Seen at Edinburgh Festival Fringe on the 20th of August 2019
3 stars – Interesting experience
Looping: Scotland Overdub brings audience participation to the next level. It is the dance of a community, between tradition and innovation. An impacting performance with a strong political message.
No seats are to be taken for this unusual performance: the audience stands around the stage, shaping it with moving bodies. At the beginning, the dancers walk around in lines, seemingly ignoring the people. Then, on the tracks mixed live by DJ Torben Lars Sylvest, they start engaging with the audience and involving them into this collective dance.
Beautiful choreographies result from the dancers playfully handling the neon-lightened loudspeakers. Between these moments and the inclusive ones, a political speech is presented. It is about the aspiration for a borderless, anti-capitalist community, which allows Joan Cleville – Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre – to give the best definition for the performance as ʻa political dance partyʼ.
It has been created on the blueprint of Looping: Bahia Overload, the quite famous performance realised by 7Oito two years ago in Brazil. In this Scottish version, the influence of Ceilidh tradition is noticeable. The political speech is well written but slightly standardised, and, specially, it is too superficially contextualised and not nuanced.
Despite the immersive experience, for the audience it might not always be easy to understand in what way to participate. For the rest, Felipe de Assis, Leonardo França and Rita Aquino, in collaboration with Fleur Darkin and Scottish Dance Theatre, are the creators of the effective choreographies for the dancers (Kieran Brown, Luigi Nardone, Adrienne O’Leary, Jessie Roberts-Smith, Oscar Pérez Romero, Pauline Torzuoli, Johanna Wernmo, and the apprentice dancers Genevieve Reeves and Matilda Bjärum).
An interesting experiment that is worth to be made, and that could make you reflect on what theatre will be like in some years.
Fringe dates: 19th – 24th of August 2019 at 10:30pm
Running time: 1 hour
ZOO Southside (Venue 82), 117 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9ER
Tickets and Info: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/looping-scotland-overdub
Company website: https://www.scottishdancetheatre.com/