Edinburgh Festival Fringe Dance review: Worn, Dance Base

Errol White and Davina Givan’s show Worn is inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, writes Kelly Apter

Worn by Errol White and Davina Givan PIC: Mihaela Bodlovic
Worn by Errol White and Davina Givan PIC: Mihaela Bodlovic


Worn ***

Dance Base (venue 22)

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There’s something almost poetic about watching Errol White and Davina Givan sway gently in each other’s arms. Beneath their feet, the stage glimmers with golden lines, echoing the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi where the cracks in mended pottery are deemed as beautiful as the pot itself. Worn explores the scars and experiences that make us who we are, especially in relation to those closest to us.

The fact that White and Givan are, in real life, a married couple gives the piece an extra layer of truthfulness and sensitivity. They break away, traverse the space alone, then return to the safety of their loved one’s body. Even their costumes suggest fragmentation, with pieces of material sewn back together, no attempt made to cover the join.

Scars by their very nature come from trauma, so it’s understandable that so much of Worn has a troubled intensity. Love and affection are most definitely there during those moments of re-connection, but there is a distinct lack of joy or even a hint at shared happiness. If this on-stage partnering depicted a real union, the ratio of pain to pleasure would prove too much to sustain it. To a certain extent, the same could be said of Worn. Kelly Apter