On Saturday night, April 17, the Lilian Baylis theatre held host to the second round of Live Vibe, a series of monthly evenings to showcase a selection of amazing young talented dance groups.
Each month a theme is set for the dance groups to interpret and choreograph a performance. Tonight’s theme was wind, and provoked a mix of beautiful floetic movements, to heavy beats and sharp moves.
The evening opened with Annaliese Dayes and Hakeem Onibudo introducing themselves as the night’s hosts and giving a run down of the proceedings. The structure consisted of four young dance groups performing and competing for a place in the final on 21 July to perform to 1,000 people at the Peacock Theatre. Guests performances included rapper Chima Anya, vocalist Soneni and dancing from Zoonation Youth and Impact Dance.
The crowd was a healthily mix of children and adults alike. To get everyone in the mood Annaliese and Hakeem ordered for the lights to be dimmed and a spotlight shone down on one table, where one man was ordered to come up on stage a pull some shapes. The audience were in hysterics and the man was awarded for his efforts with with a bottle of bubbly.
The judges were announced and included Kate Prince, choreographer of Zoonation, who has worked in TV, film, theatre, and commercials.
The first performance was from dance group C-12, who moved and used each other to propel one another around the stage giving a feeling of anxiety. The whole piece conveyed a feeling of haste and uncertainty as though lost within the wind.
The second dance performance was from D-Youngaz, who dressed in all black to match the sombre tone of there dance routine. The narrative dance piece drew on life’s daily temptations and struggles. They used the wind theme to embody temptation, pulling you back, but the fight against the wind not to conform. It was a strong clear portrayal of the theme.
Kayo Dance opened with a young girl speaking followed by five mini performances. Their energy was electric and dance moves sharp and succinct. An explosion of energy exuded from this group, that focused around their slogan saying “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can trust myself to meet my destination.” The performance was a high-octane interpretation of the wind theme.
The final dance performance was from duo Surge, who performed a whimsical ballet inspired piece. Their routine was almost poetic, as they moved seamlessly as two. A real contrast to the other three performances and done with such grace and elegance working with the theme more literally.
Rapper Chima Anya wowed the audience with his Doctor inspired piece, explaining the pressures and responsibility associated with his chosen career. A hugely insightful piece.
Soneni’s enthusiasm shone through as she managed to get the whole room to join in with backing vocal to her songs.
Bringing down the house were the two amazing performances by Zoonation and Fully Functioning Individuals (FFI) of Impact Dance, again displaying amazing precision and tight performances
The night was great fun for young and old, audience participation gave it a family event feel. The next Live Vibe is on May 22 at the Lilian Baylis Theatre. With the winners taking part in the finale event on 21 July at Sadler’s Wells.