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Edinburgh International Festival: New Voices

Published Monday 19 August 2013 at 10:46 by Thom Dibdin

Any lapse in focus to the opening ballet of this quintet of world premiers is soon forgotten as Scottish Ballet set out to charge the emotions and find the thrilling nature of their performance in the opening programme of the Dance Odysseys weekend at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Helen Pickett's The Room is danced by members of the Scottish Ballet

Helen Pickett's The Room is danced by members of the Scottish Ballet Photo: Andy Ross

Using the Kronos Quartet’s hypnotic arrangement of a work by Rahman Asadollahi, James Cousins gives a sense of submissive praise to the grounded, bobbing movements of the four synchronous female dancers. When they rise, in their turn to break away, variations of the same movements work closely with Kronos’ fluid movements. And although it carries a very modern punch, there is a timeless quality to Cousin’s piece.

Helen Pickett finds more narrative for her depiction of a menage a trois, played out in a lighting-defined space in the centre of the stage. Victor Zarallo and Remi Andreoni are psychiatrist and patient, the former a god-like figure, outside the central space pushing in Bethany Kinglsey-Garner and Sophie Martin as wife and lover. Set to the sweeping lushness of Bruch’s first violin concerto, there’s a feeling of raw humanity in the face of uncontrolable forces.

Emotion rides above any narrative when Scottish Dance Theatre joins the company for In This Storm, Henri Oguike’s trio set to Vrebalov’s composition. In the final on-stage work Martin Lawrance’s fine, fluid quartet works directly against the insessant syncopation of Juila Wolfe’s Dark Full Ride. Martin, Zarallo and Andreoni are joined by Katie Webb for Wolfe’s piece and spin a dense, smooth web over the spiky angularity of the supporting music.

And just when you thought it was all over, Kristen McNally’s quirky Foibles, a treasure-chest of light-hearted jokes danced to a collection of film soundtracks, pops up in the foyer, capturing another breath of modernity on the way home.

Production information

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, August 16-19

Rahman Asadollahi, Max Bruch, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Julia Wolfe
James Cousins, Helen Pickett, Henri Oguike, Martin Lawrance, Kristen McNally
Scottish Ballet
Cast includes:
Victor Zarallo, Remi Andreoni, Bethany Kinglsey-Garner, Sophie Martin, Katie Webb
Running time:
1hr 15mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014