A multidisciplinary reflection on death and memory

dance review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Photo by Genevieve Reeves
Published 20 Aug 2023

AFTER ALL is about confession and loss, how death is not about a final act but about how we remember and how we are remembered. The queue for the show at Dance Base becomes a mourning procession, flowers are presented by performer Solène Weinachter to the audience as they shuffle past. 

The show, which is part of this year's Made in Scotland programme, sees Glasgow-based Weinachter use an unusual memory that arose at a family member's funeral as a springboard to explore how we reconcile with death and what it means to go on living. She contemplates other loved one's funerals – and her own. 

While Weinachter is best known as a dancer, she commands the stage expertly throughout the multidisciplinary work, moving through storytelling, dance, film (caught on Super-8 because "you think everyone is dead on it") and comedy. The piece is crafted with skill and Weinachter expertly guides us through all the conflicted feelings associated with death. Throughout the show, Solène talks about how she much prefers beginnings and the first two-thirds are certainly the strongest.

The performance I attended was one of its three signed performances. AFTER ALL served a masterclass of how to integrate accessibility into a performance and how this can elevate the show itself. Yvonne Strain (the BSL interpreter) was as much a part of the performance as Weinachter, acting as her shadow mourner as she processed feelings about death. Strain also served some of the funniest moments, her inappropriate funeral attendee character a particular highlight.