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Edinburgh Fringe 2021

Catch The Bird Who Won’t Fly

Amina Khayyam Dance

Genre: Circus, Dance, Film, Physical Theatre

Venue: Summerhall Online


Low Down

We follow a bird to a variety of houses, from the housing estate to a suburban landscape. In each, apart from one we find one victim living there. Through dance and cartoon like images, we see her experience of domesticity where each deal with some form of violence. In the one we do not see a victim; we see their chalk outline with the image starkly reminding us of the inevitable consequences of unchecked domestic abuse. With the dance being taken from live performances and converted into the cartoon like nature of the backgrounds of meticulously drawn houses and domestic settings, this is illuminating and challenging. When the bird leaves us and flies off, we are aware we have plenty of work to do.



Tackling such an ugly truth for us all is such a huge challenge. To have taken the beauty of your creative spirt and put it out there for us all is therefore quite an admirable feat. I found this one of the most touching and fantastic pieces of film in lockdown.

The artwork is spectacular. The drawing of each of the urban landscapes is both distant form reality and very real. It is a measured approach allowing us to access the piece and reminds us fo the creative nature of the narratives.

The initial dance sequence where we have the one woman all grace and slick movement juxtaposed with images of another with bruises and pain is effective, because it sets a tone never dropped. So when one dancer slaps herself it is shocking and expected as we are all aware of the topics being explored. It invites us to starkly reflect upon the responsibility we all share for this as our communities, house so many domestic abusers. the mixture of dance that has poise with that with movements which reflect the violent acts being perpetrated are finely balanced and provide such a beautiful platform. I especially liked the male dancer’s piece, and the introduction of text here added another dimension.

It is a great piece with a fantastic approach to a very serious and contentious topic which has left a lasting impression, though it is a short film, it packs a metaphorical punch.