Edinburgh International Festival dance review: TAO Dance Theatre, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter.
If you stumbled in off the street, unsure what to expect, TAO Dance Theatre might present you with a few challenges. The choreography of its artistic director, Tao Ye is many things – but quick-changing isn’t one of them. He plays the long-game in each piece he creates, with repetition a major contributing factor. Yet everything is infused with a powerful precision and subtle alterations that hold you fast.
Weight x 3 is the more dynamic half of TAO’s double bill. Split into three sections, all of which are driven by the music of Steve Reich (another proponent of repetitive beauty), it demands fierce concentration from the dancers – and a fair bit from us.
To begin, two dancers move in total unison, holding hands as they move in time with Reich’s perpetual rhythm. Followed by an extreme solo, performed in a few square feet centre stage, the dancer deftly spinning a long staff round and round in the spotlight. Then another precise duet, this time with angular arms pressed firmly against hips throughout.
Slower, but equally meticulous, 5 featured five dancers who never lose contact with each other, nor rise above ground level. Soporific at times, maybe, but fuel for the imagination.
Royal Lyceum Theatre
Published in The Scotsman on 19 August 2015
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