Still Breathing (3 stars)

Impressive but joyless contemporary dance


This article is from 2009.

Still Breathing

There’s plenty to admire in this new show by all-male company 2FaCeD DaNcE, not least the virtuosity of UK breakdancing champion, Robby Graham. Plus some incredibly tight ensemble routines, which fuse street dance with contemporary to explore the possibilities and limitations of the body in space.

In these extended sequences the performers’ movements are deliberately, repeatedly frustrated by their proximity to the next dancer. And these restrictions are further compounded when the tall, sinister stepladder-like structures that bookend the stage begin moving inwards, squeezing the space tighter and tighter until the group are penned in, forced to extended their bodies upwards, grabbing frantically at the free air.

Yet, despite this attempt at a narrative through-line, and the charged bespoke score by Anthony Murphy, the show still feels a little disjointed, like a series of (admittedly impressive) vignettes strung together rather than a coherent, compelling whole. And for all the sweat-dripping commitment of the dancers and the sharpness of their routines, there’s something rather joyless about the spectacle, with little attempt made to connect with the audience.

Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 31 Aug (not 24), 4.30pm, £12–£13 (£10–£11).

Still Breathing

  • 3 stars

Fusion dance from young company 2FaCeD DaNcE, who combine break, street and contemporary dance to produce a high-energy, unique performance. The show explores the space we occupy in the world and how we use it.

Still Breathing

  • 3 stars

Award-winning 2FaCeD return with a highly-charged, gritty new work exploring the space we occupy. Stunning athleticism, explosive abstract breaking and masculine vulnerability, set to an electrifyingly intense soundtrack. 'A force to be reckoned with' - **** (Scotsman).


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