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Edinburgh Fringe 2021


Free Fall Dance - Italy

Genre: Dance

Venue: C-Arts


Low Down

We live in the era of global communication, but it has never been so difficult to be understood. We do not listen with the intention of understanding, but with the intention of answering.




A woman lies on the ground, seemingly naked and asleep, while other women dissolve in and out, huddling over her prone body.  After a series of quick dissolves the dance becomes a series of interlocking choreographies for the company of 5 women performed with great emotion.  Occasional voice overs, usually a male authority ( seemingly a doctor) extolls calm, while a woman reiterates her anxiety and asserts that their depth of miscommunication is surreal.  Her frustration and anxiety grow.


The group movement (sometimes with props, sometimes in unison, sometimes in a rippling game of causality) is punctuated by duets and solos.  A leader emerges who is supported by the company, almost as a Greek chorus echoing her emotional state and movement.  Kudos to the leader/principal dancer, who has lovely extensions and punctuations of phrase.

Relentless in inventive sequences, the emotional drive of the dance was difficult to follow as many sequences were clever, but appeared un-related .  A more clearly developed through-line would have helped the audience to emotionally engage.  As it was, the dance stayed  distant until the climax, at which point the emotional build of the piece drew me in–  hungry animals devour each other, and the lead dancer is gagged and blindfolded.  The blindfold turns into a tether and the dancer is manipulated by her colleagues.  An internal resolution takes place after this tethering, (though the exact trigger is unclear), and the principal dancer discards her black clothing and is joined by the others in a dance of liberation and expansion.  All face the audience and walk slowly to the lip of the stage as the curtain descends.


This is a good show that probably benefits from a live viewing.  Although an Italian audience will gain more detail from the voice-over text, the general intent was clear enough that the non-Italian speaker can still immerse themselves in the performance.  Although sequentially disjointed, committed performances from the company kept the viewer engaged.