I went on my own. My tastes can be eccletic. Not wishing to compromise on my choice of shows for someone elses taste in music/dance/shows nor limiting events due to venue inaccessiblity for others. It is also good to have the freedom to meander..
Some of the best things were free - such as the shows or little trailers on the Royal Mile. I was not very good at making decisions about what to see and for the first day, was just trying to sort out how to read the programmes, figure out where the venues were and their accessibility.
Here are some of my impressions of the shows I did manage to see:
InvAsian Festival: Coral's Red Dance & Kimho Ip's Music
I really did not know what to expect when I got there but I was pleasantly surprised to hear the hammered dulcimer of Kimho Ip and even more to hear Chinese poetry recited in Cantonese during a cheroegraphed dance with three woman. I wanted to ask more questions, for instance there was a part where two of the dancers were linked together by a thread tied at the ankle and held taut. What did that symbolise? And at the end of the dance sequence, one woman dancer carried out the other - how was that and why?
I did manage to speak to Coral afterwards where she told me of her enjoyment of choreographing. I did not think of asking her those questions.
InvAsian Festival: Vismayaha
Vibrant dancing, colourful costumes and tales of Krishna and his women. There is a child dancing too - representing the young krishna. There is also a non Indian woman (might be two of them) and some celtic music mixed in. I was slightly confused at times. There was also a male dancer very strong balancing a water pot on his head and on a metallic plate. Thoroughly enjoyable and lively with an appreciative audience.
clubWEST@quincentenary Hall, Royal College of Surgeons ( this venue has one steep step to get in - there are people around to help but it would be easier and would not be difficult for them to have a temporary ramp).
Nick Mohammed Is A Character Comedian
He is like a whirlwind - several characters all at once - I think there was a student, a hairdresser, an interviewer, an ESP lecturer. Slightly camp at times, man or woman? Cockney? posh?
The Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh (mostly accessible but very cobbley)
This had good reviews but there were times when I nearly fell asleep because the lights were so dim and the music throbbed - looking at the youtube video made me appreciate it better.
Angel and the Woodcutter
Absolutely fantastic. There were many wet eyes at the end of the show. My favourite show at the festival - and the best performance for me was from the woman who played the mother. The story is very typically Korean - struggle between the mother in law and daughter in law over the son. And the heartbreaking disruptions of war on the family. There was a pivatol scene when Angel accepted her mother in law's into her life and they went together in search for the conscripted son taking the baby with them. I also loved the way they manipulated the stuffed doll into a very good inpression of a toddler. This dance is very graphic and there is humour, energy, and the rape scene which was very real in its portrayal.
Kamui Spirit of the Samurai
Samurai swordplay from the 'Kill Bill*'s fight choreographer.. As a reviewer said, the start was impressive but after a while it got a bit repetitive. I wondered at the presence of the girl - her sole purpose was to look pretty and be the reason for a fight. I thought in a Chinese kungfu sequence, the women would be equal fighters not just be objects for gallantry and to be rescued.
@ Zoo Southside ( accessible from a side ramp which leads to a back entrance. The lift is quite small)
There were many shows I wanted to see but in three days with the rainy weather and negotiating the venues and meeting friends, I think I did quite well. I am sorry I missed Chess a dance tragedy from Taiwan but Universal Arts Theatre was said to be inaccessible with several steps.