As anyone who’s ever been involved in any kind of show will know, they’re not easy things to put on. There’s last minute changes to tech, performers dropping out, egos clashing. Second Coming is a production which acknowledges all of this. Matthew Robinson, one of the dancers, speaks to the audience between every piece of dance to explain the difficulties the performers have had, the ever-ready tech team sort out lighting onstage, and three dancers even have an argument about whose solo should come next. On top of the conceptual wittiness of the show, the dancing’s pretty impressive as well.
Choreographer Victor Quijada’s style is unique: it’s supposedly a variation on hip-hop, but only the odd tug of a shirt or flick of the hands reveals the style’s street origins. Instead, there are low, undulating bodies – popping and locking techniques keep arms still while torsos ripple – and dynamic floor work with whirling legs, reminiscent of breakdance. One of the most exciting elements of the style is the contact, with dancers pushing, leaning, and breaking away from one another. At one point, a performer is suspended in a diagonal handstand, kept from falling only by his partner holding on to his belt.
Occasionally, the show gets a little pleased with its own concept: when the dancers are arguing about their solos, though funny at first, they perform the opening movements so many times that you wish they’d stop bickering so you could see the them dance. Mostly, however, the way the performers bare their difficulties works well, adding humour, interest and food for thought as the show progresses. If you’re worried it sounds too high-concept, though, you can stop fretting – the show is constantly mocking itself, never to be taken too seriously.
This is a production that is energetic and innovative both in its form (the way it discusses its own problems) and content (the dancing itself). It’s one of the most surprising and engaging dance shows I’ve seen in a long time.