Duality

**

Duality is billed as an abstract representation of how technology shapes our lives. This may be so, but I don’t think I have seen a Dance and Physical Theatre show so lacking in live action.

The opening routine by a lone male dancer is an interesting start. He is then joined by four female dancers. It is obvious to me that only one of the four has a strong talent in her fluidity of movement.

The show is in two parts. After part 1, that is it as far as the live action is concerned. Part 2 largely consists of a naff 3D film of dancers performing in a studio. Most of us by now have witnessed in the cinema how this technology has moved forward in recent years. Why are we watching such a poor version of this when we have a large stage not being utilised? Nor was the dancing on the screen little more than a fast cut mishmash. True, the live dancers do reappear to pose before some 2D visuals right at the end.

Maybe, I missed the whole point of this underwhelming production, but from the tepid applause at the end, I was not the only one who was underwhelmed.

Reviewed by Ben

Zoo Southside: 82

21 to 27 August 2012

18.40 – 19.30

Fringe Programme Page Number: 179

Advertisements

A Compas Flamenco

****

Ricardo Garcia’s A Compas Flamenco is a workshop session explaining the Flamenco style of guitar music and dance. He has with him two dancers, one female and one male, to help with the explanations and to perform various dance styles.

He explains by explaining the title which describes a particular rhythmic and percussive style from Andalucia. He begins with the guitar and he demonstrates the use of the fingers, particularly on the strumming hand. He has total mastery of the guitar.

We then move onto the dancers, their appearance, the special shoes, the percussive sounds they make with their feet, fingers and hands, and the use of the arms. Between each of the explanations the two highly skilled and graceful dancers perform to different types of music.

I found it a fascinating hour, part educational, part entertainment. I came away with a much deeper insight into the technique required over many years of training to perform this form of dance to a high level.

Reviewed by Ben

theSpace@Symposium Hall: 43

20 to 25 August 2012 (not 21 )

17.30 – 18.30

Fringe Programme Page Number: 177

Tom Lauri: Good With His Fingers

**

After a slightly wobbly start, this was a very pleasing show. Tom Lauri is indeed ‘good with his fingers’, and classic and simple magic was performed with skill and panache and no, I couldn’t see how he did it. The magic is accompanied by some comic commentary which serves its purpose, but isn’t as strong as his magic. There was lots of audience participation, so if that’s not your thing, hide.

The whole performance could benefit from a little more confidence in the accompanying comedy, but overall it’s a nice hour.

Reviewed by Laura

Sweet Grassmarket

until 27 Aug, 14:20

Knee Deep

****

This troupe from Australia consists of three males and one female. They are billed as a circus act but they incorporate more into their performance than the usual circus routines. Yes, they can demonstrate the attributes of strength, gymnastic agility, balance and timing, as well as impressive stunts. The extra dimension is the element of dance choreography they can bring to their routines where their movement is synchronised with the backing sound track.

Each of the four has their own breathtaking, even idiosyncratic, individual routines. Balancing on eggs, I have not seen before. However, it is when they perform together that their abilities shine through. Their final trapeze routine is spectacular. All four perform in various permutations, the movements flowing seamlessly and effortlessly as the glide gracefully on and off the trapeze. It is no wonder that this brought the audience to its feet in sustained applause.

Reviewed by Ben

Assembly Spiegeltent: 3

2 to 27 August 2012 (not 13 & 20)

19.35 – 20.35

Fringe Programme Page Number: 181

Mephisto Waltz

****

This show isn’t going to be for everyone. It does not present a conventional narrative. The soundtrack does not consist of only music – there’s noise and snippets of recordings and soundscapes. It tends more to the physical theatre than dance section of the fringe programme. You might consider it downright weird.

The company are five dancers, three women and two men, although you’ll have to look hard beyond the bald heads to differentiate. While the main character is always identifiable, the baldness and uniform costumes make the other four entirely interchangeable (which was the point. I think). There may not be a comprehensive thread, but there are some lovely moments, as with the paper butterflies, as well as some funny ones, reminiscent of clowns.

The majority of the audience had clearly not chosen to see this show on a whim. They knew what to expect and were highly appreciative – as were the company of their reception. There isn’t a huge amount of emotion on display within the piece, but the smiles at the end show this company clearly loves what they do.

A (very) open mind will be essential if you do chose to see this show – but you might be surprised how much you enjoy it.

Reviewed by Laura

Assembly Roxy

until 27th Aug, 20:00 (1hr 20)

Nessie The Loch Ness Monster

*****

This show is a little bit away from the main hub of the Fringe, but is well worth the extra milage  as it was a delight to watch and the kids loved it. Once we had entered the venue, there were ‘little’ chairs at the front of the stage where the smaller children could sit if they liked, this would ensure that they didnt get stuck behind a tall grown up! The show is performed in a darkened room using ultraviolet light to light the puppets and the effect is stunning and so much fun! The story revolves around your hero and heroine (and the bad guy of course!) and there are lots of amusing accomplices to help tell the story within the grounds of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness, Nessie is amazing!

The show is a decent length  and has an interval where drinks and snacks are available, and the children eagerly ran up to the parents to fill them in on all that they have seen and heard, also at the end of the performance, the puppets and puppeteers come out to meet the audience and have their photos taken. We had a great afternoon and this is a great show, very cleverly executed by a lovely company and well worth a watch.

Fairmilehead Parish Church Hall, 1A Frogston Road West. EH10 7AA

Aug 4,6-11,13-14,18   14.00PM  £8.00

Reviewed by Kath.

Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen

*****

A production by Aireborne Theatre and by far my favourite childrens show of the Fringe so far! It was colourful,  energetic, fun and well put together. The cast were terrific, they were interacting with the audience before the show had started and the the two main characters had the support of every audience member before the show had even begun! This was a fast moving and lively performance which told a traditional fairytale in a fun and enchanting way and which had the audience totally drawn into it and waitng for every twist and turn that came the characters way

The musicians providing the  music and sound effects did a marvelous job with some lovely effects.  The choreography and costume changes were eye-catching and fun and all of these factors combined made this a thoroughly enjoyable experience, which I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending to any family attending the Fringe.

This is a theatre group who clearly love what they do and this shines out of their performance like a ray of sunlight, they should be very proud of this performance and I, for one will be watching to see if they return with any other shows in the future.

Zoo 140 The Pleasance EH8 9RR

August 9,11,13,15,17,19,21,23,25,27

14.15 pm (1hr) £8.00(£6.00)

Reviewed by Kath.