Reviewer : Steve Turner
Over the last couple of years there has been a rise in the popularity of urban dance, mostly attributable to the success of Diversity, the street dance troupe that won Britain’s Got Talent. The title of tonight’s show, Out Of The Shadow is a reference to the beginnings of life on earth, but could equally be applied to the emergence of this art form. What once had a loyal but limited following is now establishing itself in popular culture, as evidenced by the youthful audience packed into the Brighton Dome.
The term urban dance is a relatively recent one and has come to encompass all of the different styles of breaking, popping, locking and more general robotic style movements and tonight’s show showcases all of these plus a little bit more. The 10 strong dance company Nobulus features two women who add the grace and flow associated with more traditional dance, to the more angular movements of hip hop dancing resulting in a wonderful synthesis of styles.
The show begins with a group of dancers writhing under a black sheet symbolising the rise of life from the primordial soup. There then follows a whistle stop tour through evolution featuring some of the cast as snails, birds, dinosaurs and eventually apes – all wonderfully realised without the use of a single prop. All of this leads to a representation of the classic evolutionary diagram where ape becomes man, the man in this case dressed in hip hop attire.
Here is where the narrative goes a little astray as we are whisked through the man’s life at such a pace that you don’t really get any feel for what is going on. What you do get though is a sense of the athleticism, power, balance, control and energy required to perform this sort of dancing, something that the cast manage with apparent ease. Combining their dancing prowess with some imaginative thinking sees the cast become the props as they morph into guitars, vacuum cleaners, a car, bicycle, sofa and many other things besides. Ultimately they become trees which the main character proceeds to cut down on his journey to self-destruction, which the narrator warns us is where we are all headed unless we start to respect the planet and each other.
All in all a bit of a mixed bag, there isn’t much of a plot, there are some unusual musical choices, but what the show does have in abundance is wonderful choreography and some incredible skills from the dancers.
Now touring until 18th November 2013