Review: Knot

A refreshingly smart, warm look at relationships refracted through the lens of a pair of circus artists

dance review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 14 Aug 2019
32867 large

The tensions and intimacy of a creative relationship receive a refreshingly smart, emotionally warm once-over in this circus-theatre two-hander by Nikki Rummer and JD Brousse. The opening scenes play with the truth. Without wanting to be coy about it, we think we're privy to one slant on them that actually turns out to be something else. The pair deliver their big reveal with such low-key believability—simply by talking to us in the audience—that it feels natural and makes sense.

Among the show's mentors and collaborators is Ben Duke, an award-winning British choreographer-director whose excellent what-if-they-didn't-die take on Romeo and Juiet—called Juilet & Romeo—can be seen at Dance Base during the last week of the Fringe. It'd be interesting to know just how much influence he had on Rummer and Brousse's self-examinatory work. But maybe it really doesnt matter so much. What counts is how engaging the two performers are. They handle spoken text with aplomb. Well, it is their own story they're telling us. Still, they're sensitive and funny when it comes to words.

The valuable extra layer of articulacy in Knot is Rummer and Brousse's high level of skill as circus artists. They're remarkably good together onstage, with partnering that is risky but also clean and strong. (A favourite moment: a corkscrew backflip that ends with her seated on his chest.) Ultimately what they've accomplished here is a very entertaining consideration of how to value both oneself and each other.