Éowyn Emerald and Dancers made a successful debut at last year’s Fringe and are back again this year with another varied programme of short dances. The company is based in Portland, Oregon, but members of the group trained in some of the top dance schools and universities in North America and performed with a number of different companies before coming together to work with Éowyn. Their varied backgrounds enable them to bring a wealth experience to their current performances and their time together has created trust and understanding between them.
Both the men and women demonstrate strength and elegance.
The dances are created and choreographed by Éowyn. Not until after the dancers have learned a piece does Éowyn reveal its stimulus and significance for her. At that stage dancers discuss their own understanding of the work with her and together they discover some of the meanings a piece might have. Dancer and choreographer do not have to agree on a single meaning. As these are abstract pieces members of the audience can similarly place their own interpretation on what they see. There are no right and wrong answers as to what the dance is about.
Each of the four dancers demonstrates a solid grasp of the art of movement and the ability of the body to express emotion. The opening quartet demonstrates the physicality and almost-gymnastic abilities of the group. The staccato moves seen are beautifully contrasted in the graceful and flowing movements of the closing piece, some of which derive from the ballroom. Between these two are a number of solo dances and works for pairs in which both the men and women demonstrate strength and elegance.
The dance space in this intimate venue is used fully and the audience is brought into close proximity with the performers. This is an advantage, as are pieces concern deep emotions and we are able to see expressed on their faces of the dancers. The varied costumes, lighting and music are well matched to the choreography and work in harmony with each other.
Éowyn Emerald and Dancers are an accomplished group, making a dynamic and refreshing contribution to dance at the Fringe.