Dance review: Errol White: I Am, Musselburgh Brunton Theatre

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SOME dancers command your attention, others blend happily into the ensemble. Errol White has always done the former, ever since he first took to the stage with Scottish Dance Theatre over a decade ago.

These days, White is running his own company, and although much of his attention has been diverted to choreography, he’s still a formidable stage presence.

Mid-way through this 50-minute work, White takes to the stage alone. His smart, grey suit whirls through the air as he twists and turns at high speed, before pausing and staring straight out at the audience. What’s he thinking? Who knows, but it’s a powerful moment.

So, too, when White is joined by the company’s creative director, Davina Givan. As he lies vulnerable on the floor, she stares down at him, motionless.

What comes across, however, is not a heartlessness, more a helplessness in the face of individual sorrow.

White’s original inspiration for I Am was the moments in life that leave us forever changed, such as bereavement.

So there are times in the piece when the dancers move together as one, executing fast-paced unity in time with Tiago Cerqueira’s captivating sound design. But sometimes, as in life, they have to cope alone.

What was lacking here was a theatrical edge, something a more dynamic lighting design could have bolstered.

It also feels as though White isn’t using all the tools in his box yet, with repeated choreographic motifs bordering on the brink of over-use.

Rating: ***