French Institute – Salle Emilienne Moreau-Evrard
Aug 4-5, 7-14, 16-27 (times vary)
The elegant French Institute was the perfect setting for this neo-classical dance performance choreographed by french born Constant Vigier to the electronic pop sounds of Christine and the Queens, and Perfume Genius. Christine and the Queens being the alter ego of Heloise Letissier, and the main inspiration for this 30 minute piece. Danced by three young ballerinas from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; Daisy Mullen-Thompson, Jessica Neilson and Nicola Scholefield. They are three young women faced with the pressures of modern life and their struggle to find their own place in a society that is bound by labels, conformity and expectations. Their fragility is expressed in the choreography beautifully, and the quality of dancing is extremely high. Much of the piece is on pointe; perfect pirouettes against the backdrop of electronic pop, with precise synchronicity that couldn’t be faulted. The mix of traditional and modern, made for a cool and refreshing performance that would be enjoyed by all ages.
The piece is choreographed to five tracks, which are centred around LGBT issues; Letissier identifying as pansexual, and Perfume Genius, a gay man who was subjected to homophobic attacks. The photo shoot piece, where the dancers are trying on clothes for a fashion shoot, actually refers to an experience Heloise had, where she had been photoshopped for a magazine piece, presumably to conform to a feminine ideal of beauty. In the previous track “ugly pretty” she sings of the mockery of being pretty, “without distraught there is no pretty”. The other pieces are about women in different places in terms of who they are. The dancers are juggling home life and work life while trying to figure out who they really are. Their youthful smiling faces mask the inner struggles that they are all experiencing as they journey through life; seeking equality, liberty, love and solidarity. A very enjoyable show, with great choreography, cool music and flawless dancing.