9: Cas Public explores disability in new dance work for EIF

This article is from 2019


credit: Damian Siqueiros

Family dance show investigates hearing impairment through movement, sound and silence

A tiny white car drives around the stage; miniature chairs are climbed on, sat upon and played with – and six dancers get down on their hands and knees like dogs. But while aspects of this show for ages seven and over are clearly aimed at a family audience, there's no dumbing down on the choreography.

Based in Montreal, dance company Cas Public is known for its dynamic and finessed movement, and 9 is no exception. Choreographer and company founder, Hélène Blackburn took the hearing impairment of one of the dancers as the starting point for this 50-minute work. Using both sound and silence, it questions how we experience music like Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (hence the show's title) if, like the composer himself, we can't hear it clearly.

Part of this year's Edinburgh International Festival, the show is accompanied by two family workshops aimed at ages 7–12, giving families a chance to have fun together with movement inspired by the show.

Church Hill Theatre, 3–6 Aug, 6pm (2pm matinee 4 Aug), £12.50–£25; Family Workshop, Church Hill Theatre, 5 & 6 Aug, 11am, £6.


  • 3 stars

Known for its eloquent dance, Montreal-based Cas Public is home to an atypical performer. Cai Glover overcame a hearing impairment to become a professional dancer. Choreographer Hélène Blackburn uses his disability as a point of departure for her athletic creation. Perceiving, experiencing, understanding. Our senses allow…