iWitness and Special Edition
Triple bill from VTDance and Scottish Ballet Dance Artists at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Notions of human behaviour ebb and flow through this triple-bill from VTDance and Scottish Ballet Dance Artists, with the latter’s Special Edition split into two parts.
First up is iWitness, an intriguing solo from Vincent E Thomas that mixes passages of expressive movement with interludes of chat. Thomas plays around with the American Pledge of Allegiance, asking us to jot down things we would pledge, and requests a show of hands as he offers categories for us to box ourselves into. It’s not crystal clear what questions these verbal sections pose (or answer), and visually they are no match for Thomas’ dancing, which burns with intensity to a score of changing musical styles; classical, soul, and in one haunting passage an aching cello solo.
Sensuality takes centre stage in Hope Muir’s Broken Ice, a mediation on Tennessee Williams’ Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen, shot through with all the turmoil and fragility that defines the playwright’s work. Sophie Laplane is paired with Nicholas Shoesmith in soft pale fabrics, curling and folding into pensive phrases. Each takes their turn at standing behind the other, inches away yet unable to touch. In the final erotic embrace we wonder, has it all been a mournful dream?
The last piece, Sink In takes us somewhere altogether more elemental; a spectral trio danced to Brian Prentice’s remix of Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea. The startling opening image sees Laplane’s and Shoesmith‘s bare backs with arms aloft clawing the sky, a motif that later develops with beautiful asymmetry, as male and female mirror one another. When duets and tussles break out with Martin Lindinger, the liquidity of the quick dodges and feints is hypnotic. After swimming around this underworld, stepping back into reality feels disappointingly civilised.
Dance Base, 0131 225 5525, until 17 Aug (not 4, 11), 3pm, £10 (£8).