each other’s company. So who are they?

Big Ben is a human Beatbox. He masterfully creates complex rhythms and shares a special interest of his when he tells his own story from his childhood, he is gentle yet his presence is strong,

Michael Anigbe break dances athletically, spinning with powerful movement. His personal story told through voiceover is moving and so relatable.

Roya the Destoya, who was born with one leg, is a powerhouse of charisma and energy and she leaps around the space break dancing. She tells her story with energy and sincerity to the audience before doing acrobatic balances and joining in to dance with some of the other performers,

Phax Said Cheik Ahamada says he is the slowest man on earth! He does slow motion pantomime movement and street dance and his moves are smooth – like butter! In one section he tells a story and becomes a small animal moving like jelly, with huge bulging eyes, this is engaging and very effective physical storytelling.

Hello Shelly does a singular kind of dancing, with eccentric expansive movement and boxing sequences. She has a contemporary approach to femininity and dance which comes across in her interactions to the audience and ensemble. Her costume is zany and her dance is zanier!

Finally, Aurélie Castin is an Austrian singer with a beautiful soprano voice that can last forever on one note, she is also a graceful dancer. One thing about this show is how different styles of performance blend together to create unexpected and impactful scenes. This classical singer’s voice soars and builds drama to the storytelling in unexpected ways.

Several times they all team up for short bits together and they all stay on stage during the show listening to the stories and supporting one another.

This is a playful and vibrant ensemble with expressive faces, warm personalities and physical skills and they play off each other really well, sometimes doing some moves together. This is what fringe is all about, bringing people together who create something special. The hour passes fast and we could happily sit and watch more from these endearing skilled characters. FrontX is more than a show it’s a joyful, entertaining and moving experience – Highly Recommended!