Halfway through Raw (***) an unfortunate thought occurs: it's of the give them enough rope...' variety and is occasioned by the way Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company take to the rigging with an alacrity that starts off full of wow factor, but gradually dips, like a slack wire, lower and lower until (unbelievably) it starts to look and feel flat.

Now this could be a very clever device, intended to replicate the rise and rise of clubbers who get high on music and higher still on pills before a downward spiral grounds them - or, as here, leaves them wading through watery shallows. And for sure, from the initial eager jostling - get through the red roped-off queuing area, past the bouncers and into the pumping core of sound spilling down from the DJ's eyrie - the mood is clearly set: our four strangers, two men, two women, are hot to jump, or get jumped.

Casual sex? A cat fight? Bring it on. One dude takes to pole-dancing with a writhing, muscular athleticism that revels in its ambi-sextrous allure. It's when individuals and encounters take to the ropes that, despite superb aerial skills, the piece falters. Watching a couple slowly edge their way towards each other from opposing ends of what looks like an SAS assault course - can they really negotiate the rope loops and be lovingly safe, together? - becomes such a strung out experience, you lose even the decent amount of awe and amazement that their manoeuvres deserve. It rallies, it fizzles out again. So that filling the space with water at the end feels more like a half-baked gimmick than a really Raw conclusion.

On paper, Venezuela Viva (****) plays the one big party card with promises of brilliant live music and brilliantly sexy dancers who will whisk you through the history and culture of their country. Now those who treat Fringe publicity with the same caution they show to estate agents' blurb might harbour doubts: please, don't. This show is everything it says on the flier, and more. Ever since Riverdance there's been a spate of spectacular foot-stamping shows all determined to promote their traditions through a gravely-intoned chronicle-cum-travelogue. Venezuela Viva does the background context better than most. The narrated video links are genuinely interesting - you'll learn why Venezuela earned its name of Little Venice from early Spanish settlers - and the David Attenborough moments when the dance is allied to footage of mountains, rivers and savannah are pretty well integrated, rather than desperately contrived.

Actually, even without all this added value, you'd still have an entertainingly strong show. The music is full of robust, energising rhythms that weave together the separate influences that have landed in Venezuela from Spain and Africa, while the all-female company of 12 dancers are as ready to be stompingly tribal as they are to vent the staccato complexities of flamenco footwork. Some of them even step into the characters, and macho choreographies of significant male figures - it's to be hoped the real Simon Bolivar had a similar charismatic swagger.

Talking of swagger, John Macaulay has more than enough to offset the girly pinkness of his suit as he meets 'n' greets audiences for One Up One Down (HHH) . Choreographer/director Natasha Gilmore is targeting the pressures of consumerism on women in this dance-theatre piece, and doing so with such a quantity of text (spoken and sung), music and movement that at times it feels as if we've stumbled into a two-shows-for-one offer, only they're both on stage at once.

Crammed and hectic is only the half of it. While Macaulay slides in and out, wheedling three pink-frocked dancers to indulge in retail therapy, the trio are caught up in a succession of frenetic routines that need them to speak audibly as well as move with verve and precision. These scenarios mostly pillory the obsessions and guilt trips that beset any modern woman with credit still on her charge card and a frown line that's indebted to her drive for promotion/perfection/pretty pink outfits.

It's not new or neglected territory, as the fliers that litter the High Street can tell you. But Gilmore's use of text by Zimbabwean performance poet Tawona Sithole, and specially composed music by Quee MacArthur, are intended to refresh the cliches before the trio detox their muddled priorities and reconnect with their true selves. There's some attractive dance in there, some witty observations and good comedy too - with Jade Adamson, Tara Hodgson and Charly Jarvis risking meltdown to keep all the strands criss-crossing yet distinct. They, and we, deserve less.

Myriad (***) means a plethora - luckily Collisions Dance chooses to interpret that in terms of a bare stage filled with attractive, joined-up choreographic ideas.

Again, the subject matter - a search for self in a congested, intrusive society - covers well-trodden ground but director/choreographer David Beer has come up with nicely-crafted movement motifs that catch at the uncertainties and conflicts that can keep us preferring our own company to that of others. This is a truly decent, enjoyable performance from a young company whose main resource seems to be themselves: actually, looking at the clean, focused way Beer and two (un-named) female colleagues dance, they're quids in with talent.

Back in 2005, Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT) picked up a Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Award for their performances of Liv Lorent's Luxuria (HHHHH) . Four years on, and with more than a few new faces in the company, SDT have revived this utterly beguiling romantic fantasy about how our hearts and bodies fly when the right partner helps us cope with sadly grounded realities.

Everything about this piece is subtly, imaginatively symbolic, from the costume straps that become ties that bind' to the moments when the women whirl the men at speed, as if this loving momentum could help their partners soar towards some lost ecstasy.

Changes in personnel have in no way diminished the emotional charge of Luxuria: SDT's default setting of thrilling technique and sheer expressive artistry make this, yet again, one of the truly outstanding dance works on the Fringe. Raw, Dance Base@ out of the Blue Drill Hall, until August 27 (not 24). Venezuela Viva, EICC, until August 23. One Up One Down, The Zoo, until August 31 (not 24). Myriad, The Zoo, until August 31 (not 26). Luxuria, Zoo Southside, August 22-23 and 27-28.