Blushed; Terra Incognita; Pop-Up Duets; Trinity; The Sacrifice of Roaring – review

Various venues, Edinburgh
Love, death and fairytale footwear are explored in the smallest of spaces at the Edinburgh fringe

Dance always puts up a good front on the Edinburgh festival fringe, and it’s the work that rejoices in the intimacy of tiny venues that scores highest. Blushed (at the Counting House) is a two-hander by Hannah Ballard and Lexi Bradburn, who formed Sole Rebel Tap in 2010. The piece is a freewheeling examination of the sexual symbolism of shoes in fairytales, accompanied by tap dancing. Ballard and Blackburn devise amusing alternative narratives – Cinderella’s “walk of shame” after the ball, and a prince who is left holding “a shoe full of blood” – and they deliver their tap sequences with cheery competence. The interplay between the duo has a larky, pantomime suggestiveness. Bottoms are slapped, legs are bitten. Ballard works her hand, fingers first, into a scuffed red tap shoe; Blackburn spurts whipped cream from an aerosol across Ballard’s face. It’s not subtle, but it sends you on your way with a smile.

Temper Theatre’s Terra Incognita (Zoo Southside), directed by Finn Morrell, depicts the end of the world. A male figure in a business suit (performers are uncredited) is granted visions of an apocalyptic future. His guide is a female figure representing Nature, who is betrayed by corporate greed and hard-hatted despoilers. Blind to the consequences, hollow-eyed revellers carouse to a soundtrack of Pink Floyd’s Money and David Bowie’s Fame. With ingenuity and the minimum of resources, the production conjures a place of darkness and howling winds, and by the end, Nature lies broken and dead. The piece is blazingly sincere, but its one-note character and an absence of fine shading detract considerably from its theatricality.

Janis Claxton is a dance-maker at the top of her technical game, with a rare emotional intelligence

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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