Dance review: Tiger, Musselburgh

Tiger: Barrowland Ballet
Tiger: Barrowland Ballet
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Before a step has been danced, the spirit of collaboration bursts out from Barrowland Ballet’s imaginative new work.

Tiger - Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

* * * *

Three dancers lie on the floor, surrounded by a mesh wall that keeps the outside world at bay, with silver buckets dangling tantalisingly above their heads. In one corner, composer Kim Moore sits with a range of instruments and electronic paraphernalia, ready to create a soundtrack that perfectly complements this journey from regret to uplifting change.

Choreographer Natasha Gilmore and writer Robert Alan Evans have teamed up to explore life in a modern-day family, where taking risks and embracing life has become too hard to bear. Only two words are spoken during the entire show: ‘mum’ and ‘morning’, yet the movement speaks volumes.

A young girl longs for freedom of expression, to dance and play without her mother cleaning obsessively around her. She also craves some much-needed attention from parents too self-absorbed in their own pain to notice her.

It’s heavy stuff, but thanks to Gilmore’s choreography, Moore’s music and Fred Pommerehn’s set (those buckets are full of surprises) the work is entertaining throughout. Strong performances by all three dancers ensure audience engagement, as we watch this troubled family metamorphose into fun-loving frolickers.

Touring alongside Tiger, is Gilmore’s work for children, the three-star Tiger Tale, which uses the same characters, movement and set, but strips out the parents’ bedroom angst.