Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance review: 360 ALLSTARS, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter
If IT spins, it’s in. That seems to be the philosophy at 360 ALLSTARS. It’s a clever idea, which arrived at the Fringe with the word “crowdpleaser” stamped all over its cargo.
Breakdance shows are ubiquitous, so too is circus, but it’s unusual to find this particular set of skills together in one show.
The international cast are all masters of their individual disciplines, many with world champion status. Computer graphics also play a large part, introducing us to our showmen (for they are, indeed, all men) and whipping the crowd into a frenzy as the stakes get higher.
The “spinning” element is different for everyone. Hungarian BMX Flatland rider Peter Sore spins on his front and back wheel, whisking the bike beneath him or balancing precariously on its edge.
New York’s Basketball Man spins balls on his fingers, sends them circling through the air as he juggles five with his large, capable hands, or curves them around his body.
B-boys Kareem and Leerok (from the USA and New Zealand respectively) spin on their heads, battling it out computer game-style, while Australian Rhys Miller sends his whole body spinning inside the acrobatic Cyr wheel, moving at a dizzying speed.
All of this would be entertaining enough, but is made even more impressive by the inclusion of beatboxer Sam Perry and musician Gene Paterson. At first, you assume the two men are creating some of the sound themselves and embellishing it with existing music. Until Perry points out that everything we hear is live – either played by Paterson on the drums or keyboards then looped by Perry, or created by Perry’s own mouth.
During one incredible highlight, Perry (a phenomonal talent) builds a whole song from scratch, layering it with self-made sounds until you’d swear you were listening to a whole band of instruments.
Assembly Hall (venue 35), until 31 August, 4:15pm / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 20 August 2015
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