Some Like It Hip Hop, ZooNation’s anticipated follow up to Into the Hoods, finally previewed this weekend at Sadler’s Wells Sampled 2011 after several months of secrecy.
Note: This is a review of an extract of ZooNation’s new show, Some Like It Hip Hop which starts on 20 October 2011 at the Peacock Theatre
With new cast members featuring Tommy Franzen, Lizzie Gough, Carrie Ann Ingrouille and their latest ZooYouth company recruits, ZooNation’s take on Some Like It Hot has taken a different approach to Into the Hoods.
Although only a short preview was shown at Sampled 2011, and at this point it can be assumed that telling a story through animated stage wall projections isn’t needed this time around, as stage space was occupied by four vocalists and a DJ providing a soundtrack while the dancing did the real talking – except for short sound bites dropped in by ZooNation’s DJ Walde.
Although it doesn’t look like there will be full scripted dialogue, it seems that elements of Some Like It Hip Hop have been inspired by company artistic director Kate Prince working on the Sadler’s Wells’ production of Shoes last year. Could this be where the format of Some Like It Hip Hop was borne?
Some Like It (authentic) Hip Hop
Since Into the Hoods first hit the West End, hip hop dance has changed substantially, with Streetdance 3D taking the image of hip hop dance to its commercial height. With only minor changes to the script each season, while a hit each time round, Into the Hoods was a snapshot of what street dance was in 2008.
Also since then, individually ZooNation’s returning cast has developed as dancers and become experts in their own right, several appearing in Streetdance 3D (which Kate Prince helped choreograph), two dancers are in the Move Like Michael Jackson winning crew, Animaineax, and new recruits include finalists from TV talent competitions. Readers might recognise Tommy Franzén and Lizzie Gough were So You Think You Can Dance contestants last year, while seasoned ZooNation dancer Carrie Anne Ingrouille and Australian choreographer Ryan Chappell (re)-unite with ZooNation after working on Blaze: The Street Dance Sensation.
But it’s the supporting characters that look set to make Some Like It Hip Hop improve upon Hoods, shining as individuals next to dancers several years their senior. All of the new faces are proficient in popping and breaking to a high, legitimate standard, and to compliment the dancing, the choice of using a commercial ‘urban’ soundtrack has been binned in favour of some old school funk and customised drum loops for the newer styles.
Although you can only sum up so much from a 20 minute extract, from what we’ve seen it looks like Kate Prince and ZooNation is about to change hip hop dance on the West End again.