Extremely Pedestrian Chorales (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Extremely Pedestrian Chorales

Diverting, droll and puckish movement games set to Bach

Choreographer and performer Karl Jay Lewin (onstage along with Neil Callaghan, mischievously smiling Janine Fletcher and blue-haired Claire Godsmark) and absurdist music maestro Matteo Fargion (absent from the room) share credit for this droll and diverting set of movement games set to JS Bach.

The latter's 'Chorales' is mainly unheard but its rhythms are embodied by a puckishly playful cast whose members take their cues from hand-held kinetic scores. They explain before commencing what we're about to see and then for the next 45 minutes or so just get on with it.

The dancing to be observed in the 36 short pieces on offer is pretty basic. It includes a variety of steps (from strides to the soft or stealthy) plus clapping, arm flapping, finger snapping and – spoiler alert – such props as harmonicas, cowbells, kazoos and, uh, curly wigs (for that period touch).

The rhythms are enjoyable and, even given the culturally tongue-in-cheek treatment, true. It's all in the timing. This artlessly artful – or perhaps I should say artfully artless – demonstration of great music converted into commonplace motion is easy to like, although it will perhaps be found most appealing by those with a taste for unpretentiously smart humour. Light, relaxed and tickling.

Summerhall, until 24 Aug, 8.30pm, £12 (£10).

Extremely Pedestrian Chorales

  • 4 stars

Karl Jay-Lewin and Matteo Fargion The commonplace experience and movement language of the pedestrian as an act of beauty, meaning and gentle comedy. Based on the sublime harmonies of JS Bach’s famous Chorales, it pitches them into our present day lives with just a dash of punk-ish irreverence. A beguiling mix of high and…