Across the four days of the IETM, Scotland’s dance scene is represented by nine companies: from Plan B’s revival of their classic A Wee Home From Home through to Tony Mill’s hip-hop inspired Watch it!, the range of Caledonian choreography is diverse and impressive.  Whether it is the intellectual rigour of Colette Sadler’s Musical or the playful experiments of Janis Claxton’s Human Animal, the IETM has something for most tastes.

Scottish Dance Theatre are the biggest name on the programme: through their presence at the Fringe every year, and a relentless touring programme, the Dundee dancers have blazed a trail for contemporary dance. Led by artistic director Janet Smith, their mission seems to be to bring contemporary work to a wider public. Double bill The Life and Times of Girl A and NQR  is a typical combination of serious content – NQR stands for Not Quite Right, a medical term for those who don’t fit preconceived ideas of normality – and accessible choreography. 

Janis Claxton’s work is surprisingly playful: over the past few years, she has been concentrating on the idea of the human as an animal: for the Fringe 2008, this involved capturing dancers in Enclosure 44 of Edinburgh Zoo, while Torque set animal gestures to the score of Bach’s Partita #2.  Having recently toured China with an iteration of Human Animal – like Enclosure 44 it is a durational and site-responsive piece – she has moved from being one of Scotland’s rising stars to a strong international export.

Both Curious Seed and Room 2 Manoeuvre debuted their current shows at Dance Base in 2009: Curious Seed’s Found won a Herald Angel, while Tony Mill’s warning about the dangers of television has been touring consistently for the past eighteen months. While Mill’s Watch It! is a solo, Found is a fascinating collaboration between choreographer Christine Devaney and  musician/author Luke Sutherland. With live music, passages of speech alongside the dance, it represents a fine example of “dance theatre”, moving beyond the expected patterns of dance into a more immediate and direct style of performance.

PlanBs revival of A Wee Home From Home proves how a work can retain its relevance, and popularity, even after twenty years. Another example of “dance theatre”, it works as a duet between dancer Frank McConnell and musician Michael Marra. Dealing with alienation and the problems of coming home to “Mother Glasgow”, it retains a certain poignancy, even though its vision of Scottishness belongs to an earlier era.  Directed by Communicado’s Gerry Mulgrew, it brings together  something of a performance supergroup and is recommended for its easy fusion of Marra’s stripped down melancholy and McConnell’s hyperkinetic movement.