City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

It’s Not Over Yet... and How to Survive the Future, Dancebase, Review


By Garry Platt - Posted on 08 August 2018

It's Not Over.jpg
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Show details
Venue: 
Dance Base
Company: 
Cultured Mongrel / Tess Letham Dance
Running time: 
60mins
Production: 
It's Not Over Yet - Emma Jayne Park (Choreographer) Charlotte Vincent (Director) How To Survive the Future - Tess Letham (Choreographer)
Performers: 
Emma Jayne Park, Tess Letham (Dancers)

This is a value for money show. You get two dancers presenting their own work with a short intermission between both performances – they are sympathetic and fit well together.

Emma Jayne Park's It's Not Over Yet tells her tale of being diagnosed with Hogkins Lymphoma which is a kind of blood cancer, this is followed by Tess Letham's 'How To Survive the Future, exploring a world of failure, challenges and in some instances desperation.

It's Not Over Yet – Entirely delivered from a chair the piece still has a vigour and physicality. Emma's experiences of the illness and her relationships with people around her are exposed in a bright and visceral light.

Some scenes one involving her hair are frankly harrowing and the cruel strain and impact this disease puts upon people, mentally as well as physically is powerful portrayed. It is one example of where dance can convey so much more than words and where dialogue would be burden.

The problem of 'others' dealing with your disease is cleverly explored as is the constant focus on trying to live with the illness and win through. One lovely touch was despite everything she has been through and all the pain endured as she exits the stage just after the audience has celebrated her performance she does so with a victorious finger pointing to the sky.

The second piece, How to Survive the Future, has range, from humour through to despair and you are never quite sure where Tess Letham's performance will take you next.

We start on a beach somewhere with sand, sea shells and champagne but disappointment quickly ensues and then a metamorphosing series of scenes with a 'Self Help' voice dropping in occasionally with some fairly bleak propositions, suggestions and ideas.

The dancer beautifully conveys the challenges of a simple existence which is sometimes derailed or damaged by events which are often beyond our control.

The piece asks questions which are not answered. It confronts us with simple everyday horrors. The choreography conveys the huge emotional burdens that we frequently carry – I loved it.

Times: 3-5, 7-12 August, 15:20