The future of street dance has a blue tint to it! The standard that Boy Blue trains up young dancers means other institutions in street dance have formidable competition.
While most dance groups have church halls and school theatres as venues, in house artists Boy Blue has the Barbican. But with 40 dancers its hard to think of any stages that hold that many dancers.
At curtain raise the excitement and expectations are high. The scenes in the hour-or-so long A Nite With Da Bratz are divided into various themes and styles, like a classroom with happy poppers, krumping bullies and a funky teacher or all girl and all boy numbers.
Despite their ages (8-18) and size, many of Da Bratz have big moves, including clean flips and flares with showcase battles demonstrating their abilities to hold it down as routine dancers as well as freestylers.
It’s a shame I’m not accustomed to the style of the choreographers yet (Victoria ‘Skytilz’ Mantey, Simone ‘Flex’ Wilson and Bruno ‘Boom’ Perrier) in order to pick out and credit each of them for individual routines or sections. Although not choreographed by Kenrick Sandy it still bears the stamp of Boy Blue quality, with interesting formation changes and action to keep you entertained.
That said, with Skytilz as one of the choreographers, it would have been nice seeing an all-popping set.
After the interval a reprise of Pied Piper was popular with the audience. Some of the cast who had formerly danced as the rescued children in Boy Blue’s last production now assumed another roles as ASBOs dancing slightly altered versions of the original routines.
With hoods obscuring their faces and stage lights set low, if you put Da Bratz and Boy Blue next to one another you could easily mistake the youngsters for their seniors. Playing ASBOs also raised their game slightly as playing characters added depth to their character (as opposed to playing themselves in routines).
While not yet as accurately in sync as their older counterparts, Da Bratz don’t have far to go to reach the same standard. Considering the amount of ‘and’ counts, variety of dance styles – most street styles were present except locking) and how many routines they had to remember, A Nite With Da Bratz stands as a testiment for the passion hard effort these young dancers in the future.