ZOO Venues returns in 2014 with a thrilling season of bold, thought provoking work from some of the most innovative and exciting companies that you’re likely to encounter in Edinburgh this August.
As the Fringe continues to grow year on year, the spirit of independence and desire to push boundaries which is such an important part of this festival has proved itself to be resolutely resilient. At ZOO, we’re proud to be a part of an Edinburgh Festival Fringe that isn’t afraid to challenge audiences. Since 2001 we’ve championed artists and performers who share our belief that dance, theatre, and physical theatre can and should amaze, exhilarate, and above all inspire, and this year is no exception. From internationally acclaimed choreographers to remarkable emerging talent, this a programme which promises to astound and delight in equal measure.
Following hot on the heels of 2013’s multi-award-winning Czech Dance Season, Lenka Vagnerová presents two unforgettable new pieces of visceral dance theatre from the Czech Republic: La Loba and Riders. Expect breath-taking dance and song, an ancient folktale steeped in mystery, and a healthy dose of ornithological interest in this unmissable UK premier from ‘the doyenne of contemporary dance theatre.’ (Hospodářské noviny) Compatriots Eva Rysová & Teatro NoD (in association with the Czech Centre London) debut at the Fringe with a profoundly moving and absurdly comic exploration of the bewildering impact of Alzheimer’s disease: Six Billion Suns.
Certain to satisfy even the most incurably inquisitive minds, Fringe First winners curious directive return to Edinburgh with Pioneer, a multimedia sci-fi thriller that takes the audience on a whirlwind journey using a breath-taking combination of video design and movement. ‘Rigorous, inventive and intelligent’ (Guardian), this dynamic young ensemble's unique vision and meticulous attention to detail guarantees to make this tale of the first human mission to another planet a theatrical event like no other.
There’s no shortage of home-grown dance either, and we’re very pleased to announce that ZOO Southside will be playing host to a diverse programme curated by the Welsh Dance Strand. Harnisch-Lacey Dance fuse contemporary and urban styles in SPIN: a fresh and dynamic performance featuring a moving set and original score, while TaikaBox take us Beyond the Body on a mystical journey through mesmerizing digital landscapes. Jo Fong’s An Invitation is about connection, spontaneity, and uncertainty, themes which might all have a part to play, (although not necessarily in that order), in Last Chance Romance: a comedic, toe-tapping interactive dance theatre piece from emerging company Kitsch & Synch Collective.
Rounding things off on a lighter note, Cirque du Soleil Prize winners Baccalà Clown are sure to bring joy to Fringe goers of all ages with Pss Pss. Poetic, surreal, and infinitely enjoyable, this is contemporary clowning at its best: a timeless performance of enthralling physicality and exquisite expression. And, in what looks set to be something of a revelatory experience, Verity Standen blends intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony with darkly comic staging in Mmm Hmmm. Using ‘lusciously arranged a cappella music’ (Time Out), a trio of female singers create a fast paced collage of sound worlds that explore everyday human experience in playful and emotive detail.