Feb 9 2023 | By More

★★★★☆   Joyful inspiration

Fruitmarket Gallery: Tue 7 Feb 2023
Review by Allan Wilson

Two Destination Language’s 40/40, at the Fruitmarket Gallery as part of the Manipulate festival before a mini tour, is full of optimism and fun, providing a truly joyful inspiration.

Katherina Radeva has been reflecting on her life since reaching the age of 40. After years of self-doubt and having to explain herself as a woman, a migrant and an artist, Kat has learned to accept herself and express her joy through dance and performance.

Katherina Radeva in 40/40 at the Fruitmarket. Pic: Two Destination Language

In preparing for this show, Radeva decided she didn’t want to speak, instead using pre-recorded voiceovers with captions, giving her a chance to catch her breath between energetic dances.

The audience surrounds a simple, rectangular stage, with lines and shapes drawn on the floor – most notably ladders (but no snakes, as this is a show about optimism). Radeva occasionally uses tape to add to the markings.

As a young child, Radeva always loved dancing and went to rhythmic gymnastics classes, but was left heart-broken when she was told she was too fat to compete. She came to the UK to study costume design, but developed an interest in performing, then writing. Katherina disliked being put into a box – why couldn’t she be a performance artist a costume designer AND a writer?

letting go

In the past Radeva has seen herself as an immigrant, here to work, not to have fun, but now she gives herself space to have joy, to do whatever she wants for an audience. The performance reflects how she sees dance as a way for letting herself go and doesn’t care how it looks – it’s for her.

The music underlying the performance reflects Radeva’s Balkan heritage, through pieces such as Goran Bregović’s Maki Maki, while The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams and Nick Cave’s Rings of Saturn bring a more Western feel to her dance.

40/40 can be seen as an autobiographical piece, but it is much more; giving Radeva a chance to demonstrate and share the joy, energy and exuberance she has gained from her dance.

She concludes by saying she did her best, asked for the help she knew she needed and hoped it had been worthwhile. The enthusiastic response, eliciting a lap of honour around the stage, showed just how worthwhile her audience thought it had been.

Running time: 55 minutes (no interval)
Fruitmarket, 45 Market Street, EH1 1DF
Tue 7 Feb, 2023.
One performance: 6pm.
Run ended.

40/40 on tour

Tramway, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow, G41 2PE
Fri 10/Sat 11 Feb 2023
Fri: 6pm; SatL 2pm.
Tickets and details: Book here.

Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1NF
Wed 22 Feb 2023
One show: 8pm.
Tickets and details: Book here.

The Place Theatre, 17 Duke’s Road, London, WC1H 9PY
Thurs 23 Feb 2023
One show: 8pm.
Tickets and details: Book here.


Manipulate website: www.manipulatefestival.org/
Twitter: @manipulatefest
Facebook: @puppetanimationscotland
Instagram: @puppetanimascot

Two Destination Language website: www.twodestinationlanguage.com
Twitter: @2destlang
Facebook: @2destlang
Instagram: @ 2destlang


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