Yes, I finally made it though the ridiculously long train journey and staying in a hostel on my own – but it was all worth it! I can’t say this is my ‘Pick of the Fringe’; I was only there for 2 days, so I just saw as much as possible and reviewed everything. Apart from that late comedy night Spank, which kind of speaks for itself – classic, dirty fun...
2Faced Dance Company – In the Dust
Zoo Southside 25/8/11
Zoo Southside 25/8/11
“2Faced is set to transport contemporary dance out of the “marmite” zone of arts festivals.”
This all male dance company is not your average contemporary/break dance blend. The versatile dancers, faultless at breaking, have created their own fuse with their professional training backgrounds in ballet and contemporary - giving them an impressive edge. The choreography is quirky and unpredictable, fierce and sexy – yet danced almost elegantly, as the inhuman, lightweight way they glide across the floor is unmatched by any other dancers I’ve seen.
‘In The Dust’ is the perfect triple bill, consisting of an explosive opener, a humorous piece and an intense closing performance inspired by a serious subject; the Haiti earthquake. 2Faced Dance Company is innovative and unique, and judging by their sell-out, five star reviews from Edinburgh they are set for great, deserving success.
Two Thirds Sky – Hold
Spotlites @ The Merchants' Hall 24/8/11
“A piece infused with so much narrative, yet just as much ambiguity that it keeps you enchanted.”
I’m trying my best not to be biased with this one, as I know absolutely everyone involved in the company. Yet I think I speak for most audience members when I say that this piece really does grip you from start to finish. The mood changes abruptly, as the dancers’ relationship is constantly changing, as they overcome obstacles together and deal with various random props and costume changes.
One review states “If Florence and the Machine made dances, this is what it would look like.” I can only agree, as the dancers tell a beautiful story, but it is up to the audience to decide what is actually happening onstage – this dance piece is so open to interpretation that it keeps you engaged and leaves you feeling charmed.
Tom Dale Company – I Infinite
“An intriguing, mesmerising journey through digital technologies.”
This performance was distinctive right from the offset, as I was asked to remove my shoes and wear a Harry Potter-esque cloak. I Infinite is no ordinary contemporary dance performance – it is an interactive installation piece, which attempts to break the conventional laws of audience /performer boundaries. Wandering freely around a large, all-white space, the audience is invited to watch the solo female performer from all perspectives, as she explores the digital world around her. The set and digital enhancement was interesting, yet at times this description did not match the movement. However, I am yet to see a dance performance incorporating technology that has found the perfect balance, and overall it was successfully innovative and mysterious.
Ranvenrock Theatre Company – Jamie Blake
Zoo Roxy 25/8/11
“A powerfully moving piece of interdisciplinary theatre from a surprisingly young cast.”
Jamie Blake’s unique fusion of theatre, beatboxing musical accompaniment and dance put this show in a league of its own. The raw emotion emitted throughout the story, musically narrated by rising talents Rhys Lewis and Grace Savage, ignited something special. I had goosebumps for almost the entirety of the performance – until, unfortunately, the chorus started dancing. The main problem was the cheesy choreography, which was totally unneeded in otherwise an extremely sophisticated theatrical production.
Unnecessary dancing aside, Jamie Blake gripped me from the start and took me on an “emotional, beatboxing rollercoaster,” as it was described by one of the cast. With a script that conquers humour and sadness together, from the unbelievably talented Ashley Scott-Layton, and impressive performances from leads Rupert Lazarus and Ekow Quartey, Ravenrock are going to go far. I have a feeling this is just the beginning.
Iona Dudley-Ward – Me, Myself and Iona
The Rabbie Burns Cafe Bar 24/8/11. Part of PBH's Free Fringe.
This up and coming comedic talent presents a one woman character sketch show, with reminisces of Catherine Tate. As a dancer, who had just returned from V Festival, I found the following characters highly amusing: an egocentric dance instructor and a silly festival hippy, as they highlighted some funny personal truths! I wouldn’t highly recommend her to anyone just yet, (possibly in a few years) but I definitely can’t complain, as it was a free chuckle!