Hidden Door Festival successfully introduces international dance strand (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Dance Review: Hidden Door Festival

Jung In Lee / credit: Chris Scott

Mixed arts festival continues to cross genre boundaries

This year's beefed up Hidden Door programme came with a welcome dance strand for the first time. International and mostly female acts answered last year's open call, giving audiences a chance to see the always amazing Éowyn Emerald, the Canada-via-Portland and now Aberdeen-based dancer/ choreographer who performed 'Trinary'; a blast of techno with four Smurf-like bodies in primary colours tessellating in horizontal planks and clowning gracefully like limp imps.

On the former dancefloor of the Egyptian-themed Babylon Nightclub, Natalia Barua and Owa Barua presented 'Isla', a dreamy audio-visual projection of travels in South-East Asia, with a soundtrack of gamelan music and shots of pinky sunsets, tropical greenery and traditional Thai dance backdropping Natalia's sparse movements around the cavernous State Cinema. The art deco spot, built in 1938, is currently used by congregations of the Kingdom Church and soon to be overhauled by Glencairn Properties, so the festival is a good chance to get in for a look round.

Back at the main stage in Leith Theatre, Korean dancer Jung In Lee's solo piece 'Skins' was a crunchy, robotic look at the articulations of her body; like a Meccano ballet, she worked out a cold, emotion-void study of ragdoll, body-popping and angular shapes as if she was an animated character in a video game.

Italian duo Collettivo XL's 'Motion & Motion' came with softer moments, as they merged gymnastic floor work with willowy, synchronised shapes, seen through monochrome, geometric video art projections from above. There's more to come too, including Claricia Kruithof's (of Glasgow's Project X) excellent jerky reboot of Indonesian dance and Scottish Dance Theatre's 'Velvet Petal Bedroom', inspired by Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Until 3 Jun, Leith Theatre and State Cinema, Edinburgh

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Hidden Door Festival

Volunteer-run arts organisation Hidden Door returns for an outdoor festival of music, visual art, theatre, dance and spoken word.

Various venues: Edinburgh

Wed 15 Sep

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