INdepenDANCE Youth dance-theatre brings a conceptual and at times emotional piece of modern dance to the Spaces on Niddry Street. The ‘transitional’ element of the storytelling refers to the journeys of child migrants, past and present, sharing experiences of loss, isolation and courage, ultimately finding hope in the kindness of others. The stories of a 19th century feral child, a Jewish Kindertransport refugee, and a present day asylum seeker, are presented alongside the experiences of other resilient young people and their ability to adapt and move forward. The vital importance of connection and understanding are explored in this mixed dance, image, and spoken word production.
The first ten minutes of the performance are delivered promenade style with the audience on their feet watching a scene of immigrant children departing on trains, reminiscent of World War 2 era evacuations. Following this, the audience is invited to sit and watch the remainder of the performance. The show flows well with many of the performers displaying emotional highs expressed both with their bodies and through their spoken text.
Where the production falls short is in its technical execution. The clunky changing of set pieces, with black clad crewmembers dragging bits of scenery on stage, halts the flow of the piece. The lighting rig is also so low to the floor that a tartan blanket used by one performer ended up stuck on a light, slightly diffusing the closing projection images.
If the company could find away to keep the momentum going during the scene changes it would really add to the overall production. That said, what this youth dance company are producing is exceptional and offers a very transient journey to watch this Fringe.