Dance review: Parkin’son – giulio d’anna
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Parkin’son – giulio d’anna at Summerhall (Venue 26), reviewed by Joyce McMillan
On a bare stage, backed by a large screen, a father and son stand side by side, listening to the recorded sound of their own voices. They are the 33-year-old dancer and choreographer Giulio D’Anna, and his father Stefano, an actor and performer who is 64, and has Parkinson’s disease.
What follows is a memorable exploration of a changing father-son relationship, as the two tell their life stories, evoke the limitations of Parkinsonism by shuffling around with their trousers round their ankles, perform a breathtaking pas-de-deux about the love between father and son – how often do we see two grown men in a full, loving embrace, with no sexual context?
They then begin to explore the inevitable aggression between them and the way Giulio understands his father’s illness. There are some beautiful final images of father and son together, from the days when Giulio was a child and Stefano was a glorious young man.
In the end, the quality of the movement is too uneven to give this show the weight its subject deserves. But Stefano is a performer of terrific beauty and presence, despite his slight physical fragility; and his interaction with his son touches the heart, as well as providing substantial food for thought about one of the most common afflictions of old age, and our attitudes to it.
Originally published in The Scotsman