Dance show Disgo blurs between audience and performer

Dance show Disgo blurs between audience and performer

Traverse play relies heavily on audience participation

What do you think about when you’re on the dancefloor? Be it in a dimly lit nightclub or at a family wedding, chances are something’s running through your mind. That’s the question Fleur Darkin asked hundreds of people when researching her company’s latest work, Disgo.

‘It revealed lots of interesting things,’ says Darkin. ‘A grandmother in her 50s said she thought about all the videos she’d seen on MTV, and a male writer said he tried to make himself bigger and stronger than any women around him.’ Armed with the survey results, Darkin went on to shape a unique dance show where the lines between audience and performer are distinctly blurred.

‘Most dance that you pay to see is something you stay at a distance from,’ she says. ‘But I think dancing is more compelling when you’re in it, and around it, and it actually affects you physically. So the audience and the cast all share the same space in the Traverse.’

With no seats or centre stage, but plenty of room to move and atmospheric lighting to illuminate the space, Disgo relies heavily on audience participation – but of the unthreatening variety. ‘We wrote a manifesto which governs the rules of what we do,’ explains Darkin. ‘So we’re not there to humiliate anybody or put a gun to their head to make them do anything. Because the audience is so near the action, they’re in it and are critical to it, but they’re not under a spotlight.’

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 18 & Fri 19 Nov


Riotous and powerful dance from Fleur Darkin Company, exploring minds, organs and nervous systems against a backdrop of striking lighting and set design. 'Part of the Traverse Autumn Festival'.

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