Éowyn Emerald & Dancers (4 stars)

This article is from 2016

Éowyn Emerald & Dancers

credit: David Krebs

Oregon-based choreographer presents seven emotionally charged dance gems

Trinary, the first segment in Éowyn Emerald's seven-piece dance programme, is full of tiny revelations. Three dancers start out in boiler suits, wiggling to techno pulses then sprawling into hip hop formations and sharp angles.

But before long, one of the trio is kidnapped, decked in a red hat and stripped of her boiler suit. What emerges is an elfin ice-skater, slowly curling in graceful turns. More of these smurf-like creatures join her, but keep your eye on their costumes as – through magic lighting – their colours change. Other metamorphoses take place before the piece is out, from a glowing ball appearing to the dynamic subtly shifting as partners swap.

There are greater transformations at play too, developing as the show progresses. Duets make up the middle section, and see a pattern of relationship shifts. Emerald is bewitching as she struggles to connect with Josh Murry in blurred. In spite of his tender support, her pain is palpable through long craving arcs, whiplash arms, and her reluctance to look at him.

This is counterpointed by Balloon, a harmonious follow-up of playful mirroring games between Holly Shaw and Joel Walker, before the true couples of our quartet emerge: two same-sex pairings, the women simmering in muscular, electric duet Mine/Ours, the men weightless and graceful to elegiac string music in aka: how many more.

By the time the whole ensemble reconnects, it's as if a layer of skin has been stripped from them. The quirky, inquisitive motion of the opening is replaced by open-souled expression, rich in stretching, yearning curves. Éowyn Emerald has become a buzz name on the Fringe dance scene since her last visit, and from this it's clear why.

Finding dance that is accessible, communicative and emotionally vivid while never compromising on precision and creativity is a rare treat.

Greenside @ Royal Terrace, until 27 Aug (not 14, 21, 28), 1.50pm, £10 (£8).

Éowyn Emerald & Dancers

  • 4 stars

Hailed by the Times as ‘a talent to watch,’ Éowyn Emerald returns, following her acclaimed 2014 run, with a new programme that showcases her dazzling dancers and stunning choreographic vision. Physical, poetic, technically demanding and emotionally complex, don’t miss this rising choreographer and her striking company of…