Last year, 201 Dance Company shattered the stereotypes associated with hip-hop dance with the critically acclaimed
Skin is another triumph
Skin has many beautiful moments; we see a young man standing across from a small boy, they are a mirror of each other and the man performs a frenetic dance of masculinity that is both humorous and engaging before physical genders are revealed and the first of our preconceptions are challenged. A mother attempts to impart her idea of femininity on a daughter who just wants to wear jeans and a t-shirt. An uncaring group push a gender identity on our protagonist, physically forcing them into a dress. It’s raw, visceral dance and the audience is filled with murmurs and moans of discomfort and sighs of delight and approval at the darkness and the light moments of the piece.
Andrea Walker’s choreography is fantastic, although I was disappointed that the youngest cast member did not seem to be a dancer, at least, they certainly did not get involved in any of the dance other than a sweet moment of exploring the masculine stance. I also felt that many of the scenes in Skin were intentionally vague so as to allow audience interpretation to colour the moments. Some of the themes, though powerful, may have been lost to such subtlety but I’m sure it led to many a fascinating conversation in the bar afterwards.
201 Dance Company have sealed their reputation as a company who challenge social issues and Skin is another triumph. Go see this beautiful and thrilling show.