‘Transfigured – The Pack’ reminded me of the medieval mummer groups except this collection were a mixture of genders, not all male. Mummers were groups of actors who performed plays and folk plays to villages and towns. This group possessed an element of that 'different', 'other' nature. The fantastical and extraordinary costumes of the performers are a delight in themselves and create a spectacle on the street where the piece is performed.
You enter a theatre where the dancers are warming up. It's a very casual and a very relaxed start. And then the lights dim, and the show begins. That is how 'Floating Flowers' commences. Like a tiny rivulet of rain running across a pebble before it joins a stream, which then flows into a river which eventually reaches the sea and a storm and a raging maelstrom.
Last year at the Fringe I photographed Phil Sanger's performance of this show, and, this year, I am reviewing it because there is something very real, honest and touching about this piece of work which has drawn me back to watch it again. Mr Sanger describes his life with dialogue, dance and a touching warmth and sincerity which was also present in last year's performance.
This is the Edinburgh Fringe – there's a clue in the name 'Fringe' meaning on the edge, the periphery, none mainstream. Taiwan Season: Monster is radical in its conception and avant-garde in its form and shape. It is exactly what the Fringe was built for. There is no standard beginning, middle or end here. There is a permeable membrane through which the audience passes and at some undetermined time they find themselves watching a dance performance.
It's always exciting when musicians join the dancers on stage, and, in this case, it was a brilliant success. The Steve Reich Project takes 3 of Reich's compositions: 'Pendulum Music', 'Different Trains' and 'WTC 9/11' and has sensitively and creatively woven a dance around each piece of music.
There are many forms of dance and many different ways in which it can be performed – but to be successful it must do one of a number of things: entertain, inform or challenge our beliefs. I did not warm to this collection of four works; I found it difficult to relate to and difficult to understand but was impressed by the technical competence and ability of the performers.
The relationship between choreographer and dancer can be one of perfect rapport and empathy; it can also be tense and fractious. Victor Fung as a choreographer himself explores this dynamic with a humorous and studied eye. The result is a funny 30-minute dance sequence where I laughed out loud more than a dozen times and, together with the audience that day, watched one of the most enjoyable dance shows on the Edinburgh Fringe this year.
This is performance about friendship, about culture and about change with three performers: Charlotte Matthiessen, Leticia Piruletas, David Connah and Amy Geddes, one Scottish and two Spanish. The show illustrates how these three came together, intrigued by the others' cultures, and their approach to dance, life and, well, everything. They are like jigsaw pieces from different sets but they discover that they all fit perfectly together. A quote in the show's programme crystallises this perfectly: “You never know how things are related until all the pieces come together”.
6 mirrored cubes sufficient for sitting on lined up along the back of the stage. A cool moon glow fills an otherwise empty stage. For all its simplicity it is a beautiful opening scene, and the metronome beating of a heart commences the show, returning again and again.
BalletBoyz came into existence back in 1999, which is an eternity in this business, and I have been looking forward to watching this company perform this piece for some time. This is a show in two halves, and, unfortunately or fortunately, the latter is significantly better than the former. The first section entitled 'Them' begins on a raw open stage with a large tubular rectangular cube. This structure is used and moved by the dancers and becomes a touchstone for changes in tone, momentum and direction.