Bon 4 Bon from the Chang Dance Theatre Company, part of the Taiwanese season at Dance Base, is a sheer delight to behold and heralds a bright new future for contemporary dance and physical theatre at the Fringe.
Created for the company by Israeli-based choreographer, Eyal Dadon, Bon 4 Bon tells a slow-moving but heart-warming sibling story of four brothers and their memories of family life together and, in particular, their almost ritualistic feasts of mangoes and the memories the fruits evoke. Unusually for dance, however, the performers are actually permitted to speak and narrate their own story in words as well as movement, taking it in turns to pick up a mic and continue the chronology, passing it amongst themselves like a tag-team baton, keeping the story constantly in the air as each character adds their own slant to the tale.
Eyal Dadon has used improvisations and storytelling sessions to create this finely crafted short piece, skilfully moving the dancers (brothers in real life) across the floor with a swift subtlety that must have taken weeks to perfect, and the brothers themselves are a sheer joy to watch, moving gracefully about the stage like undersea creatures with movements that appear so effortlessly fluid that’s it’s hard to remember that they are just flesh and blood like the rest of us.
In a world where dance is often still either preserved-in-aspic Victorian ballets or torturous modern pieces with contemporary artistes proving that they can, indeed, wrap their legs around their necks, the Chang brothers bring a breath of fresh air to the world of contemporary dance and gift their audience an understated artistry which is worth far more than the very reasonable ticket price for this starkly innovative and highly entertaining performance.