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Festival Review: Blak, Whyte, Gray ***

Jo Turbitt reviews a production that has a lot to say but feels a little underwhelming.

Using an urban dance language to explore current affairs of humane topics, Boy Blue Entertainment have conceived a piece of Hip-Hop Theatre incorporating all associations of the Hip-Hop concept.

The dancers are strong, versatile and exceptional in their muscular articulation. The lighting design is immense in that it supports the communication of, and develops, the ideas that are embedded in the work. It connects to the soundscape, designing and framing the space, fracturing and layering the space.

Devised and designed to work as different episodes and sections that sit alongside each other, but with no narrative connection, the various sections as a whole work and give the dancers an opportunity to use the variety of forms of the genre.

In terms of choreographic language, the company could well be the Urban dance world’s answer to Hofesh Schechter; the dancers are passionate in their performance and the staging of the work is clear, though a little disjointed at points in terms of use of the integration of symbolism.

The content is good, though a little underwhelming. The meat of the choreography is often too repetitive and needs more use of embellishment and development in it’s repetition rather than doing the same move four times, which often leaves the work feeling a little too stagnant rather than progressive. It is at its best when the structures of the sections lead us through the exploration of an idea, as it does in the last section where the work flows: it’s powerful and the content sweeps us up with relentless oomph.

The show has a lot to say, but it just needs taken into the next stage of development, exploring the choreographic content more. Along with this, take out the interval and make it a powerful 1hr show.

Blak, Whyte, Gray (Boy Blue Entertainment) is part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Its run at the Royal Lyceum has completed.

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