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Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Ballet Freedom

Freedom Ballet of Ukraine

Genre: Contemporary, Dance, International

Venue: Pleasance at EICC


Low Down

Spectacular world renowned ballet company journey from Kyiv. Freedom Ballet celebrate their 20th anniversary in Edinburgh with 14 incredible dancers. An outstanding dance collective. Their intimate, sensual ballet is astonishing. This adaptation of their hit show Boudoir is about the moment of life, when knowing yourself, your love and your loss, you can truly see yourself in the mirror.

Warnings and additional info: This show contains audience interaction, nudity, scenes of a sexual nature, and adult themes.


From the Ukraine, this ballet company is a collective of fourteen dancers who have managed to live outside of the Ukraine for many months and adapt or recreate existing content in order to be able to tour and to continue their art form. Ballet Freedom is rom Kyiv, and after recent performances in the Ukraine, Ballet Freedom celebrates its 20th anniversary in Edinburgh.

In this theatrical show, based on contemporary dance with touches of one or two other dance styles including tango, the story focuses around a feast that looks like it is held at a hotel. A colourful procession of guests dressed in fascinating costumes in red and long wide white skirts with curious medieval looking red hats walk onstage.

The set comprises a banquet table with chairs and a large wardrobe with three doors that transform into several other places cleverly. There is much door play and comings and goings throughout the show that leads to successful farcical situations and much witty humour!

At first a group of men in long formal evening wear perform quirky choreography with exaggerated eccentric moves in precision unison – with wonderful purple lighting – which sets the tone for the show! Creative choreography features solos, partners, small and large groups, including a duo set to classical piano music with lifts, bodies wrapped around each other and a daring drop! In every dance sequence the dancers are well trained and outstanding in technique with precision.

Music choices for the dance sequences are eclectic and include rhythmic, contemporary, tango, classical and whimsical music depending on the scene. While much of the story is upbeat or sexy there are sad dances too, such as a dance where a couple are breaking up, which is visceral and bold with theatrical interactions.

Much of this show is cabaret style and is entertaining. A main theme running through the majority of each dance or scene is the erotic nature of the movement from early on in the show to the end. However, there are some fascinating numbers that are less so and are enjoyable, very entertaining and successful visual storytelling. For example, a highlight is a dance with zippy retro french music and song which was very well received because it was character driven with interesting choreography and very well danced by the ensemble. In a scene near the beginning of the show a duo with a male and a female dancer is both dramatic and aggressive, which may trigger some. Twice through the show audience interaction was energetically encouraged, which was interesting but unexpected.

Costumes for every dance are different and well designed. They match the professionalism of the dancers and are sophisticated and artistic.