Sluts of Possession

A subtle exploration of our relationship with tribal and faith-based non-Western cultures

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 10 Aug 2013

Firstly, ignore the title and Edfringe programme blurb. Sluts of Possession is not, as you might be forgiven for assuming, a show about sex. Rather it's a subtle exploration of our relationship with tribal and faith-based non-Western cultures, as expressed through dance, audio material and archival film footage.

As filmmaker Louis Price's video projections flicker on the wall and floor of the space, duo Rosie Kay and Guilherme Miotto perform a series of hypnotic dance sequences. Film fragments of Polar expeditions, Tibetan ritual dances and tranquil mountain scenes are interspersed with quivering maps and scribbles resembling cave paintings. Kay and Miotto bring a vibrant, almost animal quality to proceedings, their instinctive choreography pulsing through the room.

Sometimes the dancers appear independent of the images – they go about their business and it is for us to choose which element of the show to make the object of our focus. Elsewhere, however, they dance with the projections, interacting with the images as they move into and out of the projector beam. In one sequence their silhouettes loom large on the screen, obscuring the footage going on behind them and becoming anthropological subjects themselves. The effect is uncanny.

As the show draws to a close we are left with more questions than answers: what does our fascination with the 'other' say about us? Are our lives the lesser for having lost touch with the sorts of dance and ritual we observe in Price's films? What has replaced them? Sluts of Possession offers no answers.