Edinburgh Festival Fringe dance review: Last Man Standing, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter.
James Wilton Dance is carving a place for itself in the British dance scene and it’s clear the company’s founder has the skills to make a decent-sized place for himself. Cherry-picking elements of contemporary, breakdance, capoeira and martial arts, he fuses them together seamlessly. Low-slung and fluid, Wilton’s movement style is (often) fast-paced and energetic, with ensemble sections for six dancers designed to hold our attention.
Which isn’t to say he can’t craft a tender solo, because he can – although sometimes the less-is-more approach would pay greater dividends (an exciting male solo makes its point quickly and dynamically, a later female one feels unnecessarily protracted).
Loosely based on Terry Pratchett’s The Last Hero, and the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, the piece is unsurprisingly low on light – in every sense. Which is part of the reason it fails to scale the heights its choreography would suggest it could reach.
Both the minimal lighting and the music (all of which is by the American rock band, Tool) are relentless. In the midst of such unremitting darkness, there’s no room for light and shade, making engagement harder and harder as time goes on.
Zoo Southside (Venue 82) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 27 August 2015
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