Ask A Dancer… with Richard Alston Dance Company

Last Tuesday saw the return of Richard Alston Dance Company to The Lowry, celebrating their twentieth year with a knock out performance of Rejoice in the Lamb. Two hours before the company took to the stage to vibrantly perform alongside the music of Benjamin Britten, Youth Dance Ambassador Jade Aitchison had the opportunity to meet two of the dancers from the company, James Muller and Simon Donnellon.

From Left to Right: Simon Donnellon, Jade Aitchison and James Muller.

From Left to Right: Simon Donnellon, Jade Aitchison and James Muller.

A brief introduction to the dancers:

James Muller, 2013 (Hugo Glendinning)

James Muller, 2013 (Hugo Glendinning)

James Muller: Performed with Richard Alston Dance Company since 2013. Previously worked with Northern Ballet, Peter Schaufuss Ballet in Denmark, Ballet Ireland and Theater Ulm in Germany. Studied at the Royal Ballet School and Central School of Ballet.

Simon Donnellon (Hugo Glendinning)

Simon Donnellon (Hugo Glendinning)

Simon Donnellon: Joined Richard Alston Dance Company as an apprentice dancer in 2014. Previously worked with Mark Baldwin, Alexander Whitley and collaborated with Rosemary Millbank for Design for Dance 2014. Studied at Bird College and Rambert School.

Ask A Dancer: James Muller & Simon Donnellon

What’s your first memory of dancing?

JM – I guess my first memories were from my local dance school. Probably when I went to see an end of term showing. My sister danced before me. Seeing them and wondering if that was also something I could do.

JM – I was a big fan of Michael Jackson when I was younger, so I was kind of inspired to dance in some way. I was about 8 years old yes seven or eight.

What dancers inspire you?

SD – Dancers!? There’s quite a few. I think for me… I don’t know their names… If I personally go and see a dance company perform and it would just maybe be one movement that someone does or the way in which it is different from someone else. I would be like ‘oh wow their amazing!’ I remember, I went to see Cedar Lake and more so than the choreography, it was just the dancers that impressed me themselves. In contemporary there’s just so many dancers around. There’s a guy that I really really like I can’t remember his name he was just the lead in Punch Drunk.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve come across in your career so far?

JM – A challenge for me? Would that be choreographic or anything? Probably for me it would have been when I was in school and I was 18 and I had a prolapsed disk. I had an injury and that was from a young age it was quite hard to deal with at that age knowing you hadn’t even started on your professional career yet having to go through a rehab so much pressure.

JA – I presume that would give you more strive?

JM – Yes I think every time you get an injury of some sort or a setback it gives you the opportunity to assess how you dance and sort of analyse things more and hopefully you’ll come back stronger… you know each time so yeh.

SD – Yes no definitely, I think that’s one thing I never really realise because I didn’t really get injured at all until my final year of vocational training so I sailed through being like I’m injury free. And then everybody will get injured at some point and it’s just learning how to deal with it and not let it drag you down, you have just got to use it as James said as a positive thing. How you can build to be better from it.

Illuminations 7 Dancers Liam Riddick, Nancy Nerantzi, Oihana Vesga Bujan, Nicholas Bodych, Marianna Krempeniou and Jennifer Hayes. Image by Nikolay Krusser

What is your pre-performance ritual?

SD – I feel… I do a very similar warm up every time but then I always have my  iPod but it depends so… normally I would just play sort of whatever music I’ve got on it at the minute. But sometimes… I think it was the second show at Sadler’s Wells, we had all these rehearsals leading up to it, I was really tired. So I put some really cheesy chart music on. Which I don’t even really particularly like because that’s going so you’re like ok that’s getting you going, music really yeh…

That leads nicely in to the next question… do you have a go to song for dance inspiration?

JM – Like a go to, a piece of music that gets you inspired? I used to quite like, I used to listen to a lot of Radiohead when I was younger some of their a bit more you know experimental stuff. Sometimes it used to inspire me to create work, choreography I did a piece actually to a Tommy Alt track A few years ago but yes not necessarily classic music for me it’s more…

SD – Yeh, just more for getting myself in the zone. I tend to listen more to bands rather than something like

JM – You’re in to music

SD – Yeh but calming not too… obviously you want to get pumped up but nothing too outrageous because to be honest when you listen to things that are really, I don’t know, are angry or something like that, it rubs off on you a bit so… it’s nice just to chill out  I tend to lie on the floor before I start and listen to something so yeh…

Rejoice in the Lamb 13 Marianna Krempeniou, Liam Riddick, Oihana Vesga Bujan, Nancy Nerantzi and Elly Braund. Image by Chris Nash

What’s your favourite non dance activity?

JM – Me it’s probably I read a lot and I used to do quite a lot of photography, not so much now, yeh that’s probably my…

SD – For me I just go to a lot of gigs I‘d see a lot of live music because for me I think they go hand in hand… especially Richard he uses so much live music and so I’m just really, really in to it…

If you hadn’t chosen this career, what career do you think you’d be in?

SD – I know, I would I wanted to do A&R for a music record label so that’s like scouting new talent stuff like that. When I sort of moved away to do my 3 year dance training, I also applied to do English at university I feel like I already, definitely had in mind something else I wanted to do If I didn’t get in to the dance school I wanted to go to.

JM – I think my dream job would probably be to own my own book store, possibly a second hand book shop or something like that…

If you could have any words of wisdom for the younger generation (younger dancers) what would they be?

JM – I think probably… you get told a lot of things when you’re in training, when you’re a student and some teachers will be telling you different things to others and some of them contradict each other but I think, I think the most important thing is to take from each person what you think works for you and not necessarily take everything that’s said. I think there’s something to be acquired or learnt from pretty much all teachers, they have something to offer. I think it’s about tailoring it to your specific education, every dancer’s different; has a different body; has a different… probably has a different technique really to suit them. So I think it’s about tailoring it for yourself. Just to keep the enthusiasm. To keep the enthusiasm I suppose, in some way to find that enthusiasm when you sometimes if you lose it a little bit to find something that inspires you to keep going.

SD – I think as well… I got asked this question recently as well, a similar question and I remember when I was in my training someone came in I think It might have been from Sydney Dance Company or a professional company and one of the things they said was it’s just steps… and obviously dance is way more than steps it is!… but when your sort of… it’s really easy to get het up and caught up in doing something wrong or not to be exactly right. But sometimes you’ve got to step back and be like right it is just steps, you can do it, it’s not… you know what I mean!  It’s your body moving and like what James said it’s finding a way of you doing that for yourself. You don’t have to conform to everything to make sure… it’s the same…

JM – I think … yeh another thing that I’d probably say… more important than anything is enjoy… when you actually get in to your career because it is quiet short, and I spent quite a lot of years, my earlier years as a dancer worrying too much and criticising myself too much with performances. I think it’s better to try and enjoy it. No performance is going to be perfection. Dancers strive for perfection but they’re never actually going to get to that point where everything is, so I think it’s just about enjoying the moment and not worrying too much.

SD – Yeh definitely I agree. It’s a fun profession otherwise people wouldn’t do it! So yeh…

JM – Don’t take it too seriously…

Rejoice in the Lamb 12 Ihsaan de Banya, Marianna Krempeniou, Nathan Goodman, Jennifer Hayes, James Muller, Oihana Vesga Bujan. Image by Chris Nash

What’s been your favourite part of this journey, for Rejoice in the Lamb?

SD – For me I only joined the company as an apprentice in August and Rejoice in the Lamb was one of the first pieces I learnt and for me it’s very, it’s very classic Alston, so it takes me back to when before I joined, before I even auditioned it was what you almost expect to see when you see some of Richards work, so for me it was really nice to jump in to that and feel like you’re doing something… because Richards kind of… I can’t think of the word… He’s been around for a long time, he’s really well respected and he’s in the dance world, so to do something that is signature him. It feels like you’re doing something…

JM – Yeh it’s a signature piece so  I think it’s something he’s very inspired by this piece, it’s an odd piece kind of a quirky piece, it’s not a long piece of music but I think it’s a piece he’s always wanted to do so it tells a little bit of a story. For me it probably was… we’ve had a couple of opportunities to perform it to live music and that was very special. Adds another layer

SD – It really brings something else…

JM – Yeh it’s a nice piece

Simon Donnellon & James Muller

Simon Donnellon & James Muller

Describe Dance in 3 Words… Any 3 words…

JM – Joy – Through – Movement

SD – Challenging – Extrovert – Calming

Delve inTWO what makes a dance work Physical Theatre!

If physical theatre is hard to define how do you decide when dance crosses into this genre?

Let’s take two of The Lowry upcoming shows for instance, ‘Park’ by Jasmin Vardimon Company it is clearly labelled as physical theatre, however Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Car Man’ is not officially titled as a physical theatre piece yet it looks at sensitive themes, contains elements of acrobatic movements and is intensely theatrical. These themes and qualities can all be linked to physical theatre companies.

Which begs the questions, so what places a dance piece in the physical theatre genre?

park_500x400

Photo Credit: Ben Harries – ‘Park’ Jasmin Vardimon Company

You could say that the majority of physical theatre pieces look at relevant themes in relation to the time, place and issues. Take ‘Park’ it’s based on 21st Century feminism, capitalist greed and social-political themes immerged in an urban oasis with episodes of fight, play, fall, love and survival. It features heavily on the connections between various people that live in a city from a homeless busker to a rapping bad-boy and an evil property developer. This makes it relatable to the audience giving them a deep insight into the issues Jasmin Vardimon wants to explore and express.

THE CAR MAN

‘Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man’ New Adventures

On the other hand, Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Car Man’ tells a story of greed, lust, betrayal and revenge, in relation to gender themes. However due to ‘The Car Man’ having a story telling style to it, you could say the piece is more of an escapist work than most physical theatre pieces.

‘Park’ has more of an acrobatic style to it and also contains pedestrian movements along with high-energy dynamics to really emphasis the theme and portray the strong and sensitive issues. However, when looking at ‘The Car Man’ you can see it has elements of balletic movements and perhaps the elaborate stage production plays a part in making it more of an escapist piece.

What dance pieces do you think contain elements of physical theatre?

JVC-PARK-Shot-02_152-v1

‘Park’ Jasmin Vardimon Company

Jasmin Vardinmon’s ‘Park’ is coming to The Lowry on Tuesday 3rd March and if you can’t wait until ‘Park’ why not catch DV8 Physical Theatre’s ‘JOHN’ on Thursday 26th February and Friday 27th February.

 

 

Don’t forget to use the promocode YDA, to access your £5 tickets offer (limited to YDA’s ONLY and a max of 2 tickets per person) use the promotional code YDA and go to ‘Park’ Jasmin Vardimon. Alternatively book your tickets over the phone by contacting the box office 0843 208 6000.

Destination Lyon: A Dance Voyage!

Emma and Tori’s Dance Voyage to Lyon to see What The Body Does Not Remember

Picture of 4 people walking in Lyon

Paul Russ (Dance 4), Tori Moore (The Lowry) and Oliver Eastwood (Cast) discovering Lyon

You know you’re in for a jam-packed day with a 4am wake up call, a 6am train to Stafford including 2 changes and finally with passports in hand a flight from Birmingham to France! With the excitement kicking in and a coffee in hand, there was no time to be tired. Myself
and Tori Moore (Digital Executive at The Lowry) managed to meet up with 2 other people also on the trip from other leading organisations and dance hubs. We met Oliver Eastwood from Cast and Paul Russ from Dance 4. Having never met them before, they texted us various messages explaining what they looked like so that we could find them in the busy bustling airport, and so, without wanting to stare at people and to avoid looking totally aberrant, myself and Tori swiftly glanced over at the crowd trying to match people up. The text descriptions read: ‘carrying grey rucksack’, ‘brown glasses’ and ‘blue jumper!’

Finally, having located everyone we arrived in Lyon (France’s third largest city!) and our next objective was to get to the hotel. We managed to get a taxi super quick and in trying to recall as much disjointed “Anglais-Français” as possible, we attempted to tell the driver our hotel address. Luckily he seemed to get the general idea and we set off towards the heart of Lyon. During our journey we began discussing our backgrounds, upcoming dance events, knowledge on Dance Touring Partnership* and Ultima Vez and what we hoped to gain from the trip. I still couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to be sitting in a taxi about to spend the day in Lyon with dance professionals from across the UK!

Picture of the theatre

Maison De La Danse Theatre

After dropping our bags off at the hotel, within 10 minutes, we began looking for Maison De La Danse Theatre and spontaneously took the handy ‘Funicular’ – (French word for ‘tram’) in search of a bite to eat and to explore the centre of Lyon before the rest of the party was due to arrive later that afternoon.

Picture of the centre of Lyon

Exploring the Centre of Lyon

Instantly you could feel the city had a relaxed vibe in what felt like a calmer version of Paris, but just as equally as beautiful, with its old stoned bridges, cobbled streets and monumental fountains. There was no doubt Lyon was full of effortless character and Roman Renaissance charm. What was most impressive about Lyon was the unforgettable views of the Notre-Dame Basilica Cathedral overlooking the city. It was so striking and absolutely magnifique with its sandy stoned high reaching towers and slender fragile columns.

Picture of Lyon

Can you spot the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica De Fourvière Cathedral perched on top of the hill?

It wasn’t long until we stumbled upon the delightful ‘Only Lyon’ letter sculpture and I was soon snapping away on my camera. I later found out that every three months, the ‘Only Lyon’ sculpture actually moves to a brand new location around the city – pretty awesome!

Picture of Lyon

Paul Russ, Tori Moore and Oliver Eastwood at the ‘Only Lyon’ sculpture – part of a new marketing idea to revamp the city’s tourism.

After an adventurous day exploring Lyon, it was time to take the ‘funicular’ (it has the word fun in it but the ride certainly wasn’t fun during rush hour!) back to our hotel to freshen up, shower and change, ready to meet up for the pre-show dinner. We met the rest of the dance professionals (all 10 of us) at a lovely restaurant which once inside, we began talking non-stop. Conversation (and wine) flowed, campaigns discussed, stories swapped and ideas shared. Before we knew it, one of us suddenly noticed how late into the evening it was, actually bringing the dinner to an abrupt end as we frantically made our way to the theatre for the start of the show.

Picture of dancers

Intense Opening Scene (Photo Credit – Danny Williams)

An excitable vibe was felt throughout the theatre as the impressive opening scene started.

There was a focus on ‘hands’ controlling two dancers throwing themselves across the floor in a detached stop-and-start quality. The dancers’ movement relied on the vigorous scratching and scraping sound of the hands against the surface of the wood table. There seemed to be a theme of connection, between sound and how it generates movement. How the focus on the body can be just a part – the hand – and how a small thing can be powerful. ‘I command, they do’ (quoted by Wim Vandekeybus).

The performance was spilt into six sections but the scene that really stood out for me and will forever be ingrained into my memory was ‘stones’ that looked into the connections between risk, instinct, responses and action timing. Dancers threw large bricks across the stage, flinging them like they were weightless. Other dancers dashed in-between running in curved pathways, piling the bricks on top of each other. At one point the bricks could have easily been balanced to a height of around 2 metres and the dancers managed to balance at the top of the pile. It was unmitigated mania and absolute brilliance at the same time.
The music throughout the show, composed by Peter Vermeersch, fitted perfectly within each scene with sounds of strings, piano, clarinets and bass instruments. The rhythm increased and built up to a climax generating movement that pushed the risk and physical boundaries of the dancers to a limit you thought was not at all possible.

Picture of the dancers

The risky ‘Stone’ Section (Photo Credit – Danny Williams)

The whole performance was remarkable and physically ruthless with a slight dollop of humour thrown in.

It doesn’t surprise me that the  original piece of What the Body Does Not Remember astonished the dance world back in 1987 on its debut. Still, today throughout the 6 scenes we were put through our paces in what is an extraordinarily powerful piece. Clearly my fellow spectators agreed as the audience erupted in a standing ovation and shouts of ‘bravo’ filled the auditorium. As the dancers took their bow, the sound of applause ingeniously turned into a little rhythm of its own as people starting clapping to a constant and regular beat! (I wonder if this is a common thing in France amongst theatre goers?).

During the after-show gathering, I grabbed the opportunity to ask Ultima Vez’s company manager some questions and told him of my blog. I asked about the show’s background, his role in the company, the audition process and what Wim Vandekeybus looked for in his dancers:

“Personality and character plays a major role in the selection process” he advised. “Wim carries out intense auditions throughout a week-long period and from that only 2 dancers might be chosen in the end. It is important to him that each dancer cannot be irreplaceable. That they individuality bring something exciting to the stage”.

I couldn’t agree more, instead of striving for technical polished unison moments, the piece played on the dramatic qualities embodied in the dancers.

Picture of the dancers and Emma

With the ‘What the Body Does Not Remember’ Cast

Leaving Maison De Le Dance Theatre our group was still on a high about the evening performance as we left feeling energised and hungry for more.

Picture of two people in a dance pose

Reminiscing movements from the ‘Frisking’ Section with Lucy Brooks (Brighton Dome and Festival)

What the Body Does Not Remember? My mind certainly will not forget, after watching this memorable and breathtaking performance.

Thank you LOVEABLE LYON for having us! Le voyage destination Lyon accomplished.

Picture of Emma

Always time for a quick #danceanywhere photo!

What the Body Does Not Remember  will be at The Lowry from Friday 13 March to Saturday 14 March 2015.

*Dance Touring Partnership – DTP is a network of theatres working together to bring exciting and engaging dance to audiences around the UK. The network aims to build audiences for dance, increase the range and diversity of work available and encourage new attenders into dance.

Get Ready! It’s Competition Time!

It’s another YDA competition and it’s a good one!

The prize

2 tickets to see Richard Alston Dance Company at The Lowry on Tue 10 February plus have your very own ‘MEET AND GREET‘ with the Richard Alston Dance Company cast and your very own ‘Rejoice in the Lamb’ Poster.

What you need to do!

All you have to do to enter is tweet 3 words that best describes what dance means to you and nominate one friend. Don’t forget to #dancein3words and tag us @lowryyouthdance so that we can see your tweets and follow your entries!

Our favourite entry will win the prize so get tweeting guys!

Here is our entry to get the competition started!

YDA tweet 1

Competition closes on Friday 6th February 2015

Rejoice in the Lamb

Richard Alston Dance Company – Rejoice in the Lamb

The first insight into Physical Theatre

Look up Physical Theatre in the Oxford Dictionary and this is the definition you’ll find…

“A form of theatre which emphasizes the use of physical movement, as in dance and mime, for expression.”

However Physical Theatre as a performance genre has gone far beyond that simple definition and can be hard to understand in just one sentence. Instead the title has vastly claimed ownership over companies that fall outside of the usual theatrical dance genres and has become a branding that encompasses a range of companies who include highly expressive theatricality, acrobatic physicality, sensitive themes/ issues, combined multimedia and production elements and striking physical imagery in their work.

PushGroupPhoto Credit: David Weisbrod. Physical Theatre

Still each ‘Physical Theatre Company’ stands for something different and so the labeling of ‘What is Physical Theatre?’ falls to be decided by the audience themselves.

“Maybe it is best not to come looking to the companies for a definition of physical theatre. Maybe we are too close to it and ‘can’t see the woods for the trees.’” (Frantic Assembly Resource Pack 2012)

It is therefore important when looking at developing physical theatre skills not to set boundaries or limits. Numerous companies look at countless aspects of training in relation to physical theatre, they look at various techniques such as contact improvisation, mime, gesture, movement and dance to name a few. Using such elements provides a way of using both the mind and the body and encourages question, debate and answer.

Many Physical Theatre companies focus on complex themes, confronting the audience with issues that may or may not be sensitive subjects. DV8 Physical Theatre, one of the leading companies of their genre, has tackled many different themes over their 29 years creating work. Challenging audiences with storylines surrounding sexuality, abusive relationships, culture/ religion and who we are as individuals.

John_main1 DV8

DV8 – John Coming to The Lowry in February (suitable for ages 16+)

DV8 Quick Facts:
• The company was formed in 1986 and has always been under the artistic direction of Lloyd Newson.
• They are famous for having a unique style of intense physical theatre movement and incorporating the use of music, set text and imagery.
• The company has produced 19 highly acclaimed dance pieces that have all toured internationally.
• In 2013 Lloyd Newson was awarded an OBE for service to contemporary dance and was named the UK Critics Circle as one of the 100 most influential people in the arts over the last 100 years.
• As Lloyd Newson’s work is content-based, he casts according to subject matter and performers suitability for each new project. Due to this DV8 has no permanent company of performers.
• Four of the dance pieces have won award-winning films for television.

If you fancy finding out more about DV8 and physical theatre you are in luck! The Lowry has lots of brilliant physical theatre pieces coming up over the next few months. Keep an eye out for our future YDA physical theatre blogs as part of a series. We will be exploring deeper into various topics and looking into more physical theatre performances at The Lowry.

DV8 ‘JOHN’ is coming to The Lowry on Thursday 26th & Friday 27th February (suitable for ages 16+), 8pm.

‘This intense, moving and poignant new work by the world renowned DV8 Physical Theatre follows the extraordinary life story of one man, John.’

Don’t forget to use the promocode YDA, to access your £5 tickets offer (limited to YDA’s ONLY and a max of 2 tickets per person) use the promotional code YDA and go to DV8 John alternatively book your tickets over the phone by contacting the box office 0843 208 6000.

REVIEW: Akram Khan’s DESH

 Dance Ambassador Alex Speake reviews Akram Khan’s DESH at The Lowry on Thu 13 November.

Darkness and silence. As a theatre’s eyes are transfixed upon a single hovering lantern. Until it is set down to give way for our soloist to prize out their treasure from its unforgiving bed.

Desh 492 by Richard Haughton

An ominous start to Akram Khan’s ‘DESH’, a contemporary piece that is not to be viewed lightly, as it is a complex piece which skips and jumps from Khan’s own experiences, to his thoughts and views upon modern day living and culture, onto tales from a money-stricken Bangladesh that the audience can only assume have been spoken to him from a young age. But this is by no way a reason to miss the show, each designed and developed aspect worked so incredibly well with the others, allowing the audience to understand Khan’s presented ideas, and not to get sidetracked into the depth of these thoughts.

Jocelyn Pook’s composition and collation of music, singing and sound effects were an interesting mix yet, when teamed up with the set and performer, showed their full potential by showing an intricate correlation between the visual and audio effects. Due to this interact, I can only be left wondering wether the question of which was created first.

Tim Yip and Michael Hulls’ set and lighting design was a masterpiece, allowing the audience to succumb and experience every moment of the show.

Desh 278 med res by Richard Haughton

A particular favourite part if this piece, for me, was a portion within the modern day Khan told his young daughter a story of a poor Bangladeshi child. This fuse of narrative, physical theatre and illustration allowed each individual member of the audience to imagine the story through the eyes of Khan’s daughter.

In summary, Khan’s work bridges gaps between the audience and performer in detailed and delicate ways to explain his thoughts and views on him trying to find balance in the unstable world he is surrounded by. Expressive, powerful and sometimes humorous, ‘DESH’ is a piece that doesn’t end as you walk out of the theatre, it’s ideas and thoughts are rooted so deep within the culture of today that you are unable to stop debating them in your head.

There are still tickets available for tonight’s performance of DESH at The Lowry and remember Dance Ambassadors can get £5 tickets! All you need to do is quote YDA when booking online or by calling 0843 208 6010

http://www.thelowry.com/event/desh

Desh 381 med res by Richard Haughton samll

Review: The Five & the Prophecy of Prana

Emma Liu jumped at the chance to watch ‘The Five and the Prophecy of Prana’ at The Lowry last night and was inspired by Boy Blue Entertainment.

Promising to feature ‘dazzling visual frames and a dynamic fusion of martial arts and hip-hop’, The Five and the Prophecy of Prana started off with a fast-paced opening act, the dancers wore intense hooded capes and the audience were treated to an impressive animated comic backdrop which set the tone for the entire show and raised high expectations at an early stage.

HG3_1868-660x440Battle Action Shot – ‘The Five & the Prophecy of Prana’

Set in modern Tokyo, ‘The Five and the Prophecy of Prana’ is a narrative dance, based on 5 youngsters that are about to be sentenced to go to jail for different crimes. Until a master named Wang Tang, offers to train, discipline and teach them the foundations of martial arts in exchange for them going to jail. As time passes, the master and youngsters are drawn into a power struggle causing them to separate and battle, until they eventually realise that peace is what they aspire to most.

The show choreographed by Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy, displayed mesmerising sections with intricate martial art movements and sharp hip-hop phrases which helped display how dynamic and versatile the cast were. The athleticism and strength of the dancers were inspiring as the power and sheer physicality of the movements certainly helped to portray the ‘ultimate goal’ storyline throughout, making it a believable and outstanding piece. I have to say one particular dancer for me stood out, Jeffrey Felicisimo who played master Wang Tang was remarkable. I particularly enjoyed the fierce Krump scenes which were very entertaining and made you want to cheer as the battles carried out! My favourite dance scenes overall though, has to be the electrifying unison sections featured in the second act, in which dancers performed complex marital art movements, tutting, b-boying, house dance, slow-mo battle scenes and acrobatics.

HG3_0237-660x440A fusion of hip-hop dance and martial arts – ‘The Five & the Prophecy of Prana’

Described as “cleverly conceived and entertaining”  the performance was unique and the narrative, special effects and concept fusion of the arts was admirable. Most scenes involved brilliant visuals including a manga Japanese comic backdrop. Dancers would step into the comic strip inself, transforming the stage into frames! The backdrop visuals certainly were very impressive, which at times felt like it was so engaging that it actually drew your attention away as you could feel your eyes peeling away from the dance to concentrate on the setting and surroundings.

HG3_1906-660x440A tutting and break dance action shot – ‘The Five & the Prophecy of Prana’

The show was composed by Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and highlighted upbeat music in what I can only describe as a mixture of house, hip-hop, Chinese and Japanese music! It also contained over dubbing dialogue and Asian inspired themes which helped give it that authentic feel whilst adding just the right amount of comedy that would certainly appeal overall, to children and adults alike making it a fun family show.

 

Feel like watching ‘The Five and the Prophecy of Prana?’  Don’t worry, you can still catch the final performance tonight! Don’t forget to use the promocode YDA!

To access your £5 tickets offer (limited to 2 tickets max per person) use the promotional code YDA and click on the link The Five and the Prophecy of Prana Offer alternatively book your tickets over the phone by contacting the box office 08432086000.

The last performance of ‘The Five and the Prophecy of Prana’ at The Lowry:
Wednesday 12th November – 7:30pm

Find out more about Boy Blue Entertainment