Edinburgh – Dance Base

Off the Fringe track, but just at the far end of the Grassmarket, Dance Base is the place to discover new dance in Edinburgh.  Always fresh, sometimes challenging, the schedule is varied and interesting.  And amidst the frenetic Fringe, it’s a haven of quiet for a few hours.

This year I see two shows.

The Rooster & Partial Memory from Palestine/Lebanon includes two separate pieces.  The Rooster is performed by combined dance troupes El-Funoun/Shams/Marhabtain.  Based on the Palestinian and Lebanese ‘dabke’ folk dance, five male dancers fight over who should be the leader, which they equate to the rooster.  Very physical and a wonderful portrait of male hierarchy.

Partial Memory is one man’s reflection of growing up with an absent father due to conflict, a moving dance performance supported by projected photographs from childhood. Particularly poignant, a desperately sad memoir.

Both pieces are fascinating to watch both for the different styles they contain and the messages they bring.

Bird by Sita Pieraccini ‘explores the difficulties in measuring our personal needs and wants against what our environment can sustain’. Closer to performance art but relying heavily on physicality on a stage centred by a large pile of earth, it’s a sensitive portrayal of our relationship with our world that asks as many questions as it answers.  And this piece relies very strongly on the excellent soundscape from David Pollock.

You could pick anything on the schedule, and you would see a new perspective on dance.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

2 Responses to “Edinburgh – Dance Base”

  1. Jackie says:

    I agree, DanceBase is always top of our Fringe list each year. I saw the two shows you mention, and recommend you go back and watch Linger and Your Majesties ~ they clash a bit, time-wise, so two different days.

    I’d give Rooster/Partial Memory 4 stars out of 5, and Bird maybe a 3. Linger gets a 5 from me, and Your Majesties a 4.

    Have fun, see as many DanceBase shows as you can!

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