Éowyn Emerald & Dancers return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in a somewhat different context from previous years with their new work Your Tomorrow. Now included within the Dance Base programme their show is at the open-air Multistory, NCP Castle Terrace Car Park.
Moving and entertaining.
The venue continues to have issues given the variable weather in Edinburgh and its structure. As there is no cover over the seating I sat in the rain for ninety minutes watching Sunshine on Leith a couple of weeks ago. In contrast the opening of Your Tomorrow coincided with perhaps the hottest day of the year so far with the sun beating down on people’s heads and necks. Also, seated on the upper level there is a railing at eye level that cuts performers in half, which is particularly annoying in a dance production. The whole idea of the Multistory needs to go back to the drawing board.
That aside, the performance from this well-established company was as enjoyable as always. Éowyn Emerald choreographed the piece which ‘celebrates the private moments, uplifting intimacies and companionable bliss of the relationships that unite us’. It arose from her work with people living with Parkinson’s disease, but that is not particularly obvious as the piece extrapolates the dedication, persistence and enduring love of the families and friends who care for them. With her creativity and imagination these qualities are placed in the context of an often amusing and intimate jazz dance for two performers and 144 Ferrero Roche. Katie Armstrong opens in a 40’s style dress that swirls fabulously with her turns and Daniel Navarro Lorenzo matches the period with some slick spins and slides.
In case you wonder, the chocolates are real. What's more, their website description gives the clue for including them: ‘What are life's golden pleasures? The joy of being with your family, a special love, true friendship, being together, feeling close. Such moments deserve to be celebrated with something very special, because a golden pleasure becomes even more unique if enjoyed with a Ferrero Rocher’. Quite what can be more unique than unique is a mystery, but Emerald’s choreography certainly fits into that category.
These feelings are encapsulated in the movement that expresses not just elation but solitude and quieter moments of introspection and reflection. Much-needed embraces and hugs are sensitively portrayed by both dancers. As always, levels are fully explored with some delightful floor sequences of the pair rolling around contrasted with leaps and extensions that use the considerable space to full effect. The wide-ranging music is a joy in itself and suggests both period and style. Dave Brubeck, Bing Crosby, Victor Young and his Orchestra, alt-J, Joe Magnarelli, Michael Galasso, Ólafur Arnolds, Alice Sara Ott, The Chemical Brothers, Arcade Fire, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie all feature in reciprocity with the dance.
The varied elements combine to provide a performance that is moving and entertaining.