This joint production from Slanjayvah Danza and Dance Ihayami manages to tell a story even in the absence of an obvious plot. Shiva’s Camino is a highly eclectic blend of dancing styles and performances which on paper do not sit together well. Yet such is the way not only that the individual acts are performed, but how they lead into and saturate into one another, that you cannot help but be impressed by one of the surprising dance acts you are likely to see.
Taking place in an open outdoor venue means that Shiva’s Camino lacks the intensity or intimacy it might otherwise merit. That being said, the technical ability of the dancers and the musicians cannot be ignored, especially when the cast changes over and transitions from one dancing style to another. The show starts with Scottish step and traditional dance, befitting of the outfits and instruments which complement the performance in the way you would expect. But then, as if to catch you out, the performers transition to Spanish Flamenco while incorporating the existing instruments into this new style (with the addition of castanets, of course). From here they adventure into Bollywood and contemporary dancing, dizzying the crowd with the sheer range of their abilities.
With no dialogue or narration, relying squarely on dance for communication, Shiva’s Camino feels like a universal message that can be understood regardless of your mother tongue. It is a toe-tapping, impressive testament to dance;s ability to unify people from across the world, and how art can transcend borders. It is a simple message at heart, but one the dancers perform with enthusiasm and pace.
The costumes are uncomplicated but impressive, and the backdrop of Edinburgh castle gives certain numbers an even more magnificent feel. With a pure message and performed almost without fault, Shiva’s Camino is incredibly easy to enjoy and appreciate even for those with minimal knowledge of all the dance forms.