Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

After having performed Nightclubbing for the first half of the Edinburgh Fringe, Rachael Young is back to present a new dance and performance piece called Out. The show was originally created and performed with Dwayne Antony, but black femme choreographer and dancer Marikiscrycrycry is taking over this role in Edinburgh. Out uses dance and live art to challenge homophobia and transphobia and is gripping from the very beginning.

Out is definitely a show of two halves. When we enter the performance space loud dancehall music is playing and the two dancers are expressing themselves on the stage. Their bodies are in tandem and having a conversation with one another and the audience is listening in. As the show progresses, the music changes from dancehall to soul to disco, and the dancing becomes more expressive and exciting. Voice-overs and speeches are also mixed in with the music and the effect is attention grabbing and assertive.

The voice-over includes homophobic statements. The words are disturbingĀ  and somewhat disruptive, and when a speech from an extremely right-wing preacher is remixed with some beats, it is shocking to witness. However, the performers are looking to claim a new space where these words and attitudes are absent and are shouted down through dance and movement. Their dance moves to the music show visible black bodies that will not stop moving and will not tolerate homophobia and transphobia. It is a positive and vibrant message that feels powerful and also empowering.

The second section of the show is in stark contrast to the first. This is more of a sensory experience where touch, taste and smell are all presented. The two performers take a rest from the relentless physicality of the previous 30 minutes. They sit down over a bucket of oranges and begin to peel them. The silence feels like an indulgence after the loud music and the smell of the oranges fill the performance space. Now there is time and space for thinking and contemplation where we can consider our own relationship to the themes that have been presented on the stage.