Thursday, 27 September 2012

Some Like it Hip Hop

Some Like it Hip Hop, ZooNation Dance Company, Peacock Theatre - reviewed on 25th September

Choreographer Kate Prince makes hip hop and street dance thoroughly accessible and engaging in ZooNation's Some Like it Hip Hop. After a popular run in 2011, the show described in The Guardian as “a belter” and The Evening Standard as “choreographically brilliant” returned even bigger and brighter to the Peacock Theatre stage this September.

Based on the classic film, Some Like it Hot (but with the sexes reversed), the piece tells the story of an all-powerful Governor ruling a land where books are banned and women are subservient to men. Unimpressed, Jo-Jo (Lizzie Gough) and Kerri (Teneisha Bonner) don suits and comedy moustaches in a contemporary and cross-dressing version of girl power. 

Tommy Franzen
Photo: ZooNation Dance Company
Against this background of gender politics, love and humour come to the forefront with hilarious male-imitation walks, silly character conflicts and even a laundry room date. Choreography fits the story cleverly and works seamlessly with the original musical score by DJ Walde and Josh Cohen. Most impressive is the sleep pods scene where six dancer silhouettes are seen moving in visually-impressive patterns.

Throughout, the cast display their incredible talent and level of energy across a range of dance styles including krumping, locking, funk, popping and house. But Gough and Marilyn Monroe-equivalent Tommy Franzén are undoubtedly the stars. Both finalists from the BBC’s So You Think You Can Dance, their movements are impeccably precise, well-timed and performed with supreme confidence and prowess.

The show has undoubtedly modern moves and music but the variety of people choosing to come and watch is diverse. In the final numbers, the whole crowd, from young children to retired ladies were on their feet amidst the buzz and energy of the cast.

Some people may like it hip hop before the show, but I have no doubt that all audience members will be hip hop converts after seeing such a superbly entertaining performance.

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