Wunderbar (3 stars)

This article is from 2016


credit: Clare Keogh

Abstract puzzles based around interdependence make for a gripping piece of dance

Fringe dance sometimes seems to work itself naturally into themes, and this year an early bid is cooperation and balance. In this duet from Rob Heaslip and Laura Murphy there's a rigorous, abstract sequence of puzzles to unpick on ideas of interdependence, but the commitment and panache of the two performers pulls you in and makes for a gripping ride.

It starts with Murphy perched on Heaslip in a pose that seems domestic, sensual even. Quickly, however, the atmosphere shifts to more uncertain territory. There is a menace to the way they mirror meticulously, precision control occasionally being interrupted by a shudder or, more startlingly, a clap.

This power struggle continues but never rises above simmering point – in fact there's a curious asexuality and genderless freedom to the dance and the roles the pair adopt. Their movement often has more in common with geometry, mechanics or animals than emotion, though there is something unsettlingly uncooperative in their yanking, lugging and pushing.

Sometimes the physicality comes untucked from its ideas, but there is a pulse to this piece which makes this duo a definite one to watch.

ZOO Southside, until 13 Aug, 6.30pm, £10 (£8).


  • 3 stars

Rob Heaslip and Laura Murphy The two performers could be anyone; strangers or siblings, friends or lovers. They invite you in to decide for yourself. Teasingly, they start dark, quiet and intimate, building up a feeling that something’s gotta give. As if observing an uneasy truce, they test one another. With roguish…