Dance Base describes their one off line-ups as ‘The Fringe spirit distilled into 50 minutes’. I wish every dance performance I had seen over this month had been as delightful, gorgeous and genuine as this.
Firstly we had the striking Gabriela Sanchez with ‘I think it’s true’, a beautiful and poignant tussle with a coat, stretched and pulled into animation and submission. Sanchez is magnificently poised, with a compelling presence and energy.
Then we were told the bittersweet tale of a girl who could only communicate through dance and a boy who could only communicate through sounds and rhythms, in other words beatboxing. Christina Gusthart fluid, energetic hip-hop and Bigg Taj’s pulsating rhythms fell into perfect synch with ease and inspiring precision. The wordless chemistry between the pair, communicated through glances and gesture was moving and playful. This was a touching story of young love and finding your voice.
Next Lucy Boyes offered us the meditative and methodical, ‘This must be the place’. A work in progress, the control and entrancing patterns of repeated images, like flickering memories, show great potential. Settings were suggested through the atmospheric sound samples of David Maxwell, collaborating with Boyes, evoking cafes, airports, and distant chatter. This is a beautiful and carefully woven piece that could develop in complexity and implied narrative.
Finally ‘Take it to the Hub Trio’, took us in a very different direction with a bizarre, slapstick scratch performance ‘And now for a quick ad break’. Dressed like clowns in berets and striped socks, they rushed about the stage, performed the cancan, formed raucous crowds, fell over each other, grinned and grimaced. If anything distilled the hectic, rough and ready spirit of the Fringe this would be it.
Imbued with a wistful, thoughtful charm, balanced with humor and delight this is an invigorating and engrossing collection. It was a joy to be able to see works that are so fresh, capturing the flourishing early stages of fruition. What a shame it’s only on once.