Carl Knif Company: Fugue In Two Colors
- Kelly Apter
- 25 August 2021
A curious, surreal and random Edinburgh Fringe dance affair that still takes time to be beautiful and enjoyable
When it comes to contemporary dance, the general rule of thumb is 'don't try to understand it'. This largely abstract artform is best enjoyed visually, emotionally and cerebrally, but always on your own terms. Sometimes that rule is more applicable than others, and Fugue In Two Colors is a case in point. Having watched the piece, read about it and watched a video of choreographer Carl Knif talking about it, I'm still none the wiser. Happily, this is no impediment to enjoyment, far from it.
Performed by seven dancers drawn from Hel¬sin¬ki Dan¬ce Com¬pa¬ny and Carl Knif Com¬pa¬ny, this 60-minute piece is surreal, dynamic and technically strong. Using both the stage and part of the auditorium, the dancers move in and out of the spotlight, performing in solos, duets, trios, and as an ensemble. Sometimes they're dressed in sleek grey costumes, other times they're buttoned up in long padded raincoats. Sometimes they move in unison, other times they stop abruptly to pose as tableaux or dance a kind of call and response. Then they'll wheel out a blond wig, carry a plastic arm onto the stage or reposition a large branch. Remember, don't try to understand it.
Carl Knif was, in part, inspired by the strict musical structure of Shostakovich's Preludes And Fugues, seeking to juxtapose them with something more random. The two forms work well together, and in amongst the many moments of curious surreality, there is also tenderness and beauty to be found.
Carl Knif Company: Fugue In Two Colors, Dance Base at ZOOTV online, until Monday 30 August, £10.