Bombard the senses with a show about Chocolate

In this feast for all five senses, New Zealand’s Java Dance spoon-feeds its audience in the best possible way at the Fringe.

Following on from the success of its Artisan Series; popular shows about bread (RISE), wine (In the Wine) and cheese (The Creamery), Java turns its attention to everyone’s favourite treat, Chocolate.

First, the smell hits you as you enter the theatre – an aroma of chocolate that sets the mouth salivating. Then the sight of five performers; dancers and musicians ready to take the audience into a world of passion, frustration, desire and love. Ears prick up at the sound of live violin, cello and charango, creating an emotional soundtrack for the tasting and torment that unfolds in this highly physical drama.

Handed shiny gold presents, audience members touch the paper as they unwrap a chocolate gift in anticipation – then take a handful of dry cacao husks in a moment of shared ritual with the crowd.

And, of course, the folks from Java Dance aren’t cruel – any show called Chocolate should, and does, include a chance to taste this delicious gift from nature; whether it’s handed to you wrapped in paper, or poured into your mouth from a spoon.

As fingers click and arms flail in anger, a couple in conflict try to thrash out their differences. Where words fail, can drinking from the loving cup of chocolate heal their relationship? Be prepared to get involved as Java Dance Theatre invites you to share its passion for the wonder of chocolate.

Choreographer Sacha Copland and the dancers spent months researching the show – visiting a chocolate factory, making and packaging chocolate, learning ancient Mexican recipes, reading mythological stories, talking to people about their love of chocolate and more. Oh, and tasting, lots of tasting.

Now the company who brought the legendary Back of the Bus (set on a real London bus) to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is back with another fun and engaging participatory performance. Watch as dancers twirl and turn, smiling at the tasty treat between their fingertips – then join them for a slow dance or help them get their fill of liquid chocolate nectar from the end of an impossibly long spoon.

Prepare for some gloriously messy action in celebration of the great cacao and its collision with sugar, to create the world’s most popular confection.

For 2019 Java Dance Theatre returns to Assembly George Square with Back of the Bus, fresh from sell-out seasons at 21 New Zealand, Australian and international arts festivals.

This is a bus journey unlike any other. Come ride on a bus through the streets of Edinburgh as dancers propel themselves along the aisles and hang from the roof. Physical comedy, kinetic energy and outrageous scenarios combine to create a magical mystery tour.

Choreographer Sacha Copeland, who founded Java Dance in 2003, has recently been named the Creative New Zealand 2019-2021 Choreographic Fellow

Venue: Assembly Rooms/ Bijou until Saturday 24 August at 2.30pm (3.30pm)

Tickets: £12 & £14

To book: or call the Box Office on 0131 623 3030