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Naive Dance Masterclass
Published on Thursday, 23 June 2011
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preview

C Venues - C eca (venue website)
Theatre
14-29 Aug, 6:50pm-7:40pm

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

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Here’s a witty, offbeat show, which we enjoyed a great deal when we reviewed its debut in Brighton.  An eloquent parody of the indulgences of performance art, it’s funny, sometimes touching, and performed by genuine skill.  But more than all that, it’s a moment of catharsis – granting us permission (at last) to laugh at those po-faced “tales of self-discovery” which occasionally crop up at the Fringe.

If you take this show at face value, it’s a contemporary-dance masterclass – where lecturer Matt Rudkin describes and demonstrates a new, naturalistic form of self-expression, which he’s termed “Naïve Dance”.  But it’s all a spoof.  The lecture’s nonsensical, the dance is hilarious, and the whole thing’s filled with deadpan digs at everyone who takes their art a tiny bit too seriously.  It’s iconoclastic, but never vandalous; it respects the genre, even as it lampoons its excesses.  And as the show wears on, our lecturer’s true back-story starts to emerge, clearing the way for an unexpectedly moving finale.

Nominated for Brighton’s best-actor award, Matt Rudkin (who’s a real lecturer) excelled in his role – hamming it up just enough to confirm it was a joke, but not so much you didn’t have that niggling fear it might all be real.  The Brighton show had a few flaws, and the material was spread a little too thin, but they’ve had three months of refinement between then and now.  So if the earnest young graduates on the Royal Mile get a bit too much for you, here’s the perfect antidote; have a laugh, and emerge ready to enter the fray again.

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