A phenomenal, genre-defying work that deserves more than a three night run at the Fringe
Inspired by Victorian photography which seemed to reveal images of ghosts and spirits living amongst us, Dudendance have taken those images and transposed them into the Haining House and Estate in Selkirk for a site-specific dance piece that is a feast for the senses. Guided around the estate we see ghosts all around us, acting out moments from their day to day lives in slow motion with incredibly controlled movements seemingly lost in time. One stands motionless looking across the lake, another collects wood, one sits at the window reading a book – all typically banal actions that are suddenly rendered fascinating. The ten ladies never speak allowing us to project our own thoughts, ideas and speculations onto them. Are they the same woman? Did they live at the same time? What were their lives like? We’re allowed to choose and that’s part of the beauty of the piece – there’s no story to try and latch onto rather it is a pure experience of time, memory and history.
There are plenty of ghost stories performed during the Fringe but Dudendance have gone one step further by bussing the audience out to Selkirk. The grand country house, the expansive grounds, forests and lake not to mention the sensation being outside to hear the animals and experience nightfall in real time forms an integral component of the show.
There’s a noticeable sense of trepidation at the beginning in which no one in the audience really knows what we’ve let ourselves in for and part of me wonders how different the experience might be if it were experienced individually as the group mentality seems to be to clump together for safety. Nevertheless it’s a phenomenal, genre-defying work that deserves more than a three night run at the Fringe – I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.