Director and choreographer Blanca Li first saw electro (a street dance style which includes break dance, popping and vogue) performed by a group of students in Paris and the piece she has created acknowledges this moment. The raw dance style is mixed with contemporary dance, theatre, and above all humour to bring us the first theatrical
showcase of electro.
The story follows eight French pupils through a typical day at college. Each of the pupils has a distinctive character: the nerd, the rock fan and the one ready to start a fight with anyone who comes near him. We watch the way they interact on the basketball court, in the canteen and during an exam. From the playful as they joke around in the classroom to fast acrobatics and beautiful miming on the basketball court, we follow their progress throughout the day.
The physical work and feats of agility of the dancers is incredibly impressive; many come from the area near Paris where electro originated, and most have created their own dance groups. Blanca Li shows off their talent with varied choreography, which includes some strong solo performances of contemporary dance.
The set is minimal, eight tables and eight chairs. The sound effects are used most effectively during a witty canteen scene, which is performed using the loud sounds of slurps and munching. Meanwhile, Tao Gutierrez’s brilliant soundtrack of techno, house, afrobeat and classical music keeps up with the range of different styles of dancing.
Elektro Kif is a unique and imaginative creation, full of surprises and well worth a watch.
- Joanna Ing
(Reviewed at the Lowry, Salford)