Heads Up: Generations @ Dance Base

Review by Stephanie Green | 12 Aug 2016
  • Heads Up

Heads Up is a smörgåsbord of four differing generational delights.

Tune Yard 
What better way to open the programme than with the high-octane energy of Lothian Youth Dance Company? Athletic choreography with a nod to pop by Tamsyn Russell is performed with precision and ends with a charming, unexpected touch of humour.

Performance with Hope 
Performed and devised by Grace and Hope Surman, Performance with Hope charts a mother-daughter relationship. Nine year old daughter (Hope) copies mother (Grace) and then mother gets bossed around. Charming moments of intimacy, brushing each other’s hair, alternate with moments of rebellion: Grace feels put upon – literally – as Hope clings onto her back; Hope hilariously mimics adult vocabulary “I found a way of communicating with Grace.” Who supports whom? Ivor Cutler’s song begging women to take over the world as ‘we haven’t got long’ expresses the poignancy of the pair huddling under a blanket, Hope peeking out, the fragile symbolism of her name clear. This tender piece will have parents laughing and crying with recognition.

A solo by Tora Hed, Under is stunning, performed with mesmerising subtlety, minutely responding to the rhythms of the unusual soundscape created by Georgie Buchanan. Dramatic lighting by Barnaby Booth transforms this into an all round theatrical event. The performance is all the more remarkable for being entirely improvised. Each day will be different.

Carry on Dancing 
Performed by the over 60s dance group, Prime show they are glorious as ever, brave and funny, despite all the aches and pains that come with age. Choreographed by Steinvor Palsson to songs by Marlene Dietrich, this piece is redolent of nostalgic glamour. Resplendent in long satin evening dresses and gloves, a ‘re-imaging’ of the celebrated Mr Pearl’s couture, the dancers’ grandeur is undercut as they fall to pieces, but always carry on. These ladies have chutzpah and go out fighting.

Heads Up: Generations, until 13 Aug at Dance Base, 11am, £7 (£6) http://dancebase.co.uk/festival16