On the Rocks did well to include this intelligent and provocative dance piece into their exciting showcase of the best of St Andrews talent. Fate: In Three Parts reached into our fascination with what could have been, what is, and what might be, this obsession with destiny articulated by seven incredibly talented dancers. On entering what is usually Club 601, the audience was immediately struck by the unconventionality of the set design, brilliantly curated by Amy Seaman, which did not have a definite front or back. Arranged in a square around eight metal pillars to which vibrant red cord was attached, the audience was confronted with an unexpected decision that saw the stage marked by the viewers themselves. This gave the audience agency, we too were curators of the space in which the dance unfurled, growing and changing with each dancer as they moved in a distinctly contemporary style.
A portrayal of a transgender life in the late 1920s and early 1930s is inevitably going to be wrought with emotional and physical tensions, tensions which Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander display with grit and purposefulness. With their intense love and physical attraction comes a deep friendship which sees Gerda (Vikander) persuade Einar (Redmayne) to model for a beautiful painting of ballet dancer Ulla, their friend played by Amber Heard (Pineapple Express, 2008; Paranoia, 2013), who can’t make it to the sitting. Delicate filming ensues; Redmayne draws silk stocking over his legs, caressing them with whimsical fascination, and clumsily wriggles his feet into a pair of ivory slippers, Gerda giggling in the background. At this point, it seems to be a game, a necessity called for by the nature of Gerda’s job that sees the gradual development of Lili into a very real, dramatic presence.