Scottish Dance Theatre: Dreamers & TutuMucky
Scottish Dance Theatre's latest double bill is surreal, silly and sublime
These days, you're as likely to find oddball comedy in a contemporary dance programme as you are expressions of pure dance. Happily in this double bill from Scottish Dance Theatre, there's a good slice of both.
That's not to say Anton Lachky's whimsical Dreamers – first up – isn't also channelling a solid core of beauty and virtuosity. A line of dancers in eclectic modern day colours confronts us, each taking a turn to spring forward into their own solo, with varying doses of balletic grace, frantic thrashing and quirky wriggles. It's a firecracker of an opening, and showcases how filigree-fine technique can be shaped by each dancer's personality.
As Lachky's bold splash of dreamland opens up, different dancers take the lead, experimenting with superhero powers, envious imitations and desires realised and thwarted. Elegant and eccentric, it's the yearning and delight of each dreamer that has the power to charm us silly.
Botis Seva's TutuMucky is no less surreal, but through its familiar, uncanny images, plunges us down the rabbit hole somewhere more elemental. Through Emma Jones' lighting, figures are only just visible at first, either in the detail of a bare muscle, or pacing the shadows, a warrior in the unlikely costume of a tutu.
To a score that powers through your veins with electro beats and classical sampling, movement that calls on both ballet and hip-hop, and delicate tutus on fierce bodies, Seva's ensemble separates into rippling solos and limb-knotting duets and comes together for passages of mechanical, animal and drill precision.
Underlying the piece is the sense of some urgency to dance, and when the group unites at the end, loping and pulsing across the stage, they could be at a rave, a ritual or both.
Put together, these joyous, cerebral touches create a thoughtful and sensual double bill.
Reviewed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.