Best dance and physical theatre to see at Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Best dance and physical theatre to see at Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Infinita / credit: Simona Fossi

We take a look at the lineup of Dance and Physical Theatre at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe and pluck out some of the shows we're most looking forward to

Dance and physical theatre often gets lost in the sheer breadth of the Fringe programme, due to the simple fact that there tends to be less of such shows coming to the festival. But look closer, and you'll find some truly exciting developments in the field happening amidst the chaos of Edinburgh in August. Boasting a lineup of both Fringe stalwarts and fresh faces, this year's dance and physical theatre programme is a refreshing mix of the classical and the avant-garde, and truly must not be missed.

Break Free
Japan's Wasabeats Crew, champion b-boys one and all, tear up the stage with lightning-fast headspins and windmills in this jailbreak drama.
Break Free, Underbelly, Bristo Square, 1–27 Aug

Burn the Floor: Rebels of Ballroom
A breeding ground for professionals on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars, this Australian company doesn't skimp on sensuality, with passionate tango, rumba, samba and jive.
Burn the Floor: Rebels of Ballroom, Underbelly, Bristo Square, 1–27 Aug

Éowyn Emerald and Dancers
Talented Canadian dancer/choreographer Éowyn Emerald has lit up previous Fringes with her smooth mix of virtuosity and emotional integrity. Now relocated from Oregon to Aberdeen, she's busy making her mark on the Scottish dance scene.
Éowyn Emerald and Dancers, Greenside @ Royal Terrace, 3–25 Aug

Infinita
If you saw Hotel Paradiso and Teatro Delusio by Germany's Familie Floz, then you've probably already bought your ticket for the company's latest blend of mask and clever (often hilarious) physicality. If you didn't, word to the wise – here's a company you need to discover.
Infinita, Pleasance Courtyard, 2–27 Aug

The best dance and physical theatre at Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Giselle / credit: Declan English
Giselle
Full-length narrative ballets by a professional companies at the Edinburgh Fringe are as rare as leprechauns – but hang onto your heart because Ballet Ireland is on its way to deliver just that. Our advice: book early, it'll be popular.
Giselle, Dance Base, Grassmarket, 3–19 Aug

OSCiLLATE
London tap crew, Old Kent Road were one of the highlight's of last year's Fringe programme at Dance Base. Now they're back with another hour of hoofing, having soaked up some LA vibes, and we couldn't be more excited to see them again.
OSCiLLATE, Dance Base, Grassmarket, 15–26 Aug

She-Wolves
Trained at the Royal Ballet School and Julliard in New York, performer Laura Careless has pulled together a diverse team of collaborators for this solo show about some of history's lesser known, but extraordinary, female leaders.
She-Wolves, Greenside @ Infirmary Street, 13–24 Aug

SOWhEreTO Africa
Spotted busking out on the Grassmarket by Dance Base's artistic director in 2015, this infectiously enthusiastic and energetic South African troupe was invited in to be part of the programme the following year – and now they're back again. Prepare to smile a lot.
SOWhEreTO Africa, Dance Base, Grassmarket, 3–26 Aug

The Troth
This acclaimed tale of young Sikh soldiers fighting in World War One also features the beautiful moves of Kathak dancer Vidya Patel – a worthy finalist in the 2015 BBC Young Dancer of the Year competition.
The Troth, Army @ The Fringe, Summerhall, 10–25 Aug

Vertical Influences
One of our favourite companies returns to the Fringe with an ice skating show that will banish all thoughts of Torvill & Dean and Disney on Ice from your mind. Skilful, beautiful, energetic and well worth the journey out of the city centre to Murrayfield.
Vertical Influences, Assembly at Murrayfield Ice Rink, Riverdale Crescent, 8–25 Aug

Infinita

  • 4 stars

German mask theatre masters.

She-Wolves

  • 2 stars

Laura Careless / She-Wolves Project ★★★★★ (BroadwayBaby.com). 'Marvellously dramatic dancer' (New York Times), Laura Careless tells the stories of the extraordinary women who ruled England before Elizabeth I. Inspired by Helen Castor's book/BBC series, She-Wolves includes choreography by 2017 UK National Dance Award…

Burn the Floor: Rebels of Ballroom

  • 3 stars

Underbelly and Harley Medcalf, Peta Roby and Nic Notley The Burn the Floor dancers are the true rebels of the ballroom. With their famous, infectious and rebellious energy, they have performed their ground-breaking moves right around the world, from Beijing to Broadway, totally reinventing the ballroom dance styles.

Vertical Influences

Assembly Festival The Canadian iconoclastic ice skaters return to Edinburgh's vintage indoor ice rink, sharing their signature mix of movement, wit, speed and grace. In Influences, the performers play with how our body language can influence others. In the second piece of the double-bill, Vertical, audiences are…

Giselle

  • 3 stars

Ballet Ireland Giselle is a haunting story of love and betrayal. This modern retelling of the romantic classic revives a timeless tale about the redemptive power of love. Betrayed by Albrecht, Giselle dies of a broken heart but her spirit returns to forgive her now repenting lover and protect him from death at the…

Sowhereto Africa

Njobo Productions (FKA After Freedom Productions) and African Connections CIC Old and new beats meet performance poetry paying tribute to South Africa’s legends. Experience the sounds and rhythms of the South African street life, with its contagious energy and invigorating vibes, through an everyman’s daily journey.

Break Free

  • 3 stars

Wasabeats Wasabeats Crew present the European premiere of Break Free featuring champion break dancers, each with world titles, who are ready to carve up the floor to reach dizzying new heights. Direct from Tokyo, this crew are world-class urban dancers, fusing the very best in skill and technique, state of the art…

Éowyn Emerald and Dancers

  • 3 stars

Éowyn Emerald returns following her sold-out 2016 run with a new program showcasing her striking choreography and outstanding company of dancers. Physical, poetic, technically demanding and emotionally complex, don’t miss this exciting dance maker’s newest creation for the 2018 Fringe. 'Éowyn Emerald has become a buzz…

The Troth

  • 3 stars

Akademi A gripping story of love and loss set during World War One, blending dance, original music and archive film. Moving from rural Punjab to the Belgian trenches where young Indian men have been brought to fight for the Allies, we learn about the secret promise made by one soldier, Lehna Singh, as he makes the…

OSCiLLATE

Old Kent Road This groundbreaking new tap show is heavily influenced by original electronic dance music and its coordination between light and sound. OSCiLLATE reveals an eclectic group of individuals who display a range of human interactions and relationships through movement and sound. The show centres on the…

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