The Visible Men
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 16 Feb
Contemporary dance and comedy double act are two concepts that aren’t usually found in the same sentence. The two genres appear to attract such widely different types of audiences, and philosophies that it’s hard to imagine what such a marriage would look like. But, since New Art Club’s beginnings in 1995, co-directors, writers and performers Tom Roden and Pete Shenton have been making increasingly successful shows, based on just that.
This time, the pair are planning to make this latest piece interactive: ‘The audience get to play a game with us,’ says Roden. ‘Essentially it’s to do with visibility, the things that we see and don’t see. And how good or bad that is for us.’ Their focus is not just philosophy, but the spreading of dance as a medium. Roden explains: ‘A lot of our work is to give people a platform to watch dance that they feel comfortable with. It presents the dance in a different way.’
While they have been compared to the likes of Morecambe and Wise, the duo take their inspiration from contemporary acts around the world, and insist that their work is truly modern and multi-disciplined. ‘Its got great music, good comedy and very good dance’ says Roden. ‘It’s a conceptual dance show, which fits into the world of other conceptual art that’s happening at the moment.’ Definitely one for fans of genre-mashing, and for those who wonder just how on earth this pair of mavericks are going to squeeze it all in.