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Into the Hoods: Remixed

Wolverhampton Grand

*****

IN A night filled with hilarious storytelling, modern enthusiasm and most importantly, hip hop dancing, Into the Hoods: Remixed is an alternative experience of theatre that will not disappoint. Director Kate Prince reaches out to audiences on a brand new scale.

With the impeccable talent from ZooNation Dance Company, the show takes its inspiration from Sondheim’s award winning show Into the Woods.

The show started at the Edinburgh Fringe festival ten years ago. Today it still goes strong and appeals to audiences everywhere. Keeping in tune to Sondheim’s fairy tale themes, ZooNation tell the story of two children who become lost in the deep, dark embers of the ‘Ruff Endz Estate’.

The audience are shown what it is like for a typical day on the estate and the children’s quest to find enough money to get the bus back home.

Before the initial show, we were treated to a curtain raiser when a selection of young and talented dancers from across the region performed for us a choreographed piece, inspired by the main performance.

This was a treat in itself and highlighted considerably the impojaxxrtance of the investment of art for young groups of people. Before the show started, The MC told us that this is ‘hip hop theatre’, and gave the audience permission to make as much noise as possible.

The excitable audience added to the buzzing atmosphere and the young performers absorbed it to make their already impeccable performance stellar.

The production took the essence of the well known and loved Sondheim musical and turned it into their unique version of dance.

The story follows explosive characters with big dreams, including Spinderella, Lil Red, Prince, Rap-on-Zel and Jaxx who lies in the basement. Each story was told individually through hip hop dance.

In the story of this estate, the dynamic cast performed their character with sublime energy with mind-blowing talent for the hip hop genre. No character had the lead with each cast member contributing equally and staying true to their story to create an overall dynamic vision.

The talent of the ensemble was also second to none as they created the backdrop of life on the estate. Through the energetic and fantastically charged cast, beautiful sequences of hip hop dance were created, especially during a ‘granny dance off’ in the story of Lil’ Red.

Prince creates a completely new and inspiring world for the modern audience especially, although it appeals to everyone who want to feel good and be completely entertained.

Every element within the production gave something that made the audience want to get up and dance, in fact, it was achieved with a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the show.

Musical Director DJ Walde used a mix of popular songs to drive the story forward. It was the beats that added to the funky essence. It is fantastically upbeat and hooked the audience from start to finish. Ben Stones’ set design was also intricately clever. Keeping with the urban style, we saw a backdrop with a projection of the high rise tower block that the residents of the estate live. The dancers are enhanced by lighting of vivid colours and strobes, constantly oozing the fun and energetic atmosphere.

Into the Hoods is a fun-loving and enhanced production. With hip hop dance at the core of the story, the audience celebrate pure and unique talent within the hip hop genre. Prince’s inspiration from Sondheim’s original musical carries over wonderfully to the realm of dance and the audience are roaring with feel-good energy at the end of the show. Prince celebrates the new and the different. Through her faith in young talent, the production is an inspiration to all artists. To 27-02-16

Elizabeth Halpin

25-02-16 

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