Ten Italian street dancers take to the stage to tell a story of love, friendship and pride through commercial dance in BANG! To The Heart.
NUE dance company use striking lighting and video projection to create a high-powered performance. Blazing bright colour around the stage to create an electric ambience. Using lighting installations to create a 3D effect, it is a multi-functional set design that moves around seamlessly to progress the story. The street wall takes centre stage, which produces levels in the performance as the dancers dart around, jumping and gliding off the wall.
As a hooded figure approaches the wall and begins to graffiti, the piece instantly reminded me of the urban streets of In The Heights. Innovatively using lighting to project the graffiti, two broad dancers appear on stage and the contemporary hip-hop music kicks in, sparking a powerful opening dance number.
We are introduced to the male dancers through their pulsating rhythm and undeniable strength. They exude focus as each move is tight, slick and sharp, showcasing their faultless dance skills. They are then joined on stage by the feisty women, who bring feminine flavour to the piece. They ooze sass as they sensually combine contemporary dance with commercial, creating an engaging performance.
What makes the piece so absorbing is the dancer’s use of dramatic facial expressions to bring the story to life. Whilst the narrative isn’t particularly strong, it is evident that there is a brewing love story in amongst the violence of the gangs. The highlight of the production being the hip-hop battle between both sides, the movement is powerful and dynamic, however the ensemble scenes weren’t pristine.
My only criticism being that there appears to be a lot of male dominance over the women. Although the women dance forcefully and emanate fiery passion, during their interaction with the male dancers there is quite a violent attitude towards them, which seemed a little dated.
BANG! To The Heart is an entertaining and action-packed performance of impressive fervent dance.
*** 3 Stars
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Tickets can be found here.