Jishin, Zoo Southside


My Japanese doesn't stretch much beyond a sushi menu, but I do understand the English superlatives that rate LAN-T003 and their seismic show Jishin as a package that has hot ticket stamped all over it. The motivation behind the exhilaratingly slick, quick hip hop moves, acrobatic high jinks and daft, wacky comedy is the 2011 earthquake that brought such devastation to their country. But instead of moping into depressed inactivity, these four liquid-limbed pranksters opt to enjoy what matters most in life, which includes friends, fun, and - their pets. Snazzy video footage mixes in with real-time choreography that has some high-energy special effects of its own.

Arms and legs ratchet into precisely synchronised routines at a speed you wouldn't believe. The expertise is seriously impressive, but the feel-good factor is off the Richter scale. Jishin means earthquake, but also confidence – or in other words, a sure-fire mover and shaker of a hit.

Ends August 27

Sulle labbra tue dolcissime, Zoo Southside HHH

There's not a single stylistic similarity between LAN-T003 and Compagnia Francesca Selva, but there is a shared awareness of how fragile and how fleeting our moments of happiness are. Sulle labbra tue dulcissime translates romantically as on your honey lips, but with five dancers – two men, three women – there is always going to be an odd one out, even when the flow of movement is making an ensemble image of everyday routines.

A soundscape where water becomes a recurring motif, mistily echoed by video fragments of a shoreline, lends a wistfully poetic feel to choreography that itself carries threads of unresolved longings within brisk to-ings and fro-ings. Even the nuances of costuming, the layering and the colours, feed into a mood of split lives: the ones we have, and the ones we wish we had. Complex ideas are, however, woven into some beautifully delivered dance – this is a lovely, effortlessly accomplished company to watch.

Ends August 27

Contains Spoilers, Zoo Southside


Effort-ful is nearer the mark with the determinedly ambitious two-hander by TrashDollys Dance Company. There's so much going on – live onstage and massively projected onscreen, often simultaneaously – that it's hard to know where to look in pursuit of the tangled narrative in Contains Spoilers. Does it matter if you lose the plot? It does, rather. Because although the episodes of dance are nicely fashioned, often expressive and make imaginative use of hip hop techniques, they are overshadowed by the jigsaw trail of obsessions, grief and ill-fated desires that the film footage dangles before us. It's clever-clever stuff, but it dominates the space at the expense of Sam Ames and Holly Durant as the couple who tragically have more in common than they realise.

Ends August 11

Fast Portraits, Dance Base HHHH

If you want to see video used to complement and actually inspire dance, then Liz Roche's Fast Portraits will delight you on several levels. The choreography could well stand alone and still satisfy the eye with its calm, unhurried way of exploring relationships through counter-balances, distance and connection, even the ownership of the one chair that is the sole prop onstage.

You could probably fashion little interpersonal vignettes just from watching the persuasiv finesse of Roche's five dancers. But the video images integrate another layer: like an album of captured moments, they offer starting points or possible other cases, or maybe even glimpses of private processes in earlier studio sessions. It's not just a superbly judged melding of media and art-forms (with specially composed music by Denis Roche), Fast Portraits astutely taps into how we use photographs as aide-memoires in our daily lives, even when we know there are so many truths and lies outwith the fixed instant of their frame.

Ends August 12th (times vary daily)