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Out review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘stunning, expressive dance theatre’

Rachael Young and marikiscrycrycry in Out at Summerhall, Edinburgh Rachael Young and marikiscrycrycry in Out at Summerhall, Edinburgh

The audience files in to the sight of two dancers lost in a dancehall haze. Dressed in black fishnets, sunglasses and tiny shorts, Rachael Young and marikiscrycrycry shake, twerk and wind in endless, sensual shapes. They shimmer with sweat under Nao Nagai’s concentrated orange beams. Their dancing is energetic, their bodies whisper the effort, even as their faces remain determinedly impassive. Young’s body contrasts with that of her non-binary mesmeric dance partner, each appearing to stretch time around them like choreographed string theory.

Out is one of two works by Young at this year’s fringe, supported by the inaugural Eclipse award. The award is intended to recognise work that pushes the boundaries of performance and Out certainly delivers. An almost entirely wordless blend of physical theatre and dance, Young has created a powerful visualisation of black-ness, queer-ness and an afro-futurist nightclub from another, magnificent dimension.

When not getting down to Naomi Jackson’s thunderous mix of beats, Young and marikiscrycrycry shuck oranges like oysters, filling the venue with a heady sharp sweetness. Greedily, they suck the juice from the skins like they can’t consume enough life. The extremity of each action is the difference between going out and going out-out. The second a commitment to full on, decadent excess.

Out is one of those shows where the metaphor behind the movements sneaks up on you like a thief in the night. The questions underpinning the work arrive surreptitiously in your brain, even as you were hypnotised by the images being created.

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Stunning, expressive dance theatre that creates a dynamic conversation about race and sexuality through the body