Dance Base's Morag Deyes: 'There's a whole wave of new work made for unique body types'

This article is from 2019

Morag Deyes: 'There's a whole wave of new work made for unique body types'

Taiwan Season: Floating Flowers / credit: Chou Mo

Scotland's dance mecca embraces all forms of the genre in its diverse Fringe programme

Many venues at the Fringe play host to quality dance during August, but when you're officially known as Scotland's National Centre for Dance, you've really got to bring your A game. This year the venue has 27 shows to tempt us with, chosen with care – as ever – by Dance Base's artistic director, Morag Deyes.

'The privileges of curating a dance programme for the Fringe,' she says, 'are a combination of genuinely attempting to please all the people all the time, while simultaneously stopping them in their tracks with the unexpected.

'Another layer of this amazing experience is that each year reflects the times, and is the freshest take on what is being made right now, why, where and by whom. For example, in 2019, artists appear to be more vigorous in their eagerness to take on profound, funny and often dark subjects.'

From the Steve Reich Project to the Taiwan Season, shows about death to shows about joy, Deyes has put together a programme that embraces contemporary dance, ballet and physical theatre. It also celebrates the physicality of performers of all shapes, sizes and ages.

'There's a whole wave of new work made for unique body types, such as the Basque Showcase and the amazing Chiara Bersani in Seeking Unicorns,' says Deyes. 'Elder bodies are strong and beautiful as evident in Ensemble, Bridie Gane in The Sylph, and with the cross-generational Fear Less Age Less. Any body can dance and we applaud this new liberation.'

Dance Base, 2–25 Aug, times vary, £13 (£11). Previews £11 (£9). See for full programme.

Odyseaa / Scene Solo / The Sylph, the Vixen and the Bombshell

Claricia Parinussa / Tamsyn Russell / Bridie Gane A triple bill of Scotland's most exciting choreographers, designed to unravel expectations. Claricia Parinussa’s Odyseaa: an immersive performance ritual. ‘And these souls / matter / or the knowing that's felt / passing dust bone unrest materialise across between despite…


Robbie Synge and Lucy Boyes Ensemble is a joyous expression of togetherness involving five performers in their 30s-70s. Gather with the group on a journey that lays bare their strengths, efforts and possibilities together and aims to uplift and surprise. Expect a series of physical interactions that aim to test and…

Fear Less Age Less

PRIME, Lothian Youth Dance Company, TIM Company and guests A joyful celebration of life, regardless of where you happen to be on that road. Outstanding Scottish youth companies join acclaimed elders company PRIME in a showcase that gives voice to the fearlessness of these talented dancers. PRIME perform a devised work…

Taiwan Season: Floating Flowers

  • 4 stars

B.DANCE Inspired by one of Taiwan’s most beautiful Buddhist ceremonies, Floating Flowers is a fabulously dynamic expression of body and spirit. A gorgeous tribe of eight are pushed and pulled through the swirling rhythms of a dance that reveals the tumult beneath peaceful surfaces. Po-Cheng Tsai’s work is an artful fusion…

Steve Reich Project

  • 3 stars

Isabella Soupart / MP4 Quartet A truly trance-inducing performance inspired by three masterpieces from Steve Reich, interpreted by the new generation. A string quartet and a dancer will sweep you away in the powerful confrontation of dance and music amidst hypnotic images and soundscapes. Choreographer Isabella Soupart…

Taiwan Season: Monster

Dua Shin Te Production Described by choreographer Yen-Cheng Liu as a psychedelic fantasy, Monster is a daring, intense and quite possibly mind-blowing questioning of one’s sense of self. Created for his company Dua Shin Te Production, Liu uses symbolic props, spoken and written text, a carefully chosen soundtrack and an…

Seeking Unicorns

Chiara Bersani / Associazione Culturale Corpoceleste A fragile and abandoned symbol is made manifest by an extraordinary artist. The unicorn is a creature without homeland and history, has been abused and misrepresented by mankind and deprived of a voice. Bersani now aims to heal their unique grievances by giving them a…

Basque Showcase

Akira Yoshida / Krego-Martin Danza / Proyecto Colectivo HQPC The beautiful eclecticism of the Basque Country is showcased in this bill of dazzling hip hop and witty, lyrical contemporary dance. Wonderful, fresh talents will reflect the openness and warmth of this highly creative region of Europe. Krego-Martin bring a…

Dance Base

14–16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JU

Scotland's national centre for dance is a £6.4m building that opened in 2001 with four world-class studios, the largest of which has a glass ceiling and a magnificent view directly up to Edinburgh Castle. Every week it caters to 2500 dancers of all ages…