DANCE & PHYSICAL THEATRE
P H O T O :
V K T O R K R O N B A U E R
GOSSIP Czech company warn against the dangers of unconsidered words through dance
Lenka Vágnerová’s return to the Fringe after her success in 2015 with La Loba uses choreography and puppetry to explore a familiar, if unpleasant idea. ‘Gossips are a cross-cultural phenomenon of humanity since the early days,’ she says. ‘Yet it is connected with only a single being on the planet – the human.’ The Prague-based choreographer has always addressed serious matters, examining the problems of human existence through her distinctive style, evoking the power of visual art alongside a visceral urgency. With Gossip, which comes to the Fringe this year as part of the Czech Showcase at ZOO, she has found a subject that matches her physical theatricality.
‘People are hungry for sensations or out of the ordinary information about others,’ she notes. From this notion, Gossip becomes a layered study of a universal vice, and how it can destroy through a single word.
She continues: ‘Gossip’s power can be more harmful than physical abuse: it can result in amusement but also a tragedy.’ Recognising the internet’s ability to spread gossip with ‘speed and guile’, she took the way it impacts on a specii c person to develop the movement vocabulary for the performance. ‘Dance and the body have a gift of envisioning almost everything,’ she explains. With i ve performers on stage, caught up in a party environment, Vágnerová examines how ‘gossip is altered quickly and innocent information can easily turn into a monstrous defamation. It may even become an unstoppable avalanche.’ With Vágnerová’s belief in the potential of dance to communicate complex ideas, and the precision of her dancers and choreography, Gossip promises to be an incisive journey into human psychology. (Gareth K Vile)
ZOO Southside, Fri 4–Tue 15 Aug (not 9), 8.30pm, £14 (£12).
REQUIEM FOR ALEPPO Requiem For Aleppo Pleasance @ EICC, Wed 16 Aug, 7.30pm, £15 (£10), show & afterparty £30 (£25). Following its sold-out premiere at Sadler’s Wells this spring, Requiem for Aleppo comes to the Fringe for one-night only, featuring 12 dancers from across the world. Composed by David Cazalet and choreographed by Jason Mabana, the movement is set to choral music interspersed with real life testimonies from Aleppo. The Edinburgh show will feature Jacob O’Donnell, BBC Dancer of the Year 2015. THE DREAMER Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in association with Gecko Pleasance Courtyard, Sat 5–Tue 15 Aug (not 9), 1.30pm, £11.50–£14.50 (£9.50–£13). Previews Wed 2–Fri 4 Aug, £8. The Dreamer is inspired by two 16th-century works: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Peony Pavilion, a play by Shakespeare’s Chinese contemporary, Tang Xianzu. This new work from Gecko blends visual storytelling, strong movement, and a captivating soundscape to interpret these well-known stories, performed by a Chinese cast. Created by Gecko’s associate director Rich Rusk and devising performer Chris Evans (Gecko’s The Overcoat, Missing, Institute, The Time of Your Life, The Wedding). Part of British Council’s 2016 Shakespeare Lives programme.
LAST CLOWN ON EARTH Derevo Pleasance Courtyard, Sat 5–Mon 28 Aug (not 14, 21), 5.40pm, £10–£13 (£9–£12). Previews Wed 2–Fri 4 Aug, £8. Multi award-winning Russian physical theatre company Derevo (Once . . ., Mephisto Waltz) return with their latest show, this time taking on the classic i gure of ‘the clown’. Celebrated performer Anton Adasinksy, takes on the tragicomic icon, exploring the clown through a mix of mime, butoh, visuals and sound.
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