Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Review: Ritualia at Zoo, Southside

Edinburgh Festival 2019 Scottish Dance Theatre land in Edinburgh for the festival as five dancers from the company strike a pose at Granton Harbour. Appearing in costume from their show RITUALIA by Collette Sadler the dancers arrive as beings from a post gender future in a reimagine of Bronislava Nijinska's Russian Ballet Les Noces . RITUALIA is part of the British Council's Edinburgh Showcase 2019 and is one of two shows the company is performing in Edinburgh at Zoo Southside until 24th August. L-R Matilda Bjärum, Oscar Pérez Romero, Adrienne O'Leary Luigi Nardone and Genevieve Reeves Neil Hanna Photography www.neilhannaphotography.co.uk 07702 246823

Review: Ritualia at Zoo, Southside

Clad in black, hooded nymph-like all in one suits, a group of dancers begin the piece as an entangled entity. Chewing and intertwining between each other, they move like a school of feathery fish. Backstage left of them is a rope headed empress type creature, stroking and braiding her thick ropey weave. This is Ritualia by Scottish Dance Theatre. 

Choreographed by Colette Sadler, Ritualia is a reimagining of Igor Stravinsky and Bronislava Nijinska’s 1920 ballet Le Noces. The rich orchestral is contrasted with the dancer’s deadpan expressions and mechanical mannequin-esque moves. The eight dancers are exceptional at fluidly readjusting their bodies into angular and curved shapes. The set is catwalk cool with minimal ice blue and purple lighting sticks and oversized spools of rope. 

Infusing references to queer culture, the dancers begin to vogue with sheer style and purpose all the while adorning Marie Antoinette sized head roped weaves. This piece is stylish and extremely watchable, however, it doesn’t evoke much connection within the audience. A minimal techno beat kicks in towards to the very end, abandoning Stravinsky and at this moment excitement is pumped into the piece. Unfortunately, it then ends too suddenly at only thirty minutes and the celebration and empowerment the piece ought to have channelled is only passably achieved. 

Aesthetically exquisite with its display of wearable art and highly stylised vogueing, Ritualia is definitely worth thirty minutes of your time. 

Ritualia is at Zoo, Southside – 9pm, 30 minute show. Till the 24th.