Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus review: Leviathan

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: By the time female dancer Sarah Jane Taylor enters the stage, roughly 15 minutes into this highly physical adaptation of Moby Dick, the stage is practically swimming in testosterone.

Dance Base (Venue 22)


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Five male dancers have already sweated their way through a passionate, almost melodramatic opening, hurling themselves through the air, pounding their bodies on the floor and generally capturing the machismo of Captain Ahab and his crew.

Leviathan has much to offer an audience, not least the strong ensemble of performers that make up James Wilton Dance, all of whom seem incapable of giving anything less than their all – at least energy-wise. At times the men’s bid for speed and power leaves the articulation running to catch up.

With Taylor, it’s a different matter. Dressed in pure white, she embodies the almost ethereal beauty of the white whale Ahab is determined to snare. Sitting with her back to us, her spine ripples to replicate the mammal moving through the ocean, then she springs into action to avoid capture.

Wilton clearly knows how to choreograph movement that impresses newcomers to the dance form. Now he just needs to play on a few different frequencies.

Until 13 August. Tomorrow 5:30pm.