Fringe Dance


Institut Francais d’ Ecosse

four stars

The Spinners

Dance Base

three stars

Mary Brennan

There’s a hint of school-day uniform about the demure costumes worn in Constant Vigier’s (Mes) dames – as if all three dancers are on the cusp of womanhood, still discovering who they are and what life-choices lie ahead of them. A series of vivid, tellingly nuanced, vignettes soon probes behind the trio’s confident smiles to reveal the inner stresses and uncertainties that develop when issues of personal freedoms chafe against society’s – and feminist – expectations. What is especially striking and impressive about Vigier’s choreography is his way of setting balletic forms – all three dance on pointe throughout – to a soundscore of music by Christine and the Queens and Perfume Genius. He avoids shackling the moves to the dictates of the songs, uses rhythm as a springboard for some fresh, innovative pointe-work and makes classical technique look fit for modern purposes. It’s danced, at seriously close quarters, with expressive finesse by Nicola Scholefield, Jessica Neilson and Daisy Mullen-Thompson. In the space of thirty minutes, Vigier offers characterful insights and good-looking choreographic variety – go see, and enjoy!

Three women are also centre-stage in The Spinners, by Limosani Projekts and Al Seed Productions. This broodingly dramatic take on the mythic Fates, who spin – and ultimately cut through – the life-lines of humankind, thrums with a ritual intensity that is at once ancient and yet mechanistically modern, as if shaping destinies was a matter of never-ending shift work. Knitting needles, twine, swift-slashing scissors, all come into play as the ‘goddesses’ are caught in a punishing cycle of repetitive moves – and yet, at times, there are moments when there’s a swithering over which (seemingly anonymous) tassel-skein of a life should be ended... The hint of random finality lingers after the Fates have themselves departed.