Fest's 2019 Edinburgh Round-Up: Best of Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus

The dance, physical theatre, and circus shows that stood above the rest

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 4 minutes
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Trisha Brown
Photo by Gaelle Beri
Published 23 Aug 2019

Louder Is Not Always Clearer

Jonny Cotsen presents a one-man show about growing up deaf in a hearing world.

What we said: "Cotsen is a warm and witty presence whether sharing tales of growing up with a loving mum who was nevertheless in denial about his deafness, going on first dates, using the outlet of social media or coping with hearing aids. This unpretentiously charming show has been made for both him and us."

Taiwan Season: Floating Flowers

Inspired by a traditional Taiwanese religious ceremony, Floating Flowers is a fusion of martial arts, classical ballet, folk dance and contemporary movement.

What we said: "An eight-strong troupe, clad in distinctive, billowing tulle skirts, are those same Ghost Festival lanterns. By turns beautiful and pained, this is an athletic rush of movement, shot through with snatches of serenity and humour."


Rachael Young's duet with Marikiscrycrycry challenges homophobia and transphobia.

What we said: "Out is strong, smart, sensual and marked by a real command of theatrical devices and space. It makes you work by making you think, but you may well feel rewarded for it."


A blend of circus and theatre confronting the challenges of modern motherhood.

What we said: "Still Hungry are able to share a story that is both personable and relevant. This is a show that will resonate with any audience, whether they work in the performance industry or not."

The Beautiful Game

A celebration of all things football.

What we said: "Quite literally it takes a trip down "Memory Lane" and delves into a world of freshly cut grass, half-time oranges and new boots. It is a joyous nostalgia trip that the quartet take us on."


Explores the struggles of commitment through circus and dance work. 

What we said: "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."

Trisha Brown: In Plain Site

Celebrates the work of choreographer Trisha Brown by re-examining some of her most striking short dance pieces.

What we said: "Cold, monsoon rain does its best to ruin this outdoor dance performance today, but it is still incredibly good – which says a lot about the dancers, and choreographer."


A diverse range of international street artists tell their stories.

What we said: "FrontX is an unshakable thing. Homogeny is monotonous; the most beautiful harmonies emerge from truly disparate sounds."

BoxedIn Theatre Presents: Symbiosis

One girl expresses her relationship with nature and the environment.

What we said: "She's a sturdy, expressive mover, sensitive to her surroundings without at any point acknowledging our presence in the intimate space. But that's fitting, too, as what Hiller is doing is thoughtfully embodying internal consciousness."


Circus performance explores male camaraderie and affection.

What we said: "In the final, showstopping routine they perform trick after trick in only their shorts, but it is the talent and vulnerability in the performance that has made this show such a success."

Super Sunday

A big, racuous all-male Finnish circus show.

What we said: "Deceptively and un-selfconsciously sloppy but often recklessly inventive, the cast come across like overgrown boys keen to try out their wildest and most stupid-smart dreams. They are essentially very rock 'n' roll."


A dance work that looks into the world of the unhearing, trying to convey the experience of being deaf. 

What we said: "An intense sensory work designed for family audiences, it demystifies some aspects of being deaf, while being frustratingly hard to understand and downright strange at other bits – which seems to be the point."

The Desk

An ensemble piece about the inner workings of a cult.

What we said: "Scored with precision, the brooding and menacing soundscape highlights the strength of performance. It is not an easy task to tell an emotional story through muted physical theatre."

Ockham's Razor: This Time

Four performers, aged 13 to 60 present an aerial show about taking stock of one's self at whatever stage of life you may be.

What we said: "This Time is about taking stock of one's self at whatever stage of life you may be, and about how our lives could almost always be said to be in a state of transition."