FRINGE REVIEW – Booking Dance, Beautiful


8 – 15 Aug 1600 (1700) & 11 Aug 1230 (1330) @ Venue 150

By Danielle Farrow

Booking Dance, billed as ‘A dance “festival within a festival”’ showcases artists from the US in ‘bite-sized festival format’. There are four shows between now and 22nd August, with ‘Beautiful’, being the first.
There is plenty of physical prowess on show and some strong musicality and control, particularly from solo artists Rebecca Stern, demonstrating impressive isolation and detail, and Ingrid Graham, blending lyricism and sensuality. Body Stories / Teresa Fellion Dance and Michael Mao Dance illustrated the strengths of group works, the former with a harmony and connection which brought a depth of feeling to the stage, while Michael Mao presented a dramatic ritualistic piece, exploring bird and beast elements, to Japanese drumming. Isadora Duncan’s ’Revolutionary’, danced by Christine Jowers, was historically interesting and stood out as very different from the other pieces, but also as emotionally self-indulgent, with a closed-off quality that also affected Jowers’ second piece. The MacArthur Dance Project trio presented some interesting synchronised choreography, but did not engage as directly as most of the others.
Music spanned centuries, beats and instruments, and both recorded voice and stage silence was used to good effect, particularly at the end of pieces. Some of these companies are also included in the rest of the Booking Dance showcases, and Michael Mao’s work in particular seems worth exploring through these upcoming presentations.

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