Review: Street dancers let loose on stage

Dancers Josh and Andrew Cesan. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Dancers Josh and Andrew Cesan. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Out of the Box
Identity Dance Company
Kavanagh Auditorium,
Monday, October 3

Reviewed by Penny Neilson

Hip  hop is not quite mainstream in the New Zealand dance world. Yet.

This group of seven talented dancers and choreographers - Andrew and Joshua Cesan, Chevrolet Mikaere, Matthew Moore, Taniora Motutere, Leighton Rangi and David Setiawan - performed their Out of the Box show at Kavanagh College last night.

This production is about the relationship between body and sound; or, as artistic director Andrew Cesan puts it, time, space, energy and each other. The style is hip hop fusion, bringing more contemporary dance elements into the work as well as the typically street-style that is the norm. Lighting is used to create shadows and silhouettes, which the dancers almost seem to play with on stage.

The soundtrack, while obviously hip hop driven, includes jazz, scat and glitchy dub-step beats.

As a crew, these dancers largely worked as a cohesive unit, each having their own unique spin and role to play, from rhythmic and lyrical to fast and frenetic. It comes as no surprise that Andrew Cesan is an absolute standout, his automation unparalleled. Particular mention should also be made of David Setiawan, whose fluidity and wit was a pleasant surprise in a world of more angular focus.

This production is a chance for audiences to be exposed to a dance form that is often more at home on the street than in a theatre, but hopefully this will help in changing people's perceptions and enable them to see just how incredibly talented these dancers are.

Dance is a broad medium and it is refreshing to see something outside of the classical or contemporary box.




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