Éowyn Emerald and Dancers, make a welcome return to Edinburgh in their usual Greenside, Royal Terrace location. They played to a full house the day I was there and some last-minute hopefuls had to be turned away. This is a clear indication of how well-known the company has become in the city, gaining an established reputation and a significant following. This year’s programme, which has a different feel to it, will confirm their status.
This latest offering is a joy and a gem that is not to be missed.
There are seven pieces that begin with the world-premiere of Trinary and introduces the four dancers: Éowyn Emerald, Holly Shaw, Joel Walker and Josh Murry. Using mixed colour-saturated LED lighting and vivid costumes the work creates a mesmeric and ever-changing kaleidoscope in which the visual effects become the narration. It’s a brilliant start in every respect. The mood changes dramatically in Sugared pt. 2 & 3 with music by Duke Ellington, 3 being another world premier. The work is “a reminder that we dance for the challenge and the joy it brings us”. With her roots in jazz technique Éowyn joyfully explores the rhythmic connection between dance, music and the technical skill.
Next comes a revival of the intimate duet blurred featuring the symbolic bowler. Relationships are further explored through the eyes of a young couple in Balloon. This Fringe premiere captures the grace and vulnerability of falling in love over and over again by effortless and fluid partnering and movement quality. Will You provides a dynamic contrast in its examination of the balance between power and love and dominance and longing. The theme marches on apace in Mine/Ours, another first showing in Edinburgh. Here the effects of small changes are displayed through pedestrian movement, partnering, and weight-sharing in another intimate. Yet another world premiere, aka: how many more brings the performance to a close with a contemporary look at the impact on people’s lives of hatred, fear and ignorance with the hope of rising above it.
These performances generate the feeling that this year the company has reached an even more intense level of performance and artistic interpretation. There is a greater sense of cohesion in the programme and maturity and unity amongst the dancers, probably achieved through the length of time they have been working together. This latest offering is a joy and a gem that is not to be missed.