Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus review: Limb(e)s, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

Limb(e)s, Assembly Roxy (139)
Limb(e)s, Assembly Roxy (139)
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Aerial dance is now ubiquitous at the Fringe, with swings and ropes incorporated into most circus shows. Nobody, however, is doing it quite like Ci Co.

Limb(e)s, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh * * *

Founded by Canadian duo Gabrielle Martin and Jeremiah Hughes, the company was set up to ‘explore the shadow side of human existence’, and that’s exactly what you get here.

On a dark, haze-filled stage, they prove that aerial dance and beauty don’t always have to go hand in hand. This is a duet filled with trouble and torment; performed by bodies that look trapped and uncomfortable with life (though not uncomfortable in the air – these are consummate professionals). Dressed in black, and backed by a score that’s sinister and heavy with reverberation, they come together in a tangle of ropes and limbs. As former Cirque du Soleil performers, Martin and Hughes clearly have a sharp set of skills to share. They also know how to create atmosphere.

READ MORE: All of The Scotsman's 5-star reviews from the 2019 festivals

But after a while it starts to feel as if Limb(e)s is played entirely on one note. A break in the darkness and intensity, whilst remaining meaningful, would have been welcome.

Until 25 August

Kelly Apter

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