This is slightly outside the norm for this blog but I wanted to give a shout out to-and write a brief review of-a show I saw at the Edinburgh Fringe festival yesterday that I’m getting the feeling has been a bit underappreciated.
Entrails, a physical theater, experimental dance and spoken-word show inspired by Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, is not something I probably would have gone to see on my own (I heard about it through one of the producers, who I know through the publishing community here), but having seen it, I’m very glad I did.
The show explores the fragility of the human body and its reactions-often unconscious-to traumatic situations. This comes through clearly, and often startlingly, in the movements of the trio of dancers (Jenny Geertsen, Emily Neighbour and Kayla Tomé), which juxtapose the plasticity and rigidity of the human body. I won’t give too much away but the very first sequence involves the three of them rubbing their faces on the (dirty and probably splintery) venue floor, often with open eyes (and often also with expressions of pain or discomfort I’m not convinced were pretend). This, probably, is what grabbed me about the show, made me sit up and pay attention: throughout Entrails, as per the theme, in the dancers’ movements and faces, there is a thread of pain and visceral reflex, so much so that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see smears of blood on the floor, trailing behind the performers.
I’ll end by saying this: if you know you don’t like experimental dance, probably don’t see this show. But if you do like it, or if you (like myself) don’t know anything about it, go! It was a new experience for me and it’s opened my eyes to a new kind of art I was unaware of before. It’s a sincere, emotional show. The movements of the performers feel as fresh and exploratory as sitting in the audience does. I would give it (with whatever authority I can muster) four stars out of four.
Unfortunately there are only two shows left, today and tomorrow (12.50pm at fringe venue 45), and I don’t think many of my readers are in Edinburgh, but please check out the company, Parachute Dance, watch some of their videos and check them out also on facebook and twitter.