Edinburgh Theatre

The year 2015-2016 was a big year for me, coming to Edinburgh after working in the Middle East for several years. One of the first things I did was visit the Festival Theatre, where I fell in love with modern dance (I hate dancing, so don’t switch off if you are also not a dancer). Although I intend to continue visiting the Festival, I will also be trying out other venues, for modern dance, drama, ballet and opera.

Richard Alston Dance Company

Richard Alston Dance Company

23/09/16, The Richard Alston Dance Company at the Festival Theatre

Modern dance is a new passion of mine. I came to Edinburgh in the autumn of 2015 and signed up to watch a series of shows at the Festival Theatre. The modern dance acts all through the year swept me away, so much more than ballet – which sticks to a story you kind-of have to follow. Modern dance is more abstract, allowing you to switch off subconsciously, or watch without focusing on what you think you should be focusing on. It kind-of lulls you, and on the more abstract canvas, perhaps more of yourself projects onto things. The music also tends to be more contemporary than ballet; last year's Richard Alston show included techno/trance music. It was one of my favourite shows of the year.

And this year? It was nice to be back at the Festival Theatre, with its Tiffany-styled lamps of an art-deco style; it makes me feel glamorous. I don't like all the breaks between acts, because it makes me spend more money. After the third act at nine o'clock, a man next to me left and didn't come back, and I wonder if he knew there was a fourth and final act. Even I had my bags with me, thinking that was that, when I heard ushers reminding customers there was one more act to go. If you didn't have a programme (usually around £4), it was difficult to follow.

Anyway. Act one had a French, aristocratic theme, all elegance. It included a fascinating new dancer I don't remember from last year, her style incorporated Indian or Thai styles of movement which were striking among the 'Louis XIV' vibe. Cliché alert: she moved like she was dancing on air, spinning gently in successions of graceful pirouettes before her signature Thai/Indian pose. You can see her in my accompanying photo in the middle, for those wishing to visualise her.

On that note, the blonde dancer is also interesting, they use her prominently for the Richard Alston promo photos (see at the front of the photo), she looks a bit like Lady Gaga, the same kind of oval face and aquiline nose. I guess some dancers have the X factor, and she's one of them – all the dancers are talented but she always grabs my attention. I admit I prefer looking at the female dancers.

This may explain my feelings about the show as a whole. Act one was the French aristocratic piece, all very pretty with its classical music. Then after the break (ice-cream: £3), two men dancing in a dance battle. I clapped politely and enjoyed my ice-cream (though not for long because you don't get much ice-cream in the quite-small tub). Act three was the best, edgy, the stage stripped of everything, with spotlights on stands, and the theatre's back wall of brick. The dancing too was edgy, and the music also, all strings like from a horror film or east European communist weirdness. I applauded enthusiastically – I think I was the first in the theatre to do so, I was so much into it. Then back to another break: crisps, £1.50. On top of the pint of cider at the beginning (£4.50), nearly ten pounds on refreshments. I'm tempted next time to sneak stuff in, but part of the fun of going to a place like the Festival Theatre is going to the bar and ordering stuff. I'm glad they don't have such shows so often. At the Cameo cinema, a film and a hot chocolate can be enjoyed for a tenner.

So to my conclusion: I didn't enjoy it as much as last year, but it was still good. I wish I had more money and wasn't sticking to such a tight budget these days. If I had more money, I would turn up at the Festival and sample their many wines, eat their luxury £1.50 crisps like they were going out of business. I would eat small tubs of ice-cream and not think to myself: fuck me, £3 is a lot for this small tub of ice-cream. And while I was thinking this, I would check my £4 programme to see how many acts there were. But seriously, £4 for a programme you'll probably never use afterwards? I think it's better to be confused and hope you don't walk out too early. For what it's worth, I didn't think the fourth and final act was anything special, and the man who'd sat next to me had got the best part of the show before he'd left, with that brilliant third act.
Summer in London: interview with Ash Palmisciano
The Festival’s Last Hours

Comments 1

Guest - Yesenia on Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:57

I've told you several times Gina, if you went vegan life would be much easier for you hehe no more expensive ice cream at cinemas, no more fire alarms going off at home
Love, Yesi

I've told you several times Gina, if you went vegan life would be much easier for you hehe no more expensive ice cream at cinemas, no more fire alarms going off at home :) Love, Yesi
Friday, 04 December 2020

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

November 17, 2020

If I were to detransition, this is what I would write

Warning: this is a speculative piece of writing, not an official announcement, although I have recently begun to imagine an 'ideological' detransition (from trans woman to GNC male). Here, I'm trying to articulate and reflect on my thoughts and feelings, and imagining myself from a different perspective. In this post, I'm Gina v...
November 17, 2020

Trans Hell-thcare

The picture accompanying this post is important to me. I took it yesterday, 16 November 2020, unsure what I'd find. It's been nearly eleven months since I came off oestrogen for reasons I'll get into in a moment. Undoubtedly this has had an effect on me, bodily and therefore psychologically, but the accompanying selfie gives me a reassura...
October 17, 2020

What if gender-critical feminism came to power?

This scenario is inspired by a dialogue I had yesterday evening with a gender-critical feminist just before I went to bed. Here is what I dreamed: In the summer of 2021, the Conservative minister Liz Truss introduces legislation, making women-only spaces legally accessible only to those born female. This U.K. law includes a provision for funding al...
October 13, 2020

Responses to my blog post (1)

A frustrating aspect of my website is that when people write in, there's no trace of an email address so no way of getting back to people, and also no way of publishing their messages. However, I received such a nice response to my article just now that I'd like to include it here. It's from some who for the sake of confidentiality (in case it's ne...
October 11, 2020

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism Note to the reader: This post is intended as a contribution to addressing the current tensions between transgender activism and gender-critical feminism. The way I see myself in relation to female i dentity, and the ideas I express here, are not a prescription for other trans women. The t...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets , a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda , merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube . As with his previous work Metanoia , we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda , as described by Matteo, is the companion ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...
November 10, 2019

General Election

General Election 12 December 2019 I spent the last election in an office, alone but for the company of a colleague. We watched the BBC's coverage while I drank wine, downbeat and expecting austerity and the absence of hope to triumph. Then we saw the exit poll and hung around, disbelieving at the sight of the kindled embers and lukewarm glow of a f...