Yes, it’s that time of year again when the almighty Edinburgh Fringe is upon us and over the next few days we want to highlight three particularly interesting projects presented by #DANISH – the award-winning Danish showcase produced by Wildtopia and curated and funded by The Danish Arts Foundation. This Foundation promotes performing arts of high artistic quality internationally. We begin with HARVEST – a mesmerising dance-performance that explores the working body across agriculture and dance sectors.

Two performers from different traditions, namely contemporary dancer Hilde I. Sandvold and neo-flamenco dancer Jossette Reilly, express the following questions in a stage set incorporating soil and grass: How do we humans shape and cultivate nature and how does that process cultivate and shape a human body? What is it to cultivate a body?

Audience members sitting in-the-round are surrounded by a multitude of sounds from modern industrial agriculture which resonates through the entire stage floor thanks to special technology – shaking the soil and the very flesh of the dancers. The vibrations activate the entire room and can be felt by the audience, which almost become part of it. Hilde and Jossette impress with their incredibly controlled and highly expressive movements and gestures. While the former is almost on an acrobatic level as far the movements are concerned, the latter is an accomplished flamenco dancer as well – although the these dance styles seem worlds apart they complement each other to harmonious perfection.

The piece was developed through a series of meeting with farmers in Jylland, Denmark, where both choreographer Tina Tarpgaard and composer Lars Greve grew up. Harvest (a co-production with the contemporary music ensemble Resonating Rooms) has explored knowledge and movements associated with farming and juxtaposed it directly to the craft and labour of being a dancer.

If you happen to be in Edinburgh, go and see this inspired performance.
HARVEST runs until August 19th at the Zoo Southside (Venue 82) at 117 Nicolson St, EH8 9ER and tickets can be booked here.

Photo: Soren Meisner