Thread

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16/08/2015

Demonstration Room, Summerhall, Edinburgh

So, we’re in the Demonstration Room at Summerhall, waiting for the show to begin and I can’t help but notice that four young women in the audience are staring intently at their Macbooks. And I’m just thinking that this is a bit rude, when ambient music starts up and the women begin to clamber across the benches and descend to the performance space, where three of them start to leap and whirl, while the fourth inscribes the words ‘blind trap’ on the floor in chalk.

OK, an interesting start but, for our money, at least, this is about as interesting as Thread gets. As the women interact with each other, we remind ourselves that this piece is about the myth of Ariadne and the blurred lines between reality and fantasy. To us it just looks like four young women bullying each other.

There are some nice moments; we like the conceit of the dancer being confined by the chalk circles being drawn around her feet, nimbly side-stepping them, but ultimately being ensnared.

And there’s some tantalising projection, which works best when illuminating the dancers’ bodies, incorporating them with their set. But somehow it’s a bit restrained; to be fully effective it needs to be more spectacular.

In all honesty, this feels just a bit… teenage. Which would be all well and good if this were a school production (and if it didn’t cost £10 a ticket), but it isn’t (and it does), so it’s, well, not quite good enough.

2 stars

Philip Caveney and Susan Singfield

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