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Scottish Dance Theatre: NQR & Drift
Published on Monday, 23 August 2010

4 stars

Zoo Southside (venue website)
Dance and Physical Theatre
8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22 Aug, 7:00pm (7:50pm)
Reviewed by Susannah Radford

The Scottish Dance Theatre’s second offering during Fringe 2010 is a very satisfying double bill.  Emerging English choreographer James Wilton delivers a short, sharply observed duet, while SDT’s Artistic Director joins Caroline Bowditch and Marc Brew to create a lively and amusing piece which questions what is normal.

There is a great sense of attack which is at odds with the title of the first piece.  From the onset, Wilton’s Drift moves with an energetic athleticism that builds in vigour.  Dancers James MacGillivray and Natalie Trewinnard surely must have sustained a few bruises in its making.

MacGillivray moves with an undulating scooping motion, drawing circles in the air and on the ground, while Trewinnard explodes onto the space with a hurling intensity.   Ground-based at the start, they get progressively more airborne in this exciting new work.

NQR, choreographed by Smith, Bowditch and Brew, is beautifully theatrical as it explores the "idea of ‘normality’."  A delightfully humorous use of lists unites rather than separates the dancers, as they explore the possibilities of what their bodies can do.

There are some lovely theatrical images in this piece: a hand reaching out as in birth, the dancers balancing on lit boxes like people on plinths.  Entangled bodies seem to express moving to the edge of the body itself.  The duet between Brew and Naomi Murray explores a rush of speed and energy, and Toby Fitzgibbons and Joan Cleville emerge as two comedians.

Both pieces perfectly encapsulate SDT’s vision.  It’s dance that challenges both the dancers and the audience and it’s dance that appeals to the heart, mind and soul.

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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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