Mark Bruce Dance Company
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 16 Jun
Sometimes you have to leave things behind to move forward. Trained as a dancer, Mark Bruce has performed and choreographed with companies across the world. But he has also turned his back on the dance world on several occasions, to explore film, theatre, music and writing. All of which influence the work he creates today.
Bruce’s latest piece, Sea of Bones pulls together all his interests, with a little mythology thrown in. There’s also the added attraction of music by Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Sonic Youth. ‘I always choreograph to music I listen to,’ says Bruce. ‘And there has to be something very specific in the track that I’m drawn to. It’s very tricky using songs by well-known people, and I feel I have to have an original interpretation of those songs, rather than just representing them.’
The show’s opening scene features a row of dancers clutching severed heads, which could account for the slightly macabre title. But as Bruce explains, it goes far deeper than that. ‘The title is about delving into the imagination,’ he says. ‘And it’s also a metaphor for life - you can live on the surface, or you can dive into the depths, which can be dark and scary but very beautiful.’ (Kelly Apter)