Dance Base, Scotland’s national centre for dance is proud to reveal its 2022 August programme, presented as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the year celebrating the 75th anniversary of Edinburgh festivals.

Dance Base, Scotland’s national centre for dance is proud to reveal its 2022 August programme, presented as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the year celebrating the 75th anniversary of Edinburgh festivals.

Known for giving a platform to Scottish dancers and choreographers on the world’s biggest stage, Dance Base becomes a home to 12 Scotland-based companies and artists this summer, including Festival favourites such as Scottish Dance Theatre and Catherine Wheels Theatre Company as well as some of the most ground-breaking dance professionals working in the country today – Sadiq Ali, Tess Letham, Eve Mutso, Penny Chivas, Charlotte Mclean and Jack Webb, to name a few – many of whom have grown and developed their practice at Dance Base.

From Taiwan, South Korea, India and Australia through Belgium, Norway and Ireland to Canada, a range of internationally acclaimed artists make their way to the Scotland’s national centre for dance to present their work to Edinburgh and global audiences. The programme includes Fishamble, Granhøj Dans, 71Bodies and Wooshing Machine, among many others. Full programme overview below.

The 2022 programme is curated by Morag Deyes MBE who shaped Dance Base’s path when she served as its Artistic Director between 1994 and 2021. Morag’s 26 visionary years leading the organisation included establishing Dance Base’s festival offer in 2001. Driven by the urgent need to showcase Scottish dance talent at the world’s biggest arts festival, with particular focus on independent artists who often cannot take the risks associated with producing a show for the Fringe, Dance Base under Morag’s leadership established itself as one of the major festival venues. Going from strength to strength, Dance Base stayed true to its original vision and is now the go-to venue for both dance enthusiasts and promoters and those seeking memorable and entertaining shows from home-grown and international talent. Over the two decades, Dance Base built strong relationships with some of the world’s most daring and innovative artists hailing from countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Poland, New Zealand and the Nordic region, most of which are also reflected in the fantastic 2022 programme.

Morag Deyes said: “Seems like we are all breaking through into a new truth, growing without ossifying, unpretentious, powerful, connected and passionate – our 2022 programme is full of visionary artists, their hopes and fears and genuine love for the planet, their art form, us. This year we fearlessly shake up conventions, explore differences and offer you dance that creates the potential for real change.”

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Exploring sexuality

Marking its Scottish Premiere, Norwegian dance company 71Bodies led by a trans artist Daniel Mariblanca brings 71Bodies 1Dance to Edinburgh, a show – performed naked – inspired by stories of 71 trans people, including his own, whom Daniel met around Europe in the two years of pre-production.

Part of Made in Scotland showcase, Sadiq Ali’s The Chosen Haram at Summerhall reinvents the boy-meets-boy scenario as a dream-like performance exploring sexuality, addiction and faith, featuring two men on two Chinese poles and no words. Critically acclaimed and audience favourite, Sadiq’s self-taught artistic practice found its grounding at Dance Base where he was part of the Great Feats programme.

Disabled artists take centre stage

Continuing the theme of exploring sexuality, queer, disabled artist Dan Daw presents his fearless and unapologetic The Dan Daw Show as part of the Horizon showcase of English titles at the Festival. Having had enough of being an inspiration to others, Dan is now inspiring himself – to let go of who he was and make space for who he wants to be. Expect BDSM, pride, sweat and care.

Taiwanese Resident Island Dance Theatre return to the Festival with a World Premiere of Ice Age, a collaboration between visually impaired choreographer Chang Chung-an and French disabled choreographer Maylis Arrabit. Developed mostly online due to the pandemic and with support from Dance Base, the piece explores how our coexistence is divided and united by time and space.

Ex-Scottish Ballet’s Principal Ballerina, choreographer and dancer Eve Mutso creates new work for Indepen-dance, an inclusive Glasgow-based dance company for disabled and non-disabled artists. Entwined explores the joy in connecting with nature’s ebbs and flows.

Climate crisis & nature

Your sadness is political. A Butoh-infused contemporary dance performance featuring live music and video art from Paul Michael Henry, Jer Reid and Jamie Wardrop, Shrimp Dance is a collaboration with marine biologist Professor Alex Ford from University of Portsmouth who looks at how anti-depressants found in human waste entering the sea impact the behaviour of shrimp, causing them to swim towards the light where they are caught. Beautifully merging three different art forms, Shrimp Dance looks at how we as a society create the base for ecological collapse.

Australian-born and now Glasgow-based choreographer and dancer Penny Chivas presents Burnt Out, a journey through Black Summer – with magpies that have learnt to mimic emergency sirens, shark sirens and helicopters circling overhead – which saw bushfires devastate many areas of Penny’s homeland. It is a personal story and universal reflection on the changing climate.

Scottish artist Rosalind Masson / Animal(l)[us] invites audiences to engage with the great outdoors in the Scottish premiere of Occupying Eden. It challenges the Western, white paradigm of a garden and creates an imagined ecological paradise.

Feminism & women’s rights

A regular collaborator with Dance Base, Tess Letham teams up with Stories Untold Productions to present a theatre and dance feminist fantasy, Remedy for Memory. Taking a form of a live broadcast tv show featuring four women from the wellbeing industry, it is an enchanting, surprising and comic journey in the search for the remedy.

Arbroath-born DEBS (Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme at Dance Base) recipient Charlotte Mclean returns to Dance Base with the World Premiere of And, as part of Made in Scotland. And is an auto-biographical piece about growing up as a woman, inspired by Charlotte’s ‘verbal vomit’ text message to a friend. She aims to work on And, develop it and perform it for the rest of her life.

Featuring elements of Kathak, one of the eight major forms of Indian classical dance, Amina Khayyam Dance Company’s One is based on the fundamental principle of Indian philosophy and arts of the cyclic phenomenon, where there is no beginning or end. Internationally renowned Kathak dancer, Amina seeks to reach out to the outsiders of our society – refugees, women – who dare to lay claim that we are all but refugees of that cycle, and questions how we have become territorial of our habitats.

In the year of UK-Australia season, Dance Base presents a great theatre and dance performance from another Australian artist – Liz Lea. RED is a fierce, fearless and personal, one-woman story of endurance, illness and recovery from endometriosis which was met with both critic and audience rave reviews across the globe. Starkly repetitive and energetic, Sung Im Her’s Nutcrusher looks at sexual objectification and power. The work from South Korea questions how we relate to our bodies, how they are presented and re-presented, and how cultural context affects this.

Homegrown talent

Alongside Charlotte Mclean’s And, Sadiq Ali’s The Chosen Haram, Rosalind Masson’s Occupying Eden, Penny Chivas’ Burnt Out, Paul Michael Henry’s Shrimp Dance, Tess Letham’s Remedy for Memory and Eve Mutso’s Entwined, Dance Base showcases five more Scottish companies and artists in its 2022 programme.

Legends in children’s theatre, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company brings WhirlyGig by Daniel Padden, co-produced with Red Bridge Awards. This madcap musical adventure featuring four musicians and 30 instruments is sure to entertain anyone aged 6 or over!

Scottish Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Joan Clevillé reimagines Sophocles’ timeless story in Antigone, Interrupted. Through the body and the voice of a single performer, the fantastic Solène Weinachter, it examines the notion of dissent in democracy, and how the female body can be the target of oppression but also a powerful tool for resistance.

Jack Webb’s World Premiere of Sense of a Centre, developed in a Dance Base residency and in association with Feral, uses dance and projection to explore our longing for home, belonging, need for connection and the body as a place of sanctuary from the modern world. It is a compelling meditation on loneliness and isolation. Rob Heaslip’s energetic pop-up performance of Strawboys merges the worlds of traditional Balkan dance of the titular straw boys identified by their ornate straw costumes with contemporary dance and music.

All of the above are part of Made in Scotland showcase.

Edinburgh-based White & Givan bring their World Premiere of Worn to Dance Base ahead of a Scottish tour. Inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi – mending broken pottery with gold or silver, making the cracks into a beautiful part of the object – the show explores how the body is affected by time and space and scars become part of our history.

#DANISH

Having been mesmerised by them in Copenhagen in 1994, her first year as Dance Base’s Artistic Director, Morag Deyes programmes the legendary Granhøj Dans in the 2022 festival. The company is set to present four UK premieres at Dance Base: An Eve & An Adam exploring our relationship with nudity, BOLERO – EXTENDED, transferring the intensity of Ravel’s most famous music composition into dance, Stone Face Book, a collaboration with Polish dancer Mikolaj Karczewski who is inspired by music in his practice and This Is Not a Swan Lake… which looks at the relationship between Tchaikovsky, a gay man, and his wife Antonia, turning the titular swans into penguins… Developed using the Artistic Director Palle Granhøj’s famous obstruction technique (choreographer reshapes the movements of the performers by means of hindering actions, revealing inner layers of their personality in the process), the four shows are part of #DANISH showcase and both BOLERO and This Is Not a Swan Lake… are presented with live music.

Alongside the showcase, Danish Teater Asterions Hus presents its take on the greatest love story ever written. Romeo & Juliet! is 24 scenes of love and death, each taking a different form – worms dancing, sumo wrestlers in love, a choir of gardeners or tender ballet in wheelbarrows. Never has there ever come so much life out of playing dead!

Far East

Dance Base continues its great relationship with Taiwanese and South Korean artists in the ambitious 2022 programme. Alongside Sung Im Her’s Nutcrusher and Resident Island Dance Theatre’s Ice Age, it also features BreAking from Korean Dance Company Theatre, merging contemporary with street dance and sets it to traditional Korean music, gugak, while Are You Guilty? from TOB Group (Think Outside the Box), is a double bill exploring the bystander effect and revenge consumption in a world mixing dance, theatre and hip hop. Both are part of Korean Showcase.

Part of Taiwan Season celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Hung Dance’s See You is a non-stop feast of intensely expressive motion and sensations inspired by loss, longing, confrontation and evasion. The difficulty we all have with connecting may be our strongest connection…

Hong Kong’s TS Crew, made up of contemporary dance, martial arts tricking, traditional lion & dragon dance and capoeira artists, present No Dragon No Lion, a powerhouse of a show developed during a Dance Base residency and inspired by Edinburgh communities. It features the essence of the lion dance integrated with tricking, contemporary dance and beat-boxing.

Taiwan Season also features two symposia offering a unique insight into the Taiwanese performing arts industry – Loud and Clear and In Sight: Female Visibility and Creative Voices in the Performing Arts and Experimentation and Innovation: Crossing Boundaries in Digital and Performing Arts.

Highlights from Ireland

Pat Kinevane, a legendary Irish performer and writer, teams up with Fishamble yet again to bring his latest work, currently in development, King. It tells the story of Luther, a man born on the day Martin Luther King was assassinated, who only leaves his apartment to perform as an Elvis impersonator.

Ballet Ireland brings a double bill of work from Marguerite Donlon and Zoë Ashe-Browne. Donlon’s Strokes Through the Tail is a delightfully irreverent and funny piece inspired by Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 while Ashe-Browne’s Us is based on dancers’ own experiences of emigrating to further their professional development. This piece tells the story of the friendships and relationships people form away from home and the significance they can hold for a lifetime.

Under the direction of Emma Martin, United Fall bring its Night Dances to Dance Base’s partner venue, ZOO Southside. A joyous hour of pure dance and music, it democratises dance, inviting everyone to join the celebrations driven purely by instinct, not intellect. Features live music from one of Ireland’s leading post punk bands, Gilla Band.

More amazing shows that didn’t fit under one headline

Three fantastic Belgium companies bring their latest work to Edinburgh: Wooshing Machine’s Closing Party (arrivederci e grazie) marks the last instalment of its Trilogy of Memory aka the Trilogy of the Fifty-somethings, an absurd and ironic ball of all balls to mark the end of History. A farewell waltz, blending intimate souvenirs and the collective memory. Fitry from Faso Danse Théâtre is a solo show created by its founder, Serge Aimé Coulibaly who is a dancer and choreographer from Burkina Faso. It features Jean Robert Koudogbo-Kiki as a man at a crossroad, between Africa and Europe, trying to stay afloat in an ever-changing world. Lastly, Emilienne Flagothier marks her Festival debut with We Should Be Dancing, a joyous and incessantly curious performance which sees five artists recreating the movements of children playing on the street. It questions where our taste for adventure and experimentation has gone.

From across the Pond, Canadian Bill Coleman returns to Edinburgh with his inimitable style of dance to present a double bill of work: Le Flâneur, celebrating 40 years of Bill’s artistic practice, sees the dancer as a wanderer, dancing in the streets to exhaustion as he performs his daily routine of unplanned, spontaneous movements. Alongside it, FELT is performed on a circular, hand-woven rug from Mongolia with an accompaniment from the audience as it invites it to feel the experiences of natural world and recall the wonder of life.

Canada-based Gaurav Bhatti teams up with Vikram Iyengar on double bill One Arrival to showcase Kathak, a traditional Indian dance. Gaurav’s One is inspired by the search for the divine in the life and poetry of the early 18th century Sufi mystic Bulleh Shah, whose work sheds light on religious fundamentalism and is now more relevant than ever. Inspired by a Bangla saying ‘joto mot toto poth’ (‘there are as many paths as there are perspectives’), Vikram’s Arrival uses spiritual music to interrogate relationships we have with a power that is larger than ourselves, asking us to reach into ourselves to arrive somewhere else.

Also taking inspiration from the arts, Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre’s World Premiere of End without Days is set to a century-spanning score, from Henry Purcell to contemporary San Francisco composer Marc Kate. It is a meditation on time, sudden endings and unbridgeable distances, developed through a residency at Dance Base and featuring performances by Freya Jeffs and Edd Mitton.

Tickets for all Dance Base Festival 2022 shows are now available to book at dancebase.co.uk.

The Industry Hub

As Scotland’s national centre for dance, Dance Base is a charity which exists to support dance artists in Scotland and to offer a wide audience access to dance. Its festival programme is key to achieving that.

Having identified an urgent need for a collaborative space for the dance industry during the festival season in Edinburgh, Dance Base is proud to announce the opening of The Industry Hub at its central location in Grassmarket. It will present conference-style and networking events for industry representatives from Scotland and around the world. Those events are key as the industry works to rebuild and develop after the lockdown caused by the global pandemic.

This initiative was developed with help from British Council.

Jim Hollington, Dance Base’s CEO said: “For over twenty years, Morag Deyes has curated an incredible and diverse programme of dance from Scotland and around the world, putting Scotland-based artists in front of a worldwide audience and bringing compelling work from around the world to the people of Edinburgh and beyond.

“2022 is Morag’s final festival programme for Dance Base, and it is fitting that it is our largest and possibly most international. It is emblematic of all that Morag has achieved since she joined Dance Base as Artistic Director in 1994. We’re excited to share it with you!

“This year we are also proud to be managing The Industry Hub in collaboration with the British Council, working with country showcases from the UK and around the world as well as the Fringe’s main producing venues. The Hub is a central space for industry to connect, share ideas and recharge and will support artists to find global audiences for their work.”

Councillor Cammy Day, Leader of City of Edinburgh Council said: “Dance Base is an important year-round cultural venue in Edinburgh, and their annual Fringe Festival programme gives local audiences access to the finest dance performances from Scotland and around the world. From Australia to Canada, Belgium to Taiwan, you can count on Dance Base to surprise and entertain you.”