Dance review: Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing
Dance review: Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing

Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance review: Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter ★★★ It’s not easy to portray mental illness with honesty and truth, but Derbyshire-based collective The Secret Dance Club is right on target. This delicate exploration of dementia, and the impact it has on both those suffering, …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance review: Camera Obscura – A Way of Seeing, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter

★★★

It’s not easy to portray mental illness with honesty and truth, but Derbyshire-based collective The Secret Dance Club is right on target. This delicate exploration of dementia, and the impact it has on both those suffering, and those helplessly looking on, feels touchingly real.

Staring into space, Anna looks lost inside her own world. Joining her on the sofa, husband Jacob looks equally lost on how to reach her. Music, it transpires, is the answer, and the growing flicker of recognition which passes over Anna’s face as she listens to an old record is truly poignant.

Running alongside this fine acting is the Anna and Jacob of yesteryear, portrayed through contemporary dance. A young couple come together in passionate embraces, argue then reconnect, and spend time with their daughter in a touching depiction of what used to be.

With such strong material at its heart, Camera Obscura has much to offer, but the rather pedestrian staging and lighting design let it down slightly. A powerful moment between the two Annas (young and old) in front of and behind a mirror hits the spot, however, hinting at the show’s full potential.

C (VENUE 34), Until 18 August, 6:25pm / listings

Published in The Scotsman on 8 August

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