MurleyDance Double Bill (2 stars)

This article is from 2013.

Murley Dance Double Bill

Lunch-time balleticism needs more seasoning

Classical dance (served here with an occasional arch twist) is such a rarity on the Fringe that I wish I’d derived more pleasure from this ambitious and rather Matthew Bourne-ish programme than I did.

Not that there aren’t notable moments – or dancers – in each piece. Inspired by famous art works, company namesake David Murley’s four-part La Peau (French for ‘skin’) features self-absorbed versions of Raphael’s Three Graces, awkwardly stylised sex via Ingres’ La Grande Odalisque, Botticelli’s Zimmer-framed Venus pining for former glory and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave stripping off on a symbolic stepladder.

Ultimately the four vignettes are less than the sum of their parts, but they do function as a showcase for some flexible young dance talent. Based loosely upon Alan Ball’s (Six Feet Under) play of the same name, Gwyn Emberton’s Five Women Wearing the Same Dress is a somewhat confusing scenario pegged on domestic abuse, cross-dressing and, essentially, difference. The cast doesn’t lack technique but, like the choreography, traces of callowness are visible. The whole enterprise is a little uneasily pitched between high-art and tongue-in-cheek camp.

Greenside, 557 2124, until 24 Aug (not 11,18), 12.30pm, £12 (6.50–£8).

MurleyDance Double Bill

  • 2 stars

Ballet /contemporary dance company, MurleyDance, present their Double Bill programme with piece La Peau (Skin) by David Murley, and a new work by choreographer Gwyn Emberton. MurleyDance is a classical dance company with a comedic and theatrical edge to it. Based in London, the company are making their Edinburgh Fringe…


1. Adam Jones7 Aug 2013, 10:54pm Report

Was your reviewer watching the same show as I was on Sunday I wonder? This incoherent and contradictory review shows a distinct lack of understanding of what both pieces in this ambitious and satisfying Double Bill performance are portraying. The whole point of 'La Peau' is that it is self-absorbed as the veneer of the human skin is stripped away to reveal our vanity and vulnerability.

'Five Women Wearing the Same Dress' is clearly not about either domestic abuse or cross-dressing. It is a celebration of the female spirit as five very different women discover they have more in common than any of them could imagine.

Performed by an enthusiastic and talented company it is far from callow and is a refreshing reminder that classically inspired dance merits a higher profile at the fringe.

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