Russian-born dancer Olga Kosterina brings Dilemma to 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This article is from 2013


Solo journey along the path of life by Russian-born Fringe novice choreographer

As an erstwhile champion gymnast, ballerina, pantomime and circus artiste and now award-winning solo theatre-maker, Russian-born Fringe novice Olga Kosterina might know a thing or two about how to face a dilemma creatively. Of her show, Dilemma, she says, ‘All the action relates to the mental states through which humans pass, and the images used in the piece are straight from – and to – the heart.’

In previous self-designed works, Kosterina has employed a pottery wheel and fire. Dilemma is more minimal, eschewing special effects or loads of props (although there are curved wands, elegantly handled) in order to plumb the body’s emotional depths.

‘It’s a story about survival, growth and victory,’ she reveals, ‘the desire for a new life and the happiness born from seemingly small, natural things.’ There’s a dark side to Kosterina’s metaphorical evolutionary stage journey, however, referencing stress and struggle but ultimately with a promise of salvation. Her physical style is delicate yet strong, precise yet instinctual. She sums it up best herself: ‘I try to act with an open soul and a prepared body.’

Hill Street Theatre, 226 6522, 3–25 Aug (not 13), 1pm, £11.50–£13.50 (£9.50–£11.50). Previews 1–2 Aug, £6.


  • 4 stars

Olga Kosterina. Open your eyes! You will see our common fate.… Winner of Best Choreography at Rome Theatre Festival 2012. Dilemma combines dance, mime and acrobatics to reveal a person lost in a maze of their own fears. With elegance, precision and grace, Kosterina personifies the eternal struggle between good and evil…