Breathe is the first in a trilogy of dance duets created by Scottish based contemporary dance duo, White & Givan. The couple, who has worked together for over 25 years creating work that allows audiences the freedom of interpretation through emotion rather than a formal narrative, currently have a joint residency at Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh and the Traverse Theatre.
A series of clustered hanging lights beams the rays of a celestial golden glow under which the two dancers arch and stretch individually across the vastness of a Traverse One stage, till eventually they fold together like the pleats on their exquisite easy moving costumes from Karisma Costumes whose folds and rucks are a perfect metaphor for these dancers’ movements.
This absorbing, muscular piece of dance then changes pace as the barefoot pair display the vulnerability of intimacy and dependency; of support and concern through complex physical movement that is scattered with random moments of perfect mirroring. White performs a short music free solo and music steps aside for some vocals about the function of heart and cells, but the remainder of the piece has its audio atmosphere from semi – industrial sounds other worldly along with strong piano notes from Tiago Cerqueira.
The lighting structure from Fabiana Piccioli has such a strong presence that it is regarded as a part of the ensemble of the piece, acting like ephemeral props across the piece as they flood the stage with their kindly muted hue or when they shine a single shaft.
The strong connection between White & Givan is palpable in this tactile and quietly heroic piece of modern dance that is simply bursting with open heartfelt sensitivity.