As a performer, Russell has been a notable presence on the Scottish dance scene for a while. But now she’s moved into choreography, things are really hotting up, with Hunting Dust one of the most exciting moments at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The List's HOT 100 list.
'compelling to watch, a fabulous work indeed' Reviewer: Zoe Parker for The Culture Vulture. Work: ID Me.
Almost immediately, there’s an air of excitement in the room – a collective understanding from the audience that we’re going to be entertained by good dancers, performing fun and accessible choreography. At no point does Russell disappoint. Not only can she make interesting dance, but her eye for talent (Adrienne O’Leary, Freya Jeffs and James Southward) and ear for strong musical choices make Hunting Dust the full package. Any funders reading this take note – here is a talent worth investing in'. Kelly Apter Scotsman Hunting Dust
One of the choreographic and performative highlights of the programme is Scene Shift choreographed by Tamsyn Russell. An exploration of the shifting dynamic of collective and individual, we are taken through a series of scenes, ranging from vintage, to driving, atmospheric, sultry, tragically European, and beyond. Catchy spoken remixes, with contribution from the performers, a changing score and lighting design help us to traverse these contexts smoothly. This piece visibly pushes the technical abilities of the second-year students, who excel in their execution. Groups are layered in and out, facial expressions and awkward pauses become choreographic devices, and enchanting moments of unison, or communal dedication to an image make this work absorbing. The movement is explosive and unexpected in both partnering and unison. Theatrview
Her all-female cast delivered a powerful, confident and tongue-in-cheek performance, set to a fascinating and carefully researched soundtrack of early hip-hop and world music.There is an unmistakable sense of clarity in Russell’s choreographic language, combining the purity of geometric formations and repetition with the complexity of rhythmic patterns. But rather than restricting the dancers, Russell uses this precision to empower them to find playfulness and individuality. Unashamed to break the fourth wall, the performers subvert our expectations as they display their strength and vulnerability, shifting from explosive muscularity to irony or tenderness in the blink of an eye.
Tamsyn Russell joyfully brings a sense of fun to the evening. A wicked, extraordinary humour underpins this work. There is a strong sense of female camaraderie, reminiscent of a war time spirit of getting along and working together peppered with a heavy dose of jubilant mischief. Tamsyn’s youthful choreographic voice clearly resonates with these young dancers. Individual dancers stray from the group to make their own expressions and explorations before being scooped back, with sardonic wit, to the order of the herd. One of the most striking moments comes as the dancers form an almost iconic image that conjures up notions of non-specific religious figures with an arresting result.
'Go get em' Kid' is such a great piece. I normally watch 'comedic' dance with one eye open but this was fab! Tim Nunn, Programme Manager, Tramway.
Hunting Dust, choreographed by Tamsyn Russell, makes mischief out of what constitutes “success” with a swaggering James Southward roundly ignored by an unimpressed Freya Jeffs while Adrienne O’Leary and Russell herself join in the jockeying for position, the rush to be in with the in crowd.. but standing out/standing up as an individual. Fresh face to look out for beyond the Fringe. Mary Brennan HeraldScotland
'ID Me' is exactly the kind of dance work Scotland doesn't produce and desperately needs to. It manages to be both sinister and halarious. Performed by exceptional dancers and never taking a conventional or predictable turn in its choreography, it's totally refreshing. Bold, witty and inventive - it's sophisticated enough to stop any dance connoisseur in there tracks, but totally accessible at the same time. John Lyndon, Dance Base.