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Review: Champloo: White Caps - Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Bristol based Willie Branson and Joel Daniel brought their B-boy energy to the Blackpool Grand Theatre stage.

Bristol based Willie Branson and Joel Daniel brought their B-boy energy to the Blackpool Grand Theatre stage.

The Grand’s adventurous but critically mixed short season of cutting edge contemporary dance and physical theatre ended on an undisputed high last night.

The Blackpool debut of the award winning Bristol-based dance company Champloo and its stunningly evocative multi media performance White Caps.

Conceived and directed by Wilkie Branson, an associate artist of Sadlers Wells Dance House, it is a remarkable fusion of high energy b-boy style street dance and highly effective film footage performed by himself and Joel Daniel with the on screen addition of Shantala Pepe as an almost symbolic female presence who both male characters woo and reject in turn.

Dance and big screen cinematic film blend seamlessly in a Lawrentian journey of two young men on an epic and gruelling personal adventure which transcends sexual bonding in favour of a more nature-based union of souls and minds reminiscent of but more poignant than the once controversial male naked wrestling episode in Woman In Love .

Branson and Daniel’s on stage mirror image symmetry seamlessly melts into film footage of them hurtling and hurling themselves through autumnal woodlands, hills, dales and rivers to a score which includes street beats, neo-classical, funk, folk and jazz – much of it penned by Luke Harny.

Nature runs riot through their odyssey – from their matching tattoos to the rivers and waterfalls they both appear to perish and be re-born in to create a remarkable piece of theatre. Had this opened the season then audience figures may have reflected the talent on display.

 

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