Blaze (Tour - Birmingham)
The energy of the performance quite literally spills out into the auditorium and foyer space during Blaze’s short residency at the Hippodrome; DJ decks and dance-offs liter the entrance to the theatre and create a inescapable buzz even before the curtain is raised.
This production is a commendable platform for real dancing talent who play well together both as an ensemble, and as individuals. It can often be the case with a discipline like streetdance that personal egos get in the way of group work and solos always seem to be the opportunity for artists to shine. In Blaze, however, this is clearly not the case and the show is quite often at its best when large group numbers switch between solos and chorus at a fast rate, blurring the line between the two.
The brash style of movement is accompanied by some impressive use of immersive projected cartoon environments which helps to elevate the action into the large performance space.
One thing that Blaze does lack is the sense of spontaneity that is crucial to the discipline of streetdance, however, this does little to get in the way of the ripples of energy and enthusiasm that the cast deliver to their audience.
- Ben Wooldridge