Note: This review is from the 2018 Fringe

Celebrating 17 years at the Fringe, Dance-Forms’ 75th International Choreographers’ Showcase delivers six distinct works by choreographers from the U.S.A, Italy, Helsinki and the UK in a programme shining with originality, athleticism and grace.

Choreographed by Hayley Descavich, Subway Creatures displays great energy as two bare-footed dancers dressed in dark suits move to music by Balkan Beatbox as though they are weaving their way through a crowded subway.

An Edinburgh premiere, If, choreographed by Mariuca Marza, uses the words of Rudyard Kipling and calming music (Salento-Plaisirs D’Amour by Rene Aubry) as the dancer, Francesco La Macchia moves across the stage, beautifully interpreting the words of the poem.

Time and No Time, is another Edinburgh premier with choreography by Susana B. Williams, in collaboration with Brandon Lawrence, First Soloist with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.  Lawrence also performs the piece to music by Bahramji & Maneesh De Moor’s Call of the Mystic. With great athleticism and wearing nothing but ballet shorts, there’s something very tribal and warrior like to the moves and the long lines that Lawrence creates is a thing of beauty.

Paging Into the Realm of Imagination is a section of an evening length work, titled Page, which will premiere in the summer of 2019 in Chicago. The dance, supported by the fund of Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship at the University of Wisconsin, sees four dancers – three females and one male – dancing to choreography by Jin-Wen Yu and unlike the majority of the other pieces uses props in the form of a table, crumpled pieces of paper and an old fashioned cast-iron iron, but this piece fails to move me.

She Hits a Wall, choreographed and performed by Hannah Myers in collaboration to music by Douglas Taige McMahon gives a nod to the Graham technique, the cornerstone of American dance and that opposition of contraction and release.

The final piece, Vivir, is choreographed and performed by Aylin Eleonara. Along with Time and No Time it is the standout performance.

Although born in Helsinki, Eleonara has perfected her craft of flamenco dancing by studying in Barcelona, Spain. This is a performance of two halves. In the first, she is dressed in a sumptuous black dress with silver glittery panel inlays. She captivates the audience as she executes the flamenco moves with great expression, fierce feet stomping, and graceful arm movements. The piece builds to a passionate crescendo as she uses a vibrant, bright orange scarf, which she sweeps around her much like a matador. A quick costume change into a white, wedding-like dress is as equally passionate. She wraps the dress around her, creating beautiful folds in the material, accentuating some of the Flamenco moves to finish this display of hugely impressive Spanish dancing.

This showcase in most cases is choreography stripped bare with few, if any props, and nothing but the dancers interpreting the moves. It’s a wonderful celebration of dance.