Festival Dance

Nederlands Dans Theater

Edinburgh Playhouse

Issy Butt

five stars

THE performance begins in the dark, hauntingly beautiful music by Phillip Glass wells around the auditorium, the curtain begins to rise. The set of Shoot The Moon is simple, yet conveys parts of the story before the dance has even begun – three turning walls, their surfaces covered in loud wallpaper. Windows emit a glow onto the first dancers, illuminating their figures, casting a light on the relationship and letting us peer into their private lives. They intertwine, yet never touch, conveying a strained relationship. The choreography is ingenious, telling the story of a cheating woman which, along with the set and costume choices, becomes a tale of innocence, naivety, love and anger.

The Missing Door has a somewhat similar set but with a totally different atmosphere. The use of props and costume combined with contrasting gentle and frantic choreography somehow effectively creates a visual representation of a dying man’s mind. The dancers fly across the “room” like frantic thoughts, mimicking his anxiety and fear. It is dark, but injected with moments of humour and reminiscence, provoking thoughts of sentimentality.

Stop Motion is entirely different again, combining the ideas of nostalgia and embracing change, morphing lulling and captivating dance with stunning cinematography. The choreographers portray acceptance of changes in their daughter and the company’s old dance theatre. With use of a stripped down set and soaring, uplifting music, Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot have created a captivating and enrapturing visual performance with stunning choreography.

Issy Butt is a pupil at Portobello High School and this review was submitted as part of The Herald Young Critics project with the EIF