Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance review: A String Section, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott
Five women, on a stage sawing up chairs: it’s an idea that’s as much performance art as it is dance or physical theatre, but one that, in just under an hour, proves to be surprisingly engaging. The juxtaposition of the women, dressed like classical musicians in black evening dresses and high heels, carrying out an act perhaps more commonly associated with men in garden sheds, feels subversive from the minute they lift their saws. Are the chair legs a metaphor for the women’s legs and the way they’ve been sexualised? Does cutting up the former represent taking control of the latter? Or is it all just a waste of good (and, in one case, I’m pretty sure, Georgian) furniture?
While open to interpretation, it’s very well choreographed with the chairs, cut at different angles, and women’s bodies taking on ever-changing shapes. Listening to the rhythmic sawing and waiting for the wood to snap is strangely mesmerising – and recognition of the physical effort this has taken delivers smiles. By the end, how much and how little of each of the chairs is left becomes a testament to an act of destruction and how effectively it has or hasn’t been achieved.
Summerhall (Venue 26), until 27 August, 1pm and 6:10pm
Published in The Scotsman on 25 August 2015
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