Dot504: Mah Hunt
Acclaimed Czech dance company bring duet to 2011 Edinburgh Fringe
This article is from 2011.
DOT504 made its Fringe debut in 2008 with Holdin’ Fast, a woozy, delicate work about desire, with six young dancers tumbling and fondling under showers of glitter and old Persian carpets. The company returned by popular demand in 2009 with the darker, sprawling 100 Wounded Tears, picking up Herald Angels, Total Theatre Awards and huge audiences; carving out a place for themselves as one of those must-see Fringe staples.
Playing the Fringe year on year takes a financial toll on any young company, though, and as DOT504 has the extra pressure of making the trip from the Czech Republic, it has had to scale things back. Running for five days only, Mah Hunt is its first Edinburgh production in two years, a lean, pared-back duet created and performed by two of the company’s longest-standing members.
‘I began looking at hunting: how many animals are on the verge of extinction and how cruel a game humans have made of it,’ explains choreographer/performer Lenka Vagnerova. ‘They don’t need to kill so many animals; they don’t need to kill them so brutally. It seems to be something dark in humans. So I set this piece in a future where there are no animals: the two characters can only read about them, and when they set out to discover what it is to hunt, they have to learn it on each others’ bodies. What does it mean to be the hunter, the prey; how easily can they swap roles?’
A leaner version of DOT504 it may be, but the playful wit and murkily sexual physicality that made audiences fall for them is still there. ‘Mah Hunt is made of tight, small sections, sometimes very funny, sometimes dark and poetic,’ says Vagnerova. ‘The strange game of struggle and desire they play is very human and recognisable.’
Zoo Southside, 662 6892, 14–20 Aug, 2pm, £12.