Browse reviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Ahead of the Curve

Unearthed Dance Company

Genre: Dance, Dance and Movement Theatre, Physical Theatre

Venue: Greenside @ Infirmary Street - Forest Theatre


Low Down

A dance piece with four vibrant sections, this has creativity as its central focus. We are treated to a range of performers with a range of movement styles all performed with the verve and vitality of the young. When coupled with the experience of a choreographer who knows both how to get the best out of the dancers but also what works for an audience, this has pep in more than just the steps. There is no central theme – aside from dance – and that means we go from everyone in a circle warming up through large group work till the Beetlejuice style ending shows that he really ain’t dead just yet!


If the amount of pent up energy onstage could solve anything , it would be our energy crisis. Such is the vitality with which these young Edinburgh based dancers grace the stage, that we could solve the nation’s problems by plugging them directly in.  The four pieces, aside from a reference to Beetlejuice and the cross from section 3 to the clear influence – costume and all – to the final piece are performed, to all intents and purposes, as separate entities.

Our first piece has a rhythmic coherence where the first group are mostly together, where the enthusiasm drives the performance forward. It is great to see the range of performers on show which is a consistency throughout all 4 pieces. In the 1st I really enjoyed the pair work whilst the 2nd piece brings in some voiceover/song to provide a bit of backdrop and it is similarly well worked. Third up was impressive with strength in group work whilst the visuals of the 4th section were a fitting end. It felt like their beginning, in a circle, warming up, had built up to the finale which was the most impressive of it all.

The choreography is tight and though I think there is some wasted space for some of the pieces by the 4th we have the full stage utilised and done with flair and confidence.

But can we talk costume? This was a performance filled with tremendous costume work. The Beetlejuice inspired costumes and the split leg trousers as well as the beginning with real colour coordination shows just how important it is to dress your performers. The Fringe can be a number of compromises thrust on a stage, here we got exactly why it is important to insist that things look as good as they perform. (I might not, however, have used tape – which fell off one performer during the 3rd piece which meant the ripping of the tape was a bit lost)

I left with a spring in my step because this had been a show where the performers had held centre stage. They had begun with serious looks but by the end we had smiles, and so did I, as it was a journey well worth being a part of.