NEDERLANDS DANs THEATER   *****

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DANCE

EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE   

AUGUST 21ST TO 23RD

19.30

This world famous dance company can be relied upon to tour material that is richly imaginative and original. They did not disappoint on this occasion. What we saw was amazing and fascinating from the start.

There are three sections, beginning with Shoot the Moon. Here we begin in one room with a couple who are very animated, sometimes still, sometimes moving furiously. The stage revolves, bringing us a second room, then a third, with different couples in each. Mods vary, and there is longing between rooms, and some windows, and a very daring flight of one male dancer through a window into darkness. At first, the situation made me think of Magritte, the surrealist painter, but after the woman next to me suggested Hitchcock. Very likely. And very engrossing.

Next came The Missing Door. Here we are with a man who is dying, and in his last moments he tries to piece together what he hears and what is happening.  The dancers in the room around him act out these events, sometimes repetitively, sometimes without apparent sense,  with very demanding sequences and movements. This section is highly original and startling.

The final section, Stop Motion, is set to melancholy music by Max Richter, and involves a process of farewell and transformation. There is beautiful ensemble work here, which very graceful dancing and unexpected twists as we would expect. This section seemed relatively calm after what had gone before, but we were intensely drawn into the world presented to us none the less.

As ever with Nederlands Dans Theater,  this was an evening not to be forgotten, after which we may argue and discuss about just what we were meant to take from what we saw, but the whole evening had the ambiguity of good poetry, and we can enjoy exploring possible interpretations.

Tony Challis