The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

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Some Like It Hip Hop, ZooNation Dance Company, Peacock Theatre, Sadler's Wells
Me with Red Ribbon
rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly

Photo credit: http://toomuchflavour.co.uk/site2/some-like-it-hip-hop-extract-at-sadlers-wells-sampled-2011-review/

This feature was originally posted in October 2011 but I am re-running it because "Some Like It Hip Hop" is back at the Peacock Theatre. I loved this production when I saw it in 2011 and I am highly recommending it to everyone, and in particular to people with children and teenagers, especially if they are interested in dance.

Cut and pasted from the Sadler's Wells website:

"Some Like It Hip Hop", ZooNation Dance Company, Peacock Theatre
3 May 2013 – 30 Jun 2013


A street dance phenomenon, ZooNation’s smash-hit show Some Like It Hip Hop has been a runaway success since it exploded onto the Peacock Theatre stage in 2011, thrilling packed houses and prompting rapturous praise with five-star reviews and standing ovations. This spring, the hip hop hit makes a triumphant return to Sadler’s Wells’ West End home by popular demand!

Fast becoming a modern classic, this spectacular dance musical unites jaw-dropping choreography, “truly fabulous dancing” (Observer) and a clever storyline with infectious “wit, heart and magnificent energy” (The Independent). With a nod to Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Some Like It Hip Hop tells a comical tale of love, mistaken identity, cross-dressing and revolution, all played out in ZooNation’s trademark style of hip hop, comedy and physical theatre.

Directed by visionary Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Kate Prince, Some Like It Hip Hop also features a show-stopping, original soundtrack, terrific live singing and some of the UK’s more outstanding dance talent – and is perfect feel-good entertainment for all the family!

For more details on the production and to book tickets follow the link:
http://www.sadlerswells.com/show/ZooNation-Dance-Company-Some-Like-It-Hip-Hop-2013

Raks's Reaction

I LOVED THIS!

I see a fair amount of dance but I rarely write about it because I am not really qualified to do so (I did both tap and ballet when I was a little girl but gave both up before secondary school). However, that said, there is no way I was not going to talk about THIS!

The energy levels for this show are off the scale. The dance is street, urban and cool (old fogey language - I am an old fogey!). The tricks that some of these dancers can perform are mind-blowing. There is live singing which is out of this world. Unlike a lot of contemporary and modern dance, there is a real story, with a proper plot, told in this piece.

It spoke to me for a range of reasons. The hero loves books, yet is not portrayed as a "geek". The character is played by Tommy Franzen, one of the real stars of the show, and the piece shows that reading broadens and enriches your mind. Women dress up as men, because they are no longer allowed good jobs in the real world. They do this and the problems this leads to are comically portrayed. It clearly shows that women are the equals of men and as good as men (which of course we are!). It speaks about urban protest, revolution and standing up against authority for your rights (come on the revolution!). It has "LOVE". It speaks about family - especially the father/daughter relationship - and single parenting. And it has more to say about Grief and what it can do to a person than Mike Leigh's Grief at the National Theatre (I am being 100% sincere here). It is packed to the brim with energy, passion and ideas. The audience reception both through the piece and, specifically, at the end, where there is a proper grand finale was the like I have not seen in a West End Theatre for a long time (this was because there were a lot of young people in the audience and a lot of BME people in the audience). This is the sort of theatre and the sort of show I want to see on full-time in the West End, alongside all the other long-running muscials. Also, just like One Man, Two Guvnors, it shows people that theatre is fun and a great night out for all the family.

I am highly recommending this show to people with children and teenagers, especially Black boys and young Black men. This is not a "Black" show as such, but the vast majority of the dancers and singers are Black or mixed race, and the show has a lot of Black attitude and culture built into its DNA. It definitely has Black energy and passion running right through it. It shows these young people that Black and mixed race performers can be the leads on a West End stage. I want children and young people to see theatre that makes them feel alive and happy and that makes them want to become performers on the stage. This show is it! It will show boys and young men that dancing is hip and cool and not just for sissies. That you can be a real man, testosterone filled, and yet dance like an angel, and that this is something to aspire to, not denigrate and laugh at.

On a personal level, recently there was a project manager post advertised at a small charity which specialised in boxing and martial arts. I have no issue with martial arts. I have a huge issue with boxing. After a lot of soul-searching, I did not put in an application. Whilst I appreciate boxing can teach you disicpline, keep you fit, give you a positive and constructive outlet, teach you respect for authority and provide you with good role models, boxing's goal is to hit someone else's head so hard you knock them out. Over time this causes irreparable brain damage. How could I promote and support that? This is what I would want to promote and support and sell. High energy, creative, mind-blowing dance, that knocks the audience off their feet and delivers a standing ovation every night. I want children and young people to perform not box (sorry, as usual, I have got on my soapbox!).

I will get off my soapbox and say - I am highly recommending this to children and adults alike, it is a fun night out for all the family at the theatre, the dance and the music is mind-blowing, and the issues dealt with make you think and use your mind. Book to see it now!

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