City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Phoenix and the Crow, Sweet Grassmarket, Review


By Imogen Rowe - Posted on 15 August 2017

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Show details
Company: 
Pragati Bhatia
Running time: 
50mins
Production: 
Pragati Bhatia (Writer/Director) Sharon Miller, Jagriti Bhatia, Stephen Dack, Esme Fong, David Cairns, Samantha Davies, Jake Kirkby
Performers: 
Pragati Bhatia, Janina Blohm Sievers, Jake McGarry, Reza Maserri

Advertised as ‘a mystical tale of dark dancers, warriors, a dreamer and a poet’, Pragati Bhatia presents her first project as both writer and director. Unfortunately, this could do with a lot more practice before it tours the world.

The tale itself centres around a young dancer Shayna, who despite winning admiration fails to dance with her true self. Her friend, Rahil the poet, gets her to recognise this and fires within her a desire to find her inner self and dance like the mysterious woman Rahil shows her.

This brings her to a foreign village with a foreign way of life. Warriors and dancers take themselves equally seriously and soon she learns the ways of both, finds her inner dancer and falls in love. Happily ever after.

It sounds better on paper. What seems like a fairytale is set in no particular place with fantasy/Bollywood-esque costumes and a mixture of modern pop and yoga music. The script is clunky when there is any – a good deal of it is movement which appears to be more freestyled that choreographed, which makes it feel very unsafe to watch. There are several moments of frankly unnerving screaming when Shayna lets her free spirit take over her dance.

Bhatia herself is the highlight, as she has stage presence and can dance, which her leading lady lacks, but her script writing really needs work. A tighter performance would be a better performance.

14th-20th August, 3.35pm