Following news of the collaboration last month, two of Edinburgh finest venues, Assembly Festival and Dance Base have announced their co-curated programme for this year’s Fringe. The venue, Assembly @ Dance Base will present a delectable selection of dance, circus, and physical theatre in Edinburgh’s historic Grassmarket 04 – 27 August, with tickets being released later today (Friday 21 April).
Two of Scotland’s most exciting dance artists take to the stage as part of the Made in Scotland programme. Choreographer Katie Armstrong makes her Fringe debut with an impressive double bill, SKETCHES/GLISK, created in collaboration with multi award winning composer and DJ Mariam Rezaei. Encompassing a string quintet, experimental turntablism, dance and visual art, Amrstrong presents a quirky reimagining of Bach’s famous Violin Concerto in A Minor and a work inspired by the dramatic landscapes of Aberdeen and the North East. And Solène Weinachter melds dance, comedy, storytelling, and theatre in AFTER ALL; a celebration of our vulnerable and courageous existence that asks – what happens in the end? Through a series of impassioned re-enactments of the funerals of those she’s loved – as well as imagining her own – Solène presents a heartfelt exploration of the death rituals we have; the ones lost and those that need invented.
Olivier and triple Fringe First-winning Fishamble present the UK Premiere of KING, by Herald Archangel winner Pat Kinevane. Luther, a man named in honour of his Granny’s hero, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, only leaves his apartment for essential journeys and to perform as an Elvis impersonator. A compelling exploration of prejudice, privilege and resilience, as Luther struggles to live life to the full.
Hip-Hop takes the spotlight as Bobak Champion invites us to join him on a journey to accept his own heritage in I’m Muslamic, Don’t Panik. From Bristol to the Tehran marathon and back again, where spoken word meets dance, live music meets clowning, this is an intimate spectacle of identity, where being British, Iranian, and a Hip-Hop head collide. And Estonian choreographer Igor Lider presents The Change, a dance performance that invites the viewer into the exciting world of street dance. Dedicated to hip-hop culture since childhood, four male dancers bring their years of experience to the stage. Their encounter with theatre and contemporary dance space creates a new and extraordinary change. Estonia’s Koolitantsu Kompanii youth company join the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland as YDance presents The Art of Falling, an exciting triple bill of electric contemporary dance. Each company will perform an individual piece before coming together for the world premiere of their joint work created in Tallinn and Glasgow.
Scotland’s National Centre for Dance welcomes the world with an international programme at the Fringe. Part of the Taiwan Season: Duo is a dance-infused acrobatic circus performance that artfully and eloquently charts the twists and turns of a fluctuating relationship. From Canada, Bettina Szabo brings Habitat, a multidisciplinary solo inspired by the life cycle of hermit crabs and a metaphor for Bettina’s own process of emigration to Canada. New Zealand’s Foster Group Dance bring Double Goer, a surreal and physically gruelling new dance work, chronicling the birth, battle and transcendence of two strikingly similar women. And internationally acknowledged dance company Granhøj Dans present Stone – Face – Book, a dramatic and moving story about courage and about a person’s search for heart’s blood in a world of hard petrification.
Looking ahead at the programme, Tony Mills, Artistic Director Dance Base said: “In February Dance Base announced that as a result of the challenging financial situation we were facing, we would not be able to take the financial risk of organising and delivering our own Festival programme this year. This was an incredibly difficult decision to make as it was my first opportunity at curating the Fringe and knowing that many dance artists (local and international) whose work I’ve seen throughout 2022 and been in discussion with, would now miss that chance to be in front of audiences and programmers.
“However, we also said that we were negotiating with a partner as we sought to find a way that dance would continue to be performed at Dance Base in August. I’m happy to say we will be working with the team at Assembly to deliver co-curated programme, which will be marketed and ticketed as part of this year’s Assembly Festival. Moreover, this will now see some of those artists get that chance to bring their work to the Fringe and benefit from the visibility and opportunities it provides.”
William Burdett-Coutts, Artistic Director Assembly Festival added: “Assembly @ Dance Base is a continuation of a tradition of collaboration between the two venue teams which started with the EdFest consortium in 2021/22. By joining forces, we’re able to support and showcase some of the UK’s and world’s very best dance and physical theatre artists at Scotland’s national centre of dance.
“Tony and the whole team at Dance Base have incredible passion for the artform, and our team are enthusiastic to cast a larger spotlight on our dance programme than we have ever done before. We’re looking forward to giving audiences an Assembly welcome to Dance Base this August.”
Dance Base is Scotland’s National Centre for Dance. As a creative charity the venue supports Scottish dance artists to develop successful careers and develop opportunities for dance to be used to support people’s health and wellbeing. International in outlook, Dance Base ensures that dance in Scotland is globally connected.
Assembly Festival is one of Edinburgh’s largest and the Fringe’s longest running multi-venue operators. Assembly’s Fringe programme will be performed across the city at Assembly Rooms, Assembly Hall, Assembly George Square Studios and Gardens, Assembly Roxy, Assembly Checkpoint, and new for 2023 Assembly @ Dance Base.
Tickets for Assembly @ Dance Base will be available from Friday 21 April through the Assembly Festival Box Office www.assemblyfestival.com.