Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Object of my Affection

Seated
Seated/ A Une Passante/ Into Decay, MurleyDance, Greenside @ Edinburgh Fringe Festival - reviewed on 19th August

Given the umbrella title of Object of my Affection, MurleyDance's triple bill explores the attachments people make, both with material objects and other people. Formed in 2012 and featuring dancers trained at top dance schools including the Royal Ballet School and Teatro alla Scala, the company is one of just four ballet-categorised groups at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. 

Opening the programme is Seated, created by company artistic director David Murley. Using a variety of chairs, including a throne and a bar stool, dancers explore relationships from the 18th Century to the present day. 

A 1980s armchair trio for mother and children impresses particularly. Simona Marsibilio argues with brother Ashley Selfe over the TV remote control, both scuffling on the floor in a believable and heartwarming childlike manner, while mother Georgina Connolly berates the noise and disarray. A solo centring on the building of an Ikea flat pack chair gives Seated a fitting and humorous present day conclusion. 

Richard Chappell's Into Decay also ends well with a beautiful pas de deux for Monica Tapiador and Gabriele Santoni. The rest of the piece is well performed and interesting for its athleticism but bears no obviously link to the evening's theme. 

Into Decay
The triple bill's centrepiece, A Une Passante, left me cold. Choreographed by Anthony Kurt-Gabel, it features two pairs of dancers, with one enacting the imagined encounter of the other. 

Object of My Affection could use some choreographic refinement, and would benefit too from clearer differentiation between works. But it offers the chance to see a talented contemporary ballet company up close (from just a few feet away) and I hope more people at the Fringe will take this rare opportunity.

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