Reviews & features: Lucy Ribchester

67 reviews

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Sweet Mambo

2 Sep 20144 stars

Production by Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal at the Edinburgh International Festival

The difficulty in writing about a Pina Bausch work is that it sometimes seems impossible to find words to convey exactly what is being expressed; which is probably why the late dance theatre choreographer and director chose a mixture of words and dance…

Gnosis

2 Sep 20145 stars

Akram Khan's tale from the Mahabharata masterfully performed at the Edinburgh International Festival

Two thirds of the way into the first half of Akram Khan’s programme he stops to talk to the audience. Softly and carefully he explains that the rhythms of the Kathak dance he has been performing so virtuosically are based around mathematics. He…

The Duck Pond

20 Aug 20143 stars

Pacy and poignant re-telling of Swan Lake at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Theatre company withWings certainly knows how to pack a stage. A fairground set, live band, dance, theatre, comedy, tragedy, dodgems and the moon on a stick; they’re all in this sweet and pacy re-working of the tale that inspired Swan Lake. Prince…

Bal Moderne: Escaping War

18 Aug 20143 stars

Interactive workshop emphasising the importance of dance during wartime

Having run for over twenty years, company Bal Moderne – based first in Paris, now in Brussels – has built a successful reputation for getting people up and dancing. Escaping War, a collaboration with the International Festival, eases us in slowly. On…

I AM

18 Aug 20144 stars

Lemi Ponifasio's exploration of war is a raw, brutal howl at Edinburgh International Festival

New-Zealand based MAU’s response to the 100-year anniversary of the start of World War I contains some of the most raw and ungodly images you are likely to see this festival. Combining dance, theatre, song and poetry it treads a landscape backed by…

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La Loba

15 Aug 20144 stars

Beautiful exploration of mythology to conjure up the inner wild woman at the Edinburgh Fringe

Lenka Vagnerová’s La Loba would be a wild beguiling journey into a deep dark fairytale forest even without the added spark of its two sensational performers. With them it becomes a thrilling joyride through perceptions of femininity, strength, and what…

Inala

12 Aug 20144 stars

Beautiful Zulu ballet set to Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Edinburgh International Festival

It’s often the case that dance at the International Festival, while pushing the boundaries of creativity – Batsheva, Preljocaj – isn’t always the most accessible. In this sense Zulu ballet Inala is a breath of warm fresh air, rich in its costume colours…

Maria Addolorata

9 Aug 20144 stars

Dance piece from Chiara Taviani and Carlo Massari finding beauty and humour in pain

It seems shocking when laid bare on paper, but on the stage it’s been true for millennia: pain can be funny. Hilarious. Some of the time. And it’s that last quantifier that makes the difference between Chiara Taviani and Carlo Massari’s sparky, clever…

Back of the Bus

9 Aug 20143 stars

All aboard for a fun-filled journey of dance

Faintly silly, laden with joy and enormously fun, this quirky show from New Zealand’s Java Dance takes place on board a reclaimed Routemaster. Yes that’s right, the three wobble-proof ladies from Down Under need no theatre, instead commandeering for…

Missing

9 Aug 20143 stars

Sorrowful tribute to Ireland’s lost souls from CoisCéim Dance Theatre

‘Eight thousand people go missing in Ireland every year,’ we are told part way into Irish company CoisCéim’s sorrowful production. Some of them return home. A few are never found. *3Missing*2 is part tribute to those who disappear and part exploration…

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The Warriors: A Love Story

9 Aug 20143 stars

Dance-filled elegy to a love found in the most harrowing of times

Dance company ARCOS has created an elegy to multimedia artist and composer Eliot Gray Fisher’s grandparents, who met and fell in love under the most extraordinary and harrowing circumstances during the aftermath of World War II. Using video projections…

iWitness and Special Edition

4 Aug 20143 stars

Triple bill from VTDance and Scottish Ballet Dance Artists at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Notions of human behaviour ebb and flow through this triple-bill from VTDance and Scottish Ballet Dance Artists, with the latter’s Special Edition split into two parts.

Circa - Beyond

3 Aug 20145 stars

Spectacular circus from Australia’s sharpest acrobats

The devoré-patterned platforms, the red-curtained backdrop, the eerie blacklight; they’re all indications of things to come in this dreamscape show from outrageously brilliant Australian troupe Circa. But no amount of set-dressing or somnambulant…

Homme/Animal

3 Aug 20144 stars

Choreographer Vendetta Mathea' latest is exactly what late night Fringe dance should be

The animal in us all is topic du jour at this year’s Fringe, from Circa’s irreverent toying with bunny heads in Beyond to Czech choreographer Lenka Vagnerová’s untamed she-wolf La Loba. In Homme/Animal, from US-born choreographer Vendetta Mathea, the…

Human Child

3 Aug 20143 stars

Sweetly-told tale based on W B Yeats poem

One of the fastest growing Fringe trends in recent years is that of young companies eschewing gritty new writing in favour of creating quality, thoughtful and thought-provoking children’s theatre.

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Sonics In Duum

3 Aug 20143 stars

Contemporary circus with a fantasy vibe

The world has turned topsy-turvy and a renegade troupe of acrobats has been consigned to live beneath the earth. That’s the premise of Italian company Sonics’ fantasy-themed acrobatics show, Duum – so named after the noise a jump makes. All the…

Canadian ice dancing show This Is Contemporary Ice Skating visits 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Unconventional troupe promise 'tap-skating' and acrobatics on ice followed by post-performance party

‘We're not cerebral artsy-fartsy intellectuals,’ says Alexandre Hamel, founder of ice-skating troupe Le Patin Libre, and one of the performers in their show This Is Contemporary Ice Skating. ‘Far from that. But through the fun of the event, we believe…

Cross-disciplinary show Malasombra set for series of performances in 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

29 Jul 2014

Dark fable from Spanish company has toured host of countries including Brazil, Iran and Iraq

Cross-disciplinary shows may be standard Fringe fare these days, but few pieces can boast the line-up of Malasombra, which combines theatre, dance, video art, cartoon-techniques, shadow effects and heavy metal to tell a dark, fable-esque tale. ‘I…

Italian dance duo to perform Maria Addolorata piece at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

29 Jul 2014

A moving exploration of the universality of human suffering through dance

It’s an old cliché that artists have to suffer for their discipline. But Italian dancers Chiara Taviani and Carlo Massari are pushing this notion further than most, in a show that aims to investigate the experience of human suffering. ‘We find it…

Bal Moderne mixes dance, period dress and audience participation at 2014 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2014

Audience members learn dances at show inspired by the songs and dances of wartime Europe

The words ‘audience’ and ‘participation’ can still strike terror into the spines of punters and critics alike. If you add the word ‘dance’ into the equation, then that fear is simply heightened. But in recent years, dance shows that blur and break the…

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Interview: Pamela Stephenson Connolly on bringing dance show Brazouka to 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

Brazouka uses dance lambazouk and other Brazilian dances to tell life story of dancer Braz Dos Santo

While the world’s eyes have recently been fixed on Brazil’s football stadiums, a troupe of that nation’s dancers are limbering up to showcase a different kind of intricate footwork in Edinburgh. Brazilian dance show Brazouka, written and lead-produced…

Dance Odysseys at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

30 Aug 20134 stars

An immersing four-day journey through dance

Sometimes it's nice to just dip your toe into the Edinburgh International Festival, other times it's fun to dive right in for full immersion. Happily last weekend's Scottish Ballet-led Dance Odysseys allowed audiences to do either, or indeed something…

Don Quichotte Du Trocadéro

30 Aug 20134 stars

A balancing act of dance and physical comedy Edinburgh International Festival

José Montalvo is a choreographer who likes fusion; and as if to make sure we get this idea early on, Don Quichotte's opening solo mixes hip-hop ripples, flamenco wrists, ballet poses and the burlesque humour that will go on to characterise this take on…

Sam Rose in the Shadows

21 Aug 20134 stars

Warm, sensitive and uplifting tale about sadness from puppetry and theatre company Tucked In

It’s a strange feeling, coming out of a show about sadness with a smile on your face. Even before this piece from puppetry and theatre company Tucked In begins, a warm atmosphere is in the air, buoyed by gentle ukulele songs and pre-show chatter with…

It Needs Horses / Home for Broken Turns

21 Aug 20133 stars

Dance company Lost Dog's double bill explores feral and civilised behaviour

The same wayward energy runs through both pieces of this double-bill, as dance company Lost Dog probes the things that make us civilised and turn us savage. Home for Broken Turns takes place in a strange, almost pastoral landscape. From the sparse…