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PaperDolls

The Complex, Smithfield
Four stars

This dance show fills the Complex’s cavernous space with imagination and flair. The audience enters through a paper maze, with beautifully sculpted surprises hidden in nooks and corners. In the main space, large screens pulse with abstract imagery that is perhaps a little too familiar. Atmospheric sounds give way to a muscular onslaught of electronica that swaggers its way around the room.

There is no narrative in this installation-dance piece that focuses on aerial work: twin shapes crawl from the side of the stage before splitting in two in languid moves; their Medusa hair, held upwards by balloons, is shaken free to allow them to move with increasing athleticism; there’s a playful, circus feel to one character who taunts another dancer with sudden leaps up a rope and into the space above; there’s some strong, controlled work on silks hung from the roof, and Niamh Creely’s elegant body shapes on the pole make you forget the pole altogether.

This play is not perfect: the music rarely connects seamlessly with the thrumming music, and there are times when the dancers appear to be going through a serious of rigorous exercises, rather than continuing a conversation with the audience. But this show has ambition, intelligence, terrific momentum and genuine creativity – go see it, and make up your own mind. PaperDolls is what the Fringe is all about.

Runs until Monday
Laurence Mackin

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