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Blood, Sweat and Tears - The Duet
Published on Friday, 20 August 2010

4 stars

Zoo Roxy (venue website)
Dance and Physical Theatre
13 - 22 Aug (not 17), 1:00pm (1:30pm)
Reviewed by Susannah Radford

I know Liv Lorent’s choreography through the works she has created for the Scottish Dance Theatre; both Luxuria and tenderhook were filled with breathtaking images and moments of heart soaring beauty.  So I was thrilled to find out she was bringing her new work Blood, Sweat & Tears staged as a duet to this year’s Fringe.  And after seeing this 30-minute performance, I’m now trying to work out how to see the full-length version which tours this autumn.

Blood, Sweat & Tears chronicles the effect the birth of a child has on a relationship.  Simply staged, the dance moves between the bed and the cot as the new parents expand their relationship from couple to family.  Creating space for a child, they move through highs and lows as their relationship, like their feet moving across the ground, traces a new path. 

Their lovemaking, at once joyous with sensuous deliberate movement, is now interrupted or non-existent; their bed, once a place of delight, is now a war zone.  The cot has different meanings for both new roles.  At the beginning it is a place of worship both mother and father constantly visit, but as time goes by this changes.  For the mother, the cot exemplifies the balancing act she must undertake in her desire to care for her child.  As she balances at the edge, like a figurehead on the prow of a ship, it is also a place of sacrifice.  With the bed now empty, the father lies almost prostrate across the cot, suggesting that this new phase of the relationship is something of a prison.

Liv Lorent’s new work contains her trademark physicality.  Dancers Philippa White and Gavin Coward are compelling to watch, moving with athletic strength and grace as the dance culminates in a wrestling match to see who has the last ounce of strength.

As always Lorent’s choreography and its presentation are lush, rich and sensuous.  Bodies leap, entwine and frolic.  The image of the woman in her wedding dress, shimmering gossamer trailing behind her, is indescribably gorgeous.

The final image contains a delightful humour as it reaches a type of resolution (or resting state): the new family clamber into a peaceful slumber, and drift away on a sea of love.

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These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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