If you want to see one of the best and most entertaining shows at the Fringe, look no further than Up & Over It, a fantastic subversive reinvention of Irish step dancing to electro pop music that will befuddle your brain with delightful spectacle. You might already know the duo that are Up & Over It, Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding, from their viral hand dancing videos (‘We No Speak Americano’) or from their appearances on Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent, or maybe you even saw them in their earlier days with Riverdance.
No matter how you may or may not know them, they are a force to be reckoned with. They tumble, they leap, they high kick just inches from your face, their feet and hands move faster than your eyes can follow. They are a toe-tapping sensation – literally toe tapping: Cleary at several times performs Irish step en pointe. The performance is broken up into sections, each with its own theme and sense of narrative. Jonny Reed’s video design perfectly integrates the pieces together, while colourful, and occasionally strobe, lighting complements the techno music and captivating movements.
I can hardly decide which is my favourite: the domestic war of the hand dance, the creepy masked doll-like traditional number, or the neon 80s Swan Lake turned rope skipping? They even take a satirical look at their own work with a scene dedicated solely to the online video and the rise in fame that followed. Their intelligent attention to detail is also an invitation to explore the darker side of a seemingly innocent dance form, and challenge what an audience might usually consider empty entertainment. Cleary and Harding are absolutely sensational and must be on your ‘what to see’ list this year.