Aerial dance that offers the darkest hour, and questions what it means to carry or let go of another. Two bodies suspended in the limbo of loss, cradled in the surrogate limbs of rope and the temporary solace of flesh, weighed by conscience, spun by dependency, freed by mortality. This new show by Gabrielle Martin (Cirque du Soleil, Cavalia) and Jeremiah Hughes (Cirque du Soleil, Dragone, So You Think You Can Dance) combines an emotionally raw physicality with a haunting original soundscape to create a hypnotic, destabilizing narrative full of mourning, distant hope, and eerie beauty. Limb(e)s is in Edinburgh for the month of August, and Gabrielle spoke with The Fountain about the show in more depth.

TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?  

Yes! It will be our first time at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and from what we can gather, it’s a mix between a performing-arts summer camp for big kids and an artist boot camp, but either way we are excited!

TF: Limb(e)s certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise? 

Limb(e)s is visceral aerial dance-theatre that questions what it means to hold onto or let go of one another in our “darkest hour”.  We use an invented apparatus of rope cradles to suspend bodies in the “limbo beyond loss” and the result is a hypnotic, destabilizing narrative full of mourning, distant hope, and eerie beauty.

TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie? 

I had met Jeremiah Hughes, the co-choreographer, when we joined Cirque du Soleil for the creation of TORUK in 2015. We gravitated towards each other as the only artists in the cast with a dance background. Since then, we performed the show over 800 times and while we learned a lot about the nature of performance as a (sometimes twice) daily practice, we didn’t feel we were able to bring all of what we had to offer to the table as artists, or explore narratives to the depths we’d like. So a year ago we decided to start creating Limb(e)s ,which entailed finding studios rehearse in in a new city each week due to our tour schedule! This project has been a carte blanche for us, as artists used to performing circus as entertainment, to explore the shadow-side of our human experience.

TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh? 

We have never been to Edinburgh or the Fringe before, and everyone just tells us what a magical place it is, and how some people never leave. I think we’ll be a bit nervous to eat or drink anything at first for fear of faerie enchantment… mostly we are just excited to see lots of other shows and be inspired by the diversity of work. We are in a process of re-situating ourselves as artists so it’s a good time to have our minds blown.

TF: And what are your future plans beyond Limb(e)s

We just finished four years of touring with Cirque du Soleil so technically we are homeless, unemployed, and have no future plans after Edinburgh Festival Fringe… other than getting married at some point! We like to think this leaves us open for wild success with Limb(e)s and all the future tour engagements that follow… or faerie enchantment. 

You can see Limb(e)s at Assembly Roxy until 25th August at 21:25. For tickets, go to https://tickets.edfringe.com/