Up & Over It - Back on our Feet, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh
Up & Over It's Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding storm through an entire grumpy argument by rapping their hands on the table. Smacks become thumps, soften into wheedling brushes and thunder back into angry wallops. The rhythms are as fast and intricate as tap dancing, while the performances are lit up with sidelong glances and seething resentment.
Cleary and Harding are champion Irish dancers, veterans of Riverdance. This routine grew from thinking out dance steps with their hands, though they’ve added acid pop culture and lots of squabbling. They’re a viral hit on YouTube, though they also show a clip of Simon Cowell rejecting their hand dance act: “Nobody will pay money to watch you do that!”
Their Edinburgh show is a cheerful jumble of hand dancing, video sketches and some genuinely virtuoso Irish dancing. Some of the sketches try too hard, with Riverdance an easy target. Their dance numbers are a stylish twist on traditional folk steps, performed with strong technique and sleek assurance. With hands and feet, the rhythms are wittily sharp, while the bickering, bantering personalities are very funny.
Until 26 August. Box office 0131 623 3030; www.assemblyfestival.com
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