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 Festival 2006
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(D) 2 out of 17
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Rating Guide
None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme



Dance Base presents Rosie Kay Dance Theatre. (Page 82).
Drams full glass.
Venue Dance Base (Venue 22).
Address 14 -16 Grassmarket.
Reviewer Vivien Devlin .

Dance is an extraordinary versatile artform. At its simplest level, it can comprise a solo dancer on an empty stage. Large scale, you have an ensemble of dancers, stage set, sound effects, lighting and music. In this ambitious, multimedia performance by the Rosie Kay Dance Company there's a live jazz trio as well as spoken text. The Wild Party, is an American Jazz Age narrative poem by a former editor of the New Yorker, Joseph Moncure March. Due to its risqué content, this scandalous story of a vaudeville dancer who throws a booze-laced sex-orgy could not find a publisher until 1928. William Burroughs later commented, "It's the book that made me want to be a writer".

The set encapsulates a stylish New York apartment of the period - chaise longue, dressing table, drinks trolley, bottles of gin and champagne. The languid strains of double bass, keyboard and drums sets the mood as the film noir story begins: "Queenie was a blonde and her age stood still, She danced twice a day in vaudeville." Rosie Kay plays Queenie, decadent and seductive in tight fitting basque under flowing peach silk, whose mad, bad and dangerous lover, Burrs is portrayed with exotic sleeziness by South American dancer Vinicius Salles. Amongst their party guests is a vivacious blonde, swilling back the bubbly,(played by bright and effervescent Amy Mathieson) and the suave Mr Black in black tie, the cool and debonair, Geir Hytten. The guests mix and mingle, flaunt and flirt, as Queenie and Black glide gracefully, Ginger and Fred-style, around the room. The tempo rises with a trumpet blast, as a sequence of dance partnerships, (tightly choreographed by Rosie Kay,) beautifully complement and capture the ensuing drama of sexual intrigue and jealousy.

Seated around Queenie's living room, the audience is very much present at the wild party as voyeurs and virtual guests. This is an hour of exhilarating, charismatic performances, raunchy jazz rhythms and syncopated rhymes, all-encompassing musical dance theatre, sparkling with wit, energy and glamour.
©Vivien Devlin, 18 August 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 20 August (different times daily).
Company -Rosie Kay Dance Company.
Company Website - www.rosiekay.co.uk

   

Danceforms Presents the 33rd International Choreographers’ Showcase. (Page 82).
Drams overall but some peices need much less or none.
Venue Rocket at Demarco Roxy Art House (Venue 115).
Address Roxburgh Place.
Reviewer Rebecca Smith.

I feel the need to disclaim I'm no dancer. I dabbled in ballet as a kid (mostly because I loved the outfits), but my tutu was well and truly retired by age 8. That said, I've always been attracted to the art form - I think Gene Kelly's a god and musicals are amongst my favourite films ever. Unfortunately, The 33rd International Choreographers Showcase does not quite do it for me. This collaborative work of international choreographers runs like a fashion show of up-and-coming talent, with the dancers both designing and modelling their creations. To this reviewer's tastes, the Festival 2006 collection is one third fabulous, two thirds average.

Firstly, the fabulous. The pyjama'd choreography of Morning delivers what I had hoped to see: extraordinary talent, bold originality and passionate delivery. Attila Joey Csiki and Virginia Horne smolder - baggy striped PJs never looked so hot! The exquisitely titled Frustration in a Martini by American Vincent E. Thomas is a piece of visual artistry, enhanced by the beauty of Yo-Yo Ma's interpretation of Bach's Cello Suites. This was a clear audience favourite. One stands out for its strong yet tender delivery of the complex relationship of sisters. The show closes with the highly moving collaborative female performance Lifeline, the only one to be accompanied by live music - the serene acoustic guitar of musician Steven Nagle. The others should take note.

My judgement of the other performances as average derives simply from personal taste. The 20 minute opening solo bills itself as 'the blending baroque music with contemporary dance', but comes across like an aerial leg show with impressive holding of poses. Renee, an obscure portrayal of a bitter broken heart wades into uncomfortable viewing territory with the repetitive cries 'trying to get him to love me' bellowing from the speakers. To be fair, I guess you can't etch a name for yourself without delving into the extremely personal.

Housed in the converted Lady Glenorchy's Church, the setting is elegant but the sparse staging practically swallows some of the performances. With the popularity of floor-based routines, you need to secure a front-row seat to fully observe the pieces.
©Rebecca Smith 10 August 2006 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com.
Runs to 11 August at 11:00 every day.
Company - Dance-Forms Productions.
Company Website www.danceformsproductions.com .


(D) 2 out of 17
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