Folklore @ Greenside, Royal Terrace

Three obscure tales from the North of England are weaved together with original music, sororal relations and puppetry

Review by Dominic Corr | 03 Sep 2018
  • Folklore

Before cave paintings, movement was the way in which we shared stories. How fitting that Off the Map Dance Company should use this as the medium in which to deliver their show Folklore. Through dance, the production tells of Kitty's struggles with her overprotective sister, as she desperately seeks to follow the fantastical route in life.

The physicality of the performance is breathtaking, its brutality in communicating the rawness of the sororal relationship is refreshing, yet surprising. Choreographed exquisitely, Steve Johnstone's work is a spectrum of emotive movements. Sometimes genteel, sisterly and pleasant, performers looping their arms with candles, communicating the wisps surrounding the mound. In contrast, the tribal movements of Kitty's sister are adrenaline pumping, stirring the audience.

The crux issue with Folklore lies where fantasy should draw its key advantage – its narrative. While not poor, its clarity is questionable. Choreographed sublimely, at times it fails to communicate more than emotion. Without reading the provided programme many viewers may find it difficult to know which aspect of the three tales is being performed.

Utilising our oldest medium, Folklore investigates the curiosity we have which stems from the old. We still find ourselves drawn to a path lit by faerie light and mystery. With its gorgeous choreography and score, it's a shame the narrative can be lost amid the bustle.

Folklore, Greenside @ Royal Terrace, until 25 Aug, 3pm, free

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