FringeReview Scotland 2022
The performance begins with large shadows across a huge screen which focusses clearly on the abilities of each performer. Fluid solo and group movement combine to end with a group tableau. We then have the performers on more familiar staged territory as they come into the stage and begin solo, duo and group pieces in a combination of set choreography which highlights the divergence they represent but unity as an equity emerges of them being a whole group of settled and entertaining dancers.
The opening, behind the screen was a clever means through which I was entranced by the dance rather than any prejudice I may have unwittingly dragged with me. It allowed me to feel part of the whole rather than just be an observer.
Once we got beyond the screen, the performance became an absolute delight. Measured choreography which challenged dancers and audience alike was integrated with those far easier steps and work to contemplate brining a community to the stage rather than a showpiece. I loved it.
The music was pitched perfectly allowing us to see the moves and hear the changes rather than it being in contrast to the performances. The score by JP Waksman acts as a support, a springboard, and a platform upon which confident steps are being placed and the whole piece feels an integrated whole which our six dancers have achieved through respect for each other and their craft.
Well lit, but with a subtlety which again matched the well choreographed and directed set pieces, the technical details added something to the performances which added style. I was less enthusiastic about the costumes, but these are but a mere distraction rather than any form of issue.
It is perhaps unfair to single out single performers in an ensemble piece, but there was one to whom my eye was constantly drawn. I was not alone. Accompanied by my 14 year old dancing daughter, she too remarked upon how she loved this performers ability to bring you to her performance. It was the dancer’s comfort in the piece and her movement which was a joy. She was completely focused and totally in the moment and drew us as an audience to consider how well she worked along with an ensemble who were her equal, but it felt like there was nothing more precious that evening than her delight in sharing her work. It transcended the stage and travelled all the way to the back of the auditorium. It allowed us, not to compare unfavourably with her colleagues but comprehend the piece as a piece and not as a solo work of art – she drew us to a table where we were well served by everyone. I have often marvelled at the ability of those for whom prejudice is a consistent barrier to doing anything, smashing through and demanding respect for so doing. Here she shone. I was constantly giving myself a row for over-indulging myself in her utter comfort, joy and delight, but it reminded me of why I go to theatre and why the stage is a universal empty space – perhaps poignant given the loss we had the month prior.