FrontX shows a range of international street artists who combine exceptional energy and resilience at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. Their fascinating personal life stories are the main theme of the show. As spokespersons of our contemporary society, these performers embody the true sense of integration, since the first meaning of the verb to ‘integrate’ is ‘to make complete, whole’, and, in so doing, build a complete ensemble. The Fountain spoke with one of the performers, Milan Emmanuel about the show and his plans for the Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Of course, we are really excited to take part!
TF: FrontX certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
The premise of the show is that completely different people can come together and, with all their complexities, create something new. That people can, through their passions and skills, transform their weaknesses into strengths. They can connect. In embracing each of their differences, they can create a better reality.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
My influences stem from street performances, breakdancing and contemporary theatre. I’ve been performing in the street for years, and it’s there I met these incredible performers. I wanted to hear them telling their own stories. What brought you to do such crazy things? Whether it’s being the “slowest guy on earth” or “spinning on your head” or even dancing in the streets across the world when “you’ve only got one leg to support you.” Each one of them has a great story to share.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
I went to the Fringe for one week last year and it was such an incredible festival – it holds a unique place in the world. I knew immediately it is the place to be for this project. Our plans are not only to perform at Summerhall, but to make the whole city our stage!
TF: And what are your future plans beyond FrontX?
In September, I’m creating with my company, No Way Back Co., a course across the streets of Brussels where we’ll be hosting African dancers, a Belgian marching band, and some pretty talented graffiti artists. We want to make Pieter Bruegel’s legendary works into contemporary creations with the audience bringing certain sections to life. And for such an event, we’ve used the name La Danse des Anges Rebelles (The Dance of the Rebel Angels).
I’m also still playing my one (super)man Show: Super Showman, which mixes a clown act and breakdancing. His superpower is emboldening other Superheroes around the world (all in front of the audience, of course).
You can see FrontX at Summerhall from 31st July – 24th August (Not 7th, 12th, 14th or 21st) at 15:00. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com