Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Welsh Dance Strand take us on a tour of urban dance, parkour and a moveable set to showcase what they can do. The moves are impressive and the work manages to create opportunities for dance and movement.
We begin by being informed that one dancer is injured and then see three come out to perform. The urban dance styles are ticked off as all three work in pairs, solo and as a group to use the space as imaginatively as possible. During the performance they take the set which is two large wedges on a walk that allows further exploration and dance work.
The fact that one of the dancers was unable to perform may have affected their performance. I didn’t really catch onto how the performance managed to live up to the claims that it would take you on a journey in and out of hope. The narrative it promised of making the impossible possible was lost on me and it was the lack of an overarching framework with which I really struggled. I was not looking for a voiceover but finding relationships between the dancers or various scenarios using the set and the movement was just missing.
The sight lines at the start was also an issue as I struggled to see the beginning. I was unsure just why it was started there and at various times it tended to end up stage right for no apparent reason.
Apart from that there is much to admire in this work. I take it that some of the work being slightly out of sync was due to a missing member of the troupe but the standard displayed was tremendous. Some of the use of the wedges as set hinted at the issues I refer to above. There were also times of sheer genius from the dancers and a great sense of camaraderie from them.
The design therefore worked well for me and the possibilities that it presented were great. On many an occasion those opportunities were taken. As a piece of contemporary dance I would like to see it again – with all four involved – as I got the impression that what we saw was the tip of a very good iceberg. The company clearly have much more to give and if they were to have clearer narrative I would be keen to witness that progression.