fringe 2635889bThe Edinburgh Fringe Festival is upon us yet again, and we're in luck, this year: as it's a British Council Showcase year, we have a surfeit of dance companies and dance artists showing their work throughout August. In addition to the British Council Showcase which takes place at the end of the month, we also have The Place presenting a showcase of their own for the first time, and Coreo Cymru returns with their Welsh Dance Strand programme, presenting several works by Welsh artists. There is also a Taiwanese dance showcase at Dance Base, as well as an integrated dance showcase, called iF (Integrated Fringe) Platform, showcasing five of the best integrated arts companies from the UK involving disabled and non-disabled performers.

 

There is also the Edinburgh International Festival taking place simultaneously, offering shows as yet more of Sylvie Guillem's farewell performances, Israel Galván and TAO Dance Theatre. And we have to include Gecko, a physical theatre company much loved by the dance world, with some very fine choreography of their own.  

Of course, all this can easily add up to a very long list of shows on offer, an enormous Fringe programme, limited funds and absolutely no idea what to see. While the total number of dance and dance-crossover shows is long indeed, I've whittled the list down to a slightly smaller number of shows, with details of them below.

With many shows on offer, many of which I haven't seen or don't know anything about, it's hard to decide on some highlights. But here goes... And if you can manage to catch all theseshows, we salute you!

Firstly, though, here is a calendar of dance shows which I've put together for you, with venues' details on the second tab:  spreadsheet Edinburgh Dance Shows (15 KB)

Secondly, here are the venue's addresses, to save you looking them up later on.

Dance Base, 14-16 Grassmarket, EH1 2JU
New Town Theatre, 96 George Street, EH2 3DH
Pleasance Grand, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ
Summerhall, Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL
Zoo Southside, 117 Nicolson Street, EH8 9ER
Zoo, 140 Pleasance, EH8 9RR


Highlights

Company Chameleon: Beauty Of The Beast
It's hard to be impartial about a show when you've travelled from Newcastle to Manchester and London, and then from London to Leeds to see it, but this show was worth it. Featuring six very strong dancers including Lee Clayden, Thomasin Gulgec, Anthony Missen and Mbulelo Ndabeni, Beauty of The Beast segues from comedy and theatre to movement as it explores various aspects of the pack mentality of men. This show is worth seeing for the amazing dancers alone, however this show is probably not suitable for those with a low testosterone threshhold.

Venue: Dance Base
Dates: 18 - 23, 25 - 30 August
Time: (18th - 23rd) 15.30; (25th - 30th) 17.00
Cost: £10 / £8
Running time: 60 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/110715682
Tickets: tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/beauty-of-the-beast


Gecko: Institute
When you live 300 miles away from London, you notice which shows people are raving about. Gecko's Institute was one of them, and this is a much-appreciated opportunity to see this show again. Although Gecko have performed in venues such as the Linbury Studio at Royal Opera House, their performance space at the Pleasance Grand feels intimate by comparison, providing a richer experience for the audience. Institute is not so much about the story Gecko tell, as how they tell it, with the audience watching the story as it unfolds. Part of the way they work is to continually evolve their shows, with no two performances the same. The two main performers - Gecko's director Amit Lahav and Chris Evans (formerly of Hofesh Shechter Company and Lost Dog) are trapped in a Kafkaesque office, both haunted by scenes from their past as they relive them, are terrorised by management, manipulate each other and are manipulated, using a blend of physical theatre, dance and very strong imagery.

If you'd like to know more about the show, here are two reviews from earlier this year: londondance.com/articles/reviews/gecko-institute-london-international-mime-fest/ and www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/jan/19/institute-review-gecko-theatre

Venue: Pleasance Grand
Dates: Most dates from 5 - 29 August
Time: 13.00
Cost: £10.30 - £14.50) (£9.50 - 13.50) depending on date
Running time: 80 mins
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbO3YLG7TeM
Tickets: www.pleasance.co.uk/event/institute#overview


Liz Aggiss: The English Channel
Described by Wieke Eringa, Artistic Director of Yorkshire Dance, as "the grande-dame of anarchic dance", Liz Aggiss presents her latest solo about pleasing ourselves, versus pleasing others.

Zoe Parker's review for The Culture Vulture (theculturevulture.co.uk/blog/reviews/dance-reviews/do-i-please-you-liz-aggiss-is-the-english-channel/) describes The English Channel as 'an inspiring irreverent clever solo performance that looks at age, beauty and being seen and very definitely heard', while Lise Smith's review for London Dance (londondance.com/articles/reviews/liz-aggiss-the-english-channel-the-place/) describes it as 'Witty, lewd and unapologetic, performance artist Liz Aggiss’ latest work contains equal measures of gallows humour and English seaside smut.' It - and Liz Aggiss - are not to be missed.

Venue: Zoo
Dates: 23 - 29 August
Time: 16.45
Cost: £9 (£7)
Running time: 60 mins
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=byY3Qajm0xI
Tickets: tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/english-channel


Lost Dog: Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me)
This show is an absolute treat. A solo performance by Ben Duke, we see him blur the lines between an anxious father, a rather clueless God and a wide range of other characters including Lucifer, Adam, Eve, the serpent (portrayed by a sock puppet) as he attempts to recount the story of Paradise Lost, by Milton. It works so well because of Ben Duke's personality, the humour he brings to the work, and the show's structure, which shows us an insecure God trying to ask Lucifer out on a date, Ben's commentary on the glorious aims of Adam's First Dance, and then having to deal with terrified children and their mothers after the former see him dressed as Adam, in a flesh-coloured all-in-one with a strategically-placed leaf-shaped cutout. Even if the story doesn't convince you, go see Paradise Lost because it's Ben Duke, and you (probably) won't regret it.

Review by Judith Mackrell: www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/may/27/paradise-lost-ben-duke-review-dance

Paradise Lost has been shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award. 

Venue: Summerhall
Dates: to 30 August
Time: 14.40
Cost: £12
Running time: 70 mins
Trailer: ww.youtube.com/watch?v=lNCuIiUhM70
Tickets: tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/paradise-lost-lies-unopened-beside-me


Sarah Blanc: It Started With Jason
It Started With Jason is a funny, endearing and heartwarming solo by Sarah Blanc as she takes the audience (of Kylies and Jasons) through the lessons in love she's learned, through the songs of her first love Jason Donovan and his onscreen relationship with Kylie Minogue. Nothing is spared, as she reads us letters from past boyfriends, presents the findings of her research into online dating agencies and shares her experiences with us via several dance solos and costume changes. It was a huge crowdpleaser when the first incarnation of Jason was performed on the final night of the Resolution! season at The Place in 2014, and it's continued to improve since then.

Venue: New Town Theatre
Dates: 19 - 27 August
Time: 20.45
Cost: £12
Running time: 50 mins
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKxE_PJISaY
Tickets: tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/it-started-with-jason-donovan


Scottish Dance Theatre: YAMA
Very visually striking and unconventional, Scottish Dance Theatre's YAMA is one of the eagerly-awaited shows of this year's Fringe. Created by Damien Jalet, Yama was 'inspired by the mountain hermits he encountered during a trip to Japan. Recreating aspects of this onstage, a circular wooden structure dominated the space, from which virtually naked dancers in matted hair wigs oozed out', as written by Kelly Apter for The Scotsman (www.scotsman.com/what-s-on/theatre-comedy-dance/dance-review-scottish-dance-theatre-dundee-1-3317157). Lucy Ribchester, writing for DanceTabs, calls Yama 'an awe-inspiring piece' (dancetabs.com/2014/03/scottish-dance-theatre-yama-kingdom-edinburgh/); you'll have to see it to see if you agree.

Venue: Zoo Southside
Dates: 22 - 24, 26 - 29 August
Time: 19.50
Cost: £12
Running time: 55 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/90242257
Tickets: tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/yama


Sweetshop Revolution: I Loved You And I Love You
Sally Marie is well-known throughout the dance industry, largely as a dancer for many of the leading companies including Protein Dance, and to a lesser extent, through her work through her company Sweetshop Revolution. A very versatile choreographer, her strength is dance theatre, and her latest creation, 'I Loved You and I Love You' is about the relationship between Welsh composer Morfydd Owen, who died tragically at the age of 26, her husband Ernest Jones and Elliot Crawshay-Williams, ‘the man she longed to love’.

This show is part of Coreo Cymru's Welsh Dance Strand.

Venue: Zoo
Dates: 23 - 31 August
Time: 18:40
Cost: £10
Running time: 70 mins
Tickets: tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/i-loved-you-and-i-loved-you


Wendy Houstoun: Pact With Pointlessness
Wendy Houstoun is one of the UK's leading choreographers and dance artists, having received numerous awards in her 35 years of working in dance, movement and theatre.

Pact With Pointlessness, a solo, is Wendy's response to the untimely death of fellow dance artist Nigel Charnock in 2012.

While exploring the themes of death, absence and presence, Pact With Pointlessness is part comedy, part spoken word and part performance, offsetting Big Questions with trivia and humour.

This show was a huge success when it was performed in London, so try to catch it in Edinburgh if you can.

Venue: Dance Base
Dates: 26 - 30 August
Time: 14:00
Cost: £10 (£8)
Running time: 55 mins
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015PACTWIT_ADX


Igor & Moreno: Idiot-Syncrasy
FREE WHISKY! Okay, now you're listening. While this duet is largely about folk songs and bouncing up and down, it is so much more than that, as Igor and Moreno manage to bring out humour and complexities in such a simple concept. Also, they really do give you free whisky.

Idiot-Syncrasy has been shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award.

Venue: Summerhall
Dates: Even dates from 8 August, and 29 August
Time: 16:20
Cost: £10
Running time: 60 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/88986783
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015IDIOTSY_6C


Claire Cunningham: Give Me A Reason To Live
Give Me A Reason To Live is a new solo by Claire Cunningham inspired by the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch.

While Cunningham's previous work has focussed on her strengths and abilities, this solo takes her in the opposite direction, straining her to her physical limits while referencing the ritual and religion present in Bosch's paintings. It's a powerful and raw work, and is already one of the Fringe's must-see shows.

Give Me A Reason To Live  has been shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award

Venue: Dance Base
Dates: 14 - 16, 21 - 23, 26 - 29 August
Time: 15:00
Cost: £8 (£6)
Running time: 40 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/109287574
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015GIVEMEB_RZ


E MOTION + Tamsyn Russell: Between Us and Hunting Dust
There are only a few days left to see this double bill, but from the first performance, there has been nothing but praise and rave comments about it, so do try to catch it if you can.

Emma Snellgrove and Tamsyn are described as two of Scotland's most exciting and promising female choreographers, and this double bill presents a mix of theatricality, humour and athleticism.

Venue: Dance Base
Dates: to 16 August
Time: 15:30
Cost: £10 (£8)
Running time: 50 mins
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015BETWEEN_ADX


Also Very Very Good

2Faced Dance: Dreaming In Code

Forget BalletBoyz: 2Faced Dance Company is renowned for the abilities and physicality of its dancers, and Dreaming In Code is the company's latest programme, featuring milk night, originally created by Eddie Kay for Frantic Assembly, and Lucid Grounds, a new work by 2Faced's Artistic Director, Tamsin Fitzgerald.

milk night is equal parts theatre and dance, using dialogue, projections and costume changes to depict five men trying to survive in a world without women. Lucid Grounds draws on music, reflections and dramatic use of light to accompany Fitzgerald's highly physical choreography.

Venue: Zoo Southside
Dates: 17 to 30 August (not 19th or 26th)
Time: 16:00
Cost: £14 (£12)
Running time: 70 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/117522739
Article19 feature: www.article19.co.uk/hdvideo2/2faced_dance_company_dreaming_in_code.php
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015DREAMIN_O5


Caroline Bowditch: Falling in love with Frida
Falling in love with Frida
is a warm, intimate and interactive celebration of Frida Kahlo's life by disabled performance artist and choreographer Caroline Bowditch while also drawing parallels between herself and Kahlo.

Venue: Dance Base
Dates: 18 - 30 August (not 24th or 28th)
Time: 18:00
Cost: £10 (£8); on 18 August, £8 (£6)
Running time: 60 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/102615217
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015FALLING_RZ


James Wilton: Last Man Standing
It's rare to see a dance work based on a Terry Pratchett novel, so now's our chance to see one. Last Man Standing also explores the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice through his extremely physical movement style which blends contemporary dance with martial arts, capoeira, break dancing and rock music.

James Wilton is a multi-award-winning choreographer who has worked extensively in the UK and Europe over the past 6 years.

Venue: Zoo Southside
Dates: 23 - 31 August
Time: 12:30
Cost: £12 (£10)
Running time: 60 mins
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0bkZpjrhHY
Article19 feature: www.article19.co.uk/hdvideo2/james_wilton_dance_last_man_standing.php
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015LASTMAN_O5


Jo Fong: An Invitation...
Jo Fong's An Invitation... is exactly that: an experimental dance theatre piece which invites the audience to become part of the show, through suggestions, queries, participation and other influence.

Donald Hutera, reviewing An Invitation... for The List in 2014, wrote: "The whole thing is the antithesis of a drily precious, navel-gazing exercise. Rather, it’s a relaxed, often funny exchange of ideas and motion and a great way to start the day."

An Invitation... was part of the Welsh Dance Strand in 2014

Venue: Dance Base
Dates: 25 & 26 August
Time: 14:15
Cost: £10 (£8)
Running time: 60 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/98975788
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015INVITAT_ARZ


Light, Ladd and Emberton: Caitlin
Winner of Best Dance Production in Wales Theatre Awards 2015, Caitlin is an immersive dance theatre experience in which the widow of Dylan Thomas attempts to deal with her tempestuous past, created by three of Wales’ most recognised independent dance and theatre makers: Deborah Light (director), Eddie Ladd (Caitlin Thomas) and Gwyn Emberton (Dylan Thomas).

This show is part of Coreo Cymru's Welsh Dance Strand.

Venue: Dance Base
Dates: 21 - 30 August (not 24th)
Time: 20:00
Cost: £10 (£8)
Running time: 60 mins
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015CAITLIN_ARZ


Marc Brew Company: For Now, I Am
In For Now, I Am, for the first time since Marc Brew's car accident in 1997, Brew engages directly with his body as it is now, investigating and exposing his changed form.

An intimate show, Brew uses beautiful choreography and movement to narrate his changing body and his responses throughout his recovery and beyond. Premiered in May at the Tramway in Glasgow, For Now, I Am has been described as a powerful, passionate and striking work.

Venue: Zoo Southside
Dates: 22 - 30 August
Time: 17:45
Cost: £12 (£10)
Running time: 40 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/117259892
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015FORNOWI_O5


Robbie Synge: Douglas
Douglas is a conceptual work based on Synge's manipulation of and relationship with various everyday household items, but becomes so much more than that as he draws you into his world, using playfulness and exploration.

Douglas has been shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award. 

Venue: Zoo
Dates: 14 - 19 August (not 16th)
Time: 13:10
Cost: £10 (£9)
Running time: 50 mins
Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sQ_kaf_jFc
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015DOUGLAT_ANF


Stopgap Dance Company: Artificial Things
Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, a group of individuals seek escape in a bash of riotous rock-n-roll. However, their wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals some uncomfortable truths.

In this cinematic and evocative production Stopgap Dance Company creates a compact world of riddles that question our notions about unity and co-existence. (Official description from Stopgap's website).

Venue: Zoo Southside
Dates: 23 - 31 August
Time: 14:10
Cost: £12 (£10)
Running time: 60 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/77050760
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015ARTIFIC_O5


Zosia Jo: Herstory
Herstory is a bittersweet solo by Zosia Jo which fuses contemporary dance, performance poetry and spoken word to explore the story of a relationship as it degenerates towards its messy end. Understated, honest and engaging, Herstory is a humble yet ambitious work.

Venue: Zoo
Dates: 9 - 22 August
Time: 14:25
Cost: £9 (£7)
Running time: 45 mins
Trailer: vimeo.com/119521001
CDF Review: www.cloud-dance-festival.org.uk/reviews/edinburgh/zosia-jo-herstory.html
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015HERSTOR_WZ


 

Also On The List

Gwyn Emberton Dance: My People
Compelling dance theatre for six dancers with an affecting cinematic score, inspired by the dark intense short stories of Wales’ best-hated man, Caradoc Evans. 'Emberton’s narrative impulse is compelling ... deserves to be widely seen' (Jann Parry, Dancetabs).

This show is part of Coreo Cymru's Welsh Dance Strand.

Venue: Zoo
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015MYPEOPL_ANF


Impermanence Dance Theatre: Da-Da-Darling
Impermanence Dance Theatre explore the territory between baroque and grotesque in a multitude of vignettes (and costumes) in this full-length work.

Venue: Zoo
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015DADADAR_ANF


Joan Clevillé: Plan B for Utopia
Former Scottish Dance Theatre dancer Joan Clevillé explores the notion of utopia and the role that imagination can play as a driving force for change in our personal and collective lives.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t2ZC-OaOME
Venue: Dance Base
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015PLANBFO_RZ


PanicLab: R.I.O.T.
R.I.O.T.
is a playful exploration of the world of comic book superheroes complete with sinister villains, comic book graphics, lavish fight scenes, and squabbling between the dancers as they question their characters' motives and decisions.

CDF Review: www.cloud-dance-festival.org.uk/reviews/edinburgh/paniclab-riot.html
Venue: Zoo
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015RIOT_ANF


Special Edition
Special Edition presents mixed bills of works by Scottish Ballet dancers. On 12 - 15 August, a triple bill of works by Vincent Hantam, Eve Mutso and Jamiel Laurence is on offer, followed by works by Hantam, Laurence and Constant Vigier on 16 - 23 August. Be sure to book in advance, as these shows will sell out.

Venue: Dance Base
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015SPECIAL_ADX

 

Other highlights from beyond the dance world


Down & Out in Paris and London
There has been much raving about this work by London's New Diorama Theatre which explores George Orwell in the underworld of 1920s Paris and an undercover journalist in a present-day London council estate. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance before tickets run out.

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015DOWNAND_PB


Daniel Bye: Going Viral
Already a Fringe First 2015 winner, Daniel Bye's one-man show covers the breakout of a highly infectious new virus, exploring themes such as the spread of disease, of
panic, and of ideas.

Venue: Northern Stage at Summerhall
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015GOINGVI_ANV


Zendeh: CINEMA
CINEMA recalls the story of an act of terror that sparked a revolution in Iran on 19th August 1978 from the point of view of Shahrzad, feral cat and teller of tales.

Trailer: vimeo.com/128419163
Venue: Northern Stage at Summerhall
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015CINEMA_ANV


Moving Dust: This Much (or An Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage)
Three boys, one white dress and a hoover collide in this explosive play written on the renowned Royal Court Writers’ Programme. Life’s a wedding disco. Let’s dance.

Venue: Zoo
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015THISMUC_O7

Portraits in Motion
While walking over 3500km through Germany, Gerling took photographs of people he met during his wanderings, creating portraits in the form of photographic flipbooks. On stage, Gerling recounts the stories of those who let themselves be photographed.

Gerling describes great, small, serious and quirky accidental encounters and, for a moment, brings his protagonists to life on the screen. These magical studies inspire gentle, profound reflection upon the transitory nature of the moment and the significance of interpersonal encounters.

Venue: Summerhall
Tickets: http://www.edfringe.com/event/2015PORTRAJ_9S

Third Angel: The Paradise Project
Imagine a place better than where you are. Every day they try again, try to figure out how to live together, start to build something. The Paradise Project is full of wit, intelligence and humanity.

Venue: Northern Stage at Summerhall
Tickets: www.edfringe.com/event/2015LIFEAND_ANV

 

 

Dance Base, 14-16 Grassmarket, EH1 2JU
New Town Theatre, 96 George Street, EH2 3DH
Pleasance Grand, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ
Summerhall, Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL
Zoo Southside, 117 Nicolson Street, EH8 9ER
Zoo, 140 Pleasance, EH8 9RR