In this UK premiere of Streetlife, French choreographer Lorca Renoux works with an eclectic ensemble of dancers representing the various hip hop dance styles in Germany today.
The performance is set in a city where graffiti isnt illegal, where anyone can draw wherever they like and each street is awash with millions of colours and phrases. The stage scenery consists of three large walls which are moved to form different shapes for each scene. Initially, the walls are plain white but during the performance they change through the addition of graffiti, both physical and computer generated. There is no obvious relationship between each of the scenes; one takes place on a nearly deserted street, one on a beach, one on a busy German street and another during a period of civil unrest. Throughout much of the performance one of the cast is playing a saxophone.
This is a difficult performance to describe and evaluate. It is a mixture of street dance, live and recorded music and computer generated images, with no clear narrative. The scenes are only loosely related and portray moods rather than a storyline. The dancing is mostly of a very high standard and some of the break dancing is excellent. The use of the moveable walls as a set works extremely well, as does the video generation of graffiti. The first night was very well attended and the audience was appreciative, although a little puzzled. This is not an easy show but it would appeal to open-minded lovers of contemporary dance.