Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre
It was very interesting to watch “Flash Mob” as the Producers, Martin and Marina Blore, have brought together many of the top acts from the TV Dance Shows and combined them, and the styles of dance they represent, into a single Show. We attempted to do this with “Revolution”, our hit West End Show, in the belief that by fusing two or more styles of dance together, you create the conditions for something new to appear – something which is more than the sum of the parts. The “Flash Mob” is the bringing together of the various dancers and their dance styles. It is the beginning of the creative process.
There is a loose “boy meets girl” storyline to the Show which is highlighted by the use of text messaging deployed above the stage. But the real interest for me is watching these top performers in their own dance style, and then how these dancers adapt their style to interact with the other dancers and their styles. In “Revolution” we thought this would be the way dancers and dance shows would evolve and in the process get better and more entertaining. For this evolution to work, you need excellent and creative dancers, and “Flash Mob” has certainly assembled a top-class “Mob”.
The first thing you really notice is that Kevin Clifton – or “Kevin from Grimsby” – of “Strictly Come Dancing” fame is an exceptional dancer. Kevin is the type of person that if you bought him a tennis racquet would probably win Wimbledon! I have seen him in “Burn the Floor” and “Dirty Dancing” and he is just superb at everything (and looks about 10 years younger than he does on TV!). Kevin is supported by his regular dance partner, Karen Hauer, who is likewise comfortable with any style of dance. Kevin and Karen effectively anchor the Show.
“Flawless” were described by Simon Cowell as “one of the greatest acts I have ever seen”. They have appeared in films such as “Streetdance 3D” and are excellent in “Flash Mob”. As a collection of individual dancers they alone are worth the price of a ticket. Funnily enough, I didn’t think they were “flawless” in some of the collective numbers – they could have been slightly tighter as a unit and interacted more with the other dance styles. However the performance of the individual dancers is still, at times, breathtaking. Throughout the Show, Tommy Franzen injects some great physical humour, particularly in his use of various props, much in the style of Jackie Chan in his comedy/martial art films. (Amusingly, the day after I watched the Show I saw Tommy “like” Jackie Chan on Facebook!). Tommy is a respected figure in the professional dance world and it is always a pleasure to watch him perform. He is exceptionally talented at making very difficult moves look easy and is extremely adaptable.
The final two acts in the “Flash Mob”, “Alleviate” and “Brosena”, made an excellent attempt to interact with the other dancers in the Show, thereby laying a foundation to progress – or evolve – their own particular dance styles. “Alleviate”, from a contemporary/commercial perspective. have mastered the art of telling a story through movement. Nicolette Whitley is a beautiful communicator and her partner, Renako McDonald, is wonderfully expressive. “Brosena” bring their Irish dancing talent into the mix and seem to absorb various elements from the other dancers and styles as the Show progresses. In “Revolution” the closest we got to achieving an evolution of dance, in my opinion, was when fusing the tap of Adam Garcia with the hip-hop of Tobias Mead and Lizzie Gough. Combined with some extraordinary special lighting effects, the resulting scene appeared to be so much more than just the sum of the parts – an evolution of a tap dancer mixing it with two hip-hop stars to create something spectacular and new. ( Have a look at our trailer for “Revolution” )
“Flash Mob” is an excellent Show with first-class dancers who work together to create something new and entertaining to watch. With the variety and interaction of the dance styles on offer, the audience never gets bored. In fact the Show received a well-deserved standing ovation! This Show offers more evidence of the explosive growth being experienced in the world of dance. Dincwear has predicted for a while that top dancers will soon gain the sort of recognition currently given to rock stars and footballers. As Renako says in the Programme: “The TV Shows have widened the appreciation for dance and given it a platform to create household names”. He is correct – and I would guess that a couple of those names are in this Show!