Edinburgh !

Wow.  What an amazing place Edinburgh with its festival is.  My first visit ever and I loved it.  An impressive and magnificent city, and such a rich, exciting, varied  range of high quality performances and events on offer.  Too too much to do and see but the taste was so delicious!

My highlights were finally seeing Liz Aggiss (The English Channel) and Wendy Houston (Pact with Pointlessness) in action.  Both unique, both inspiring, both moving and despite a touch of punk each with completely different styles and presences each which made me laugh and cry.  Impermanence Theatre‘s ‘Da da Darling‘  a whirlwind of inspired choreography,  and danced Ernst imagery which left me exhilirated and unable to sleep.  I also loved Reckless Sleepers ‘A String Section’ with their elegant and knowing destruction of chairs the image of which keeps bringing a delighted smile to my face and the very accomplished, stark and surprising  ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ by American duo The Ricochet Project.   The beautiful and fully inhabited dancing and exquisitely sung/played live music in Sweet shop Revolution‘s ‘I loved you and I loved you’ succeeded in overcoming the barrier imposed on the audience of the dreadful railing in the venue.  Challenging, thought provoking and beautifully controlled, ‘Can I start  Again Please’ by Sue MacLaine Company brought humour to lighten the load and left me moved and impressed.  Slightly more upbeat but still on the theme of translation and working through devastating experiences ‘Near Gone’ by  Two Destination Language showered the stage and finally the audience with flowers in bursts of impassioned abandon which punctuated the calm, understated presenting, telling, repeating and humour through translating of a story of near loss.  Finally Billy Cowie‘s two pieces in  ‘Under Flat Sky’ were beautiful meditations of exquisite clarity and precision with in the third piece ‘Edge of Nowhere’ a delightful and perceptive humour of outlook expressed by dancer Rajyashree Ramurthi .  Clod Ensemble‘s The Red Chair a sheer onslaught of words fantastically crafted and presented by Sarah Cameron.

I could have seen more and more and  I wanted to stay and stay.  Besides the actual shows I loved the whole atmosphere and vibrancy of a city alive thronging with hopefuls and (and some jadeds) among the impressive stature of the buildings.  Easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incredible talent. The scale and breadth is quite breathtaking.  The performances I saw and the ones I only read the flyers or reviews of reminded me how great art is and how valuable it is in asking questions (the right questions – as one of the artists said), highlighting crucial issues that need to be addressed in our society and in the world – a barometer of our times- and also for demonstrating the fantastic creativity, the incredible variety, skill, talent, accomplishments, spirit, capacity for love and ability to connect human to human that artists bring.

ps.  Hope to write in more detail about some of these pieces in Oxford Dance Writers soon.


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