City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

EIF 2017 - Nederlands Dans Theater, Edinburgh Playhouse, Review


By Justine Blundell - Posted on 22 August 2017

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Show details
Company: 
Nederlands Dans Theater
Running time: 
155mins
Production: 
Shoot the Moon: Sol Leon & Paul Lightfoot (choreography, set & costume), Anders Helldtrom (staging), Philip Glass (music), Tom Bevoort (lighting). The missing door: Gabriela Carrizo (choreography, set & costume), Anders Hellstrom (staging), Raphaelle Latini (composer), Tom Visser (lighting & software). Stop-Motion: Sol Leon & Paul Lightfoot (choreography, set & video), Anders Hellstrom (staging), Max Richter (music), Tom Bevoort (lighting), Joke Visser & Hermien Hollander (costumes), Rahi Rezvani (camera & direction), Dicky Schuttel (camera), Dicky Schuttel & Harmen Straatman (editing).
Performers: 
Chloe Albaret, Julliette Brunner, Lydia Bustinduy, Alice Godfrey, Aram Hasler, Madoka Kariya, Carolina Mancuso, Rena Narumi, Myrthe van Opstal, Christie Partelow, Sarah Reynolds, Yukino Takaura, Meng-Ke Wu, Alexander Anderson, Jon Bond, Oliver Coeffard, Prince Credell, Spencer Dickhaus, Cesar Faria Fernandes, Sebastian Haynes, Chuck Jones, Gregory Lau, Jorge Nozal, Marne van Opstal, Paxton Ricketts, Luca Tessarini, Roger Van der Poel, Jianhui Wang.

Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is synonymous with a risk-taking sense of rebellion, demonstrating, time and again, an absolute commitment to exploring new means of producing visceral physical expression. With this triple-bill, combining startling and innovative choreography with captivating visuals, you can’t help but wonder whether it’s possible for dance to get any better than this.

Opening with Shoot the Moon, the first of two performances this evening choreographed by the dream-team-duo of former NDT dancers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, we are invited to glimpse raw fragments of love and discord in the lives of three couples. A revolving set of three rooms allows the focus to shift between each relationship. Frenetic passion turns in a moment to still calm as a woman silently stares through a half-open door into the room beyond, or a man pauses, his hand hesitating over the handle of the shut door before him, temptation heavy in the air.

Above, live video projections offer voyeuristic close-ups of what’s going on behind all those doors once they’ve revolved out of sight. Entirely clothed in monochrome and with music by Philip Glass, it traces similar cues to that of a stylish classic movie, while confronting relationship issues that are entirely more modern.

The missing door is a stunning piece of surreality from choreographer Gabriella Carrizo. A clean-up operation is taking place in what looks like the scene of a multiple murder, when objects take on a life their own and the action rewinds and fast-forwards in a space representing the crucial moments between life and death. It is a gripping performance of visual theatre, combining acrobatics with magic reminiscent of the work of the sensational James Thierrée. No greater compliment can be paid. None is more deserved.

The final performance of this breath-taking evening is Stop-Motion, an exploration of time, goodbyes and mortality. Seven dancers layer ghostly near-repetitions of movement like a palimpsest of muscle memories, while a projection of a funereal Victorian beauty watches mournfully from above as the sands of time slip through her fingers. In the final moments, the wing-curtains and backdrop collapse, the lighting rig plunges into view and it is revealed that there is no little man pulling levers behind the curtains, the magic is real and all their own creation. And in that moment the audience is utterly speechless.

Runs 21st-23rd August, 7.30pm