Éowyn Emerald and Dancers (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Éowyn Emerald and Dancers

Blaine Truitt Covert

Contemporary Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance performance that never values style over substance

What a surprise and pleasure it was to come upon this small but gifted company from Portland, Oregon. Eowyn Emerald Barrett has crafted an unpretentious and pretty seamless 50-minute collage of dances with considerable care. Her choreographic signature is sometimes athletically refined without feeling slavish to technique.

Maybe it’s because she and fellow performers Jonathan Krebs, Josh Murry and Holly Shaw tend to put their virtuosity at the service of a given work’s underlying emotional content. They dance with enormous surety of purpose. Whether playful or serious, the dances themselves are often marked by an intriguing ambiguity and invariably accompanied by astutely chosen and (to this writer) mainly unfamiliar music.

A quietly charged, admirably intricate duet is centred on the passing on of a jacket and hat. There’s a telling trio that might well be about the personal cost of war, but is never for a moment obvious about its theme. The show climaxes with a quartet composed of glancing and then soaring component parts that plays out like a romance with dance and life itself. By the end I was left wanting more, but only in the best sense.

Greenside @ Royal Terrace, 557 2124, until 16 Aug (not 10), 1.50pm, £8 (£6).

Éowyn Emerald and Dancers

  • 4 stars

Following her highly successful 2013 Fringe debut, Éowyn Emerald returns with a new program that showcases her striking dancers and stunning choreographic vision. A riveting theatrical experience, don't miss this rising choreographer hailed for her ‘challenging, fearless and energetic dancing’ ★★★★ (ThreeWeeks.co.uk).