Ballet Freedom

Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus (contemporary, international)

  • Pleasance at EICC - Lennox Theatre
  • 21:00
  • Aug 18-23, 25-28
  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Group: Freedom Ballet of Ukraine
  • Warnings and additional info: This show contains audience interaction, nudity, scenes of a sexual nature, and adult themes.
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Spectacular world renowned ballet company journey from Kyiv. Freedom Ballet celebrate their 20th anniversary in Edinburgh with 14 incredible dancers. An outstanding dance collective. Their intimate, sensual ballet is astonishing. This adaptation of their hit show Boudoir is about the moment of life, when knowing yourself, your love and your loss, you can truly see yourself in the mirror. Credits include performing with Franco Dragone, legendary director of Cirque de Soleil, and sharing the stage with Dita Von Teese, Queen of Burlesque Cabaret. Sold out tours in more than 30 countries with over 5,000 performances.

Please note that while all media gallery content is provided by verified members of the event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society does not review or approve this content before it is posted. Reports of inappropriate content or copyright infringement can be directed to [email protected].

General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Lift access to level minus 2. Early access offered where possible.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not Selected

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Albert Lin 24 days ago

Technically and visually stunning and sensual dance performance. I found some of the trope interactions between men and women to be tired stereotypes (especially punching down on drag). Still a beautiful performance even with that in mind. 4/5

david scott 30 days ago

Just beautiful, transcends any preconceived viewer prejudices, this is art for the people. Enjoy the skill and passion. No faux-nationalism or jingoism, not overtly ukrainian but the best possible amabassadorial positivity about what Ukraine is, viz more than merely ukrainian. Just like Scotland. Great match for Edinburgh Fringe objectives, superb counter to the overcommercialised London 2nd-rate invasion.

Josep 31 days ago

One of the best shows this year, in my opinion: well coordinated, and technically well done.

TOM 33 days ago

Best show of 2022 Fringe. It gets standing ovations.
Sensual, sexual and provocative. Dancing a story of real life, good and bad.
Members of audience gently invited to interact.
One or two scenes symbolic of Ukraines war with Russia.
This is for lovers of contemporary dance and great music. Ravel's Bolero and Deborah's theme from Once Upon a Time in America, included.

JennyK 37 days ago

Not a ballet but very well structured and astonishly performed cabaret. Joyful sensual show.

Victoria 39 days ago

I LOVED THIS SHOW. I have seen at least one fringe show every day of the month, and this was by far my favourite. I can’t believe this show isn’t sold out yet, it’s just fabulous. I’ve never seen a group of performers with so much energy and skill and dynamism. I thoroughly recommend

Zobbledok 42 days ago

Absolutely superb and a tribute to Ukrainian resilience. Anyone being in any way offended should go to a little more live theatre - especially using balloons for pregnancy in quick-change, humorous scenarios. Using limited props, audience participation and frequent costume changes this troupe brought the auditorium to life and the standing ovation was thoroughly warranted. We’ll done Ballet Freedom (and Ukraine).

David Cox 43 days ago

To read our DARKHAT review please click on this link :

jean anderson 43 days ago

Not a tutu or ballet shoe in sight! This show knocked my socks off!!! I saw 16 shows at the fringe and this was the one I will remember.

My take is it is about sex, crude, funny, inventive, vulgar, sad, joyous, desperate, casual sex. Sit back and enjoy!

Fran Leighton 44 days ago

I loved this show! I found it joyful, full of life and humour and energy and innovative choreography, amazing dancers and then suddenly tinged with melancholic moments which brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me that happiness can be very fleeting. For me, Boudoir has a Grand Budapest Hotel vibe with bellhops on. Too much sex? Joyful, passionate, flirtatious, tangoliscious, dahling and funny sex! Where the men (sometimes) also danced with other men, and the women (sometimes) danced with other women and men (sometimes) dance in dresses. Consensual, sensuous dirty dancing where the women give as good as they get, lifting, wrestling, and generally coming out on top. Too much nudity? The flash of a cheeky bottom, an occasional escaped booby! I loved this show but I nearly didn't go because I read a review in The Guardian. I am so glad I went to make up my own mind!

Russell Emeny 44 days ago

I really wanted to love this show. It had great reviews and a Ukrainian world class troupe. I thought these must produce brilliant entertainment. Nope. First the good. The performers are brilliant dancers. Skilful and committed. The choreography fantastic. Great set and lighting. Cool costumes. Thumping music. But…overall it felt like it had escaped from 1930s Berlin. Decadent, crude and knowingly obscene. The dry humping started early and intensified as time passed, mixed in with mock-oral sex. So much of it! A teenager’s fantasy. Flashes of bare (female) bottom, the odd knickerless woman, some flashes of breast all suggested that this was designed for the male gaze and perspective. One scene involved an unconscious woman being sexually assaulted by three men. I felt uncomfortable and then repelled. The standing ovation at the end surprised me. Was it down to the Ukrainian backstory? Well, this performance had nothing to say about the war, so I really don’t know. Should you give it a try? Possibly. You won’t see much like this at the Fringe. Thank goodness. I think you will find better elsewhere.

Resolve Productions 44 days ago

An absolute must-see!! Thrilling, hilarious, and provocative, this is an experience like no other. Riveting dance performances mixed with excellent clowning, physical theatre, and cabaret, these performers left us with our jaws dropped for most of the evening. This is a show you could watch more than once and still make new discoveries every time. We loved it!

Susie Hicks 45 days ago

Let’s be clear, this is not ballet, it’s cabaret. We wanted to enjoy this show, given its provenance, but we found the depictions of sexual violence hard to take. The sexual innuendo and attitudes (pelvic thrusts, heads in groins, balloons up dresses to simulate pregnancy) were from the sixties. If you like this sort of thing the production values were high and the dancers competent. But not to everyone’s taste.

Kate Maclean 46 days ago

This show was absolutely jaw dropping. Definitely the best I've seen so far in this years fringe. The performers are extremely talented. It's a high high quality show. Be aware of highly
sexual content of it though. Otherwise prepare to be amazed!! Bravo!

Steve 46 days ago

The best show we have seen at the Fringe by some way. The performance was emotionally challenging in parts but the skill and ability of the dancers was outstanding.
We are going to see it again.

Vanessa Tsao 47 days ago

Provocative but fun; extremely talented performers, masters of physical comedy; absurdist plot; interactive. Modern/contemporary as opposed to classic ballet - mind the warnings (and points made in other reviews about sexual violence), but otherwise an excellent time.

Kathryn 48 days ago

These show notes warn of 'scenes of a sexual nature' but do not mention the graphic sexual violence which is also played out on stage. In one opening scene a clearly unconscious woman is sexually assaulted by three seperate men. These men then appear to take trophies from her lifeless body. I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual violence to carefully consider whether this show is right for them. I would also encourage this site to update their show description to more accurately portray the nature of this show.

Fran Boto 48 days ago

Amazing performances and choreography. Very moving. The interpretation has polarised people but I saw it as the violation of Ukraine and the fight back rather than gender based or patriarchal .

Ricky M 51 days ago

I don’t know what the hell happened as I felt like I was transported to Narnia on acid, but this is an hour of my life I’ll never get back. A bizarre combination of skits blending soft porn with roast chicken. Avoid.

Maria 51 days ago

Best show on fringe festival. I visited some more (about 10 shows) and I could not found any better

Maria Skolozynska 51 days ago

A beautiful, sensual and perfectly executed contemporary ballet performance. Made me cry and made me happy. Worth seeing for sure

Zito 51 days ago

While the dancers are very skillful and the stage design is amusing, the overall choreography and music is very underwhelming. From a gender point of view, the whole show is very heteronormative and binary, and the show also includes a lot of gender-specific violence, which is quite unsettling. It's a bit sad to see genders are still presented in such a flat way in such a grand show in 2022.

Antony Etherington 52 days ago

Amazing definitely the best show we have seen at the fringe. Graceful, thought provoking passionate and sensitive. I can’t recommend this company enough. Thank you. Seeing other comments come through the reviews…everyone has individual preferences and ways of processing the art in front of them. The world would be vanilla without this difference, people take different thoughts away with them at the end of this adaptation. Personally I looked beyond the flesh to the movement and grace and skills of the performers Well done all involved

Sharon Alexander 52 days ago

The dancers were limber and interesting but we found the theme verging on soft porn and some of it miming violent porn. Nothing in the description prepared us for such a lengthy sexualized performance. It wasn’t our taste. Also the music was way too loud. Unnecessary. Our ears were still ringing after the show.

GH 52 days ago

I took my 9 year old and we both really enjoyed it. I would say though that I think a lot of it went straight over her head - a slightly less naive kid would have had a lot of new knowledge after this show! Really engaging but would suggest being mindful of the warnings (though there's no nudity -that was the main warning and I'm not bothered by that - but the dancers are often scantily clothed and enjoying lots of sexy times! And some murder)

Tania Fedirko 54 days ago

An excellent, entertaining and engaging show!

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

FringeReview 38 days ago

Costumes for every dance are different and well designed. They match the professionalism of the dancers and are sophisticated and artistic.

Read the full review

The Smu Reviews 43 days ago

A poignant and exuberant show that explores the darkness and voraciousness of human desire.

Read the full review

Arts Reviews Edinburgh (5/5 stars) 44 days ago

There are few shows that I would be happy to go straight back in and watch again if I could, but Ballet Freedom is one of those few.

Read the full review

Edinburgh Guide (5/5 stars) 48 days ago

From the opening procession of the hip thrusting waiters to the moving, flag waving finale, the audience was completely engrossed in the slick, sassy and scintillating theatrical dance show.

Read the full review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Please login to add a review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.