News: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Total Theatre Awards announced

Friday 28 August 2015 by Carmel Smith

Le Patin Libre 'Vertical Influences'. Photographed at Alexandra Palace as part of Dance Umbrella 2014 by Alicia Clarke

This year for the first time the Total Theatre Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe feature a category for dance, presented in conjunction with London’s The Place.

The first Dance Award went to Le Patin Libre, the French Canadian pioneers of a very new kind of dance on ice, for Vertical Influences, the show they developed with Dance Umbrella last year for Alexandra Palace. Its Edinburgh home for the last week has been Murrayfield Ice Rink, as part of the Assembly Programme. Also nominated in the same category were Tereza Ondrová and Peter Šavel (Czech Republic), for daBoys Who Like to Plays With Dolls at Dance Base; VerTeDance/Jirí Havelka/Clarinet Factory (Czech Republic) at Zoo; Claire Cunningham’s (Scotland) Give Me a Reason to Live at DanceBase and Igor and Moreno’s (England) Idiot-Syncrasy, presented by The Place at Summerhall.

Sue MacLaine and Nadia Nadarajah’s (England) Can I Start Again Please at Summerhall was the joint winner with Germany’s Portraits in Motion of the Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form category.

Announcing the winners today, Total Theatre Awards Producers Jo Crowley & Becki Haines said: “This year’s awards celebrate some exceptional artist-led and independent work. The awarded artists have created work that demonstrates the power of theatre and live performance to communicate, entertain and inspire audiences – cutting across boundaries of background, nationality and language. Much of which has been made in challenging circumstances, with limited resource and could easily slip through the gaps, and we are therefore delighted that Total Theatre is recognising, championing and celebrating this work.”

Over the course of this year’s Festival Fringe 35 Peer Assessors, comprised of Artists, Producers, Programmers, Curators, Critics and Academics assessed 522 shows across the first 11 days of the festival, from which a shortlist of 31 nominated shows was announced on 20 August. The nominated shows were then viewed by a panel of 20 judges, who have awarded 7 awards across 5 categories – Emerging Company, Circus, Visual/Physical Theatre, Innovation, Experimentation and Playing With Form – and Dance. The inclusion of an award for dance for the first time marks the Total Theatre Awards’ ongoing commitment to recognising independent artists working across all disciplines at the Fringe and follows last year’s inclusion of a new category for circus. One Significant Contribution award has also been awarded.

Full details of all winners and nominees:

Le Patin Libre will be back in London next year (12 – 16 Jan 16) to perform Vertical Influences at Somerset House co- presented by Dance Umbrella. Tickets go on sale in October via Somerset House.

Image: Le Patin Libre in Vertical Influences – photographed at Alexandra Palace as part of Dance Umbrella 2014, by Alicia Clarke.

What’s On