Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus review: Knot, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh

Nikki Rummer and JD Broussé had partners before they met, although they didn’t like them very much. This is much better, this is clearly love. Or is it?

Knot, Assembly Roxy (Venue 139)

Knot, Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh * * * *

Regularly returning to two microphones at the side of the stage, the duo invites us into their personal lives, giving us the nuts and bolts of how they got together and what, now, irritates them about each other.

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But then, just as we’re getting cosy with this idea, our concept of who these people are is blown apart and we head off down a very different path.

It’s not often that the words circus performers write and deliver match the strength, commitment and skill of their movement – but they do here. Although perhaps that should come as no surprise, given the involvement of director/choreographer Ben Duke of Lost Dog fame.

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Sensuality, comfort, frustration, it’s all here. Whether they’re lying like spoons on the floor, Rummer is walking up Broussé’s body like a spiral staircase, or balancing high in the air, it’s clear they know each other’s bodies so well. Impressive though their acrobatics may be, we hold our applause to the end, scared of breaking the drama unfolding before us.

Transitions between tricks can be awkward in circus land, but not here – each one is smooth and purposeful, like a dance. And every time Rummer and Broussé make themselves vulnerable before us, we love them that little bit more.

Until 25 August