Dance review: Flash Mob, Assembly Hall (Venue 35), Edinburgh
FOR every self-indulgent, esoteric, audience-alienating dance show ever performed, Flash Mob is the antidote.
Assembly Hall (venue 35)
Don’t be confused by the title – this is no shopping-centre gathering where those around you suddenly burst into synchronised movement. This is a dance mob that’s flash – although for “flash”, read talented, hard-working and completely dedicated to their craft.
For those who think commercial dance means leaving your artistry at the door, then the five acts brought together to create this Fringe highlight are ready to prove you wrong.
Most of them have come to the public eye via television, reaching the finals of one of the recent glut of dance programmes re-igniting the genre.
Tommy Franzén is probably the best known, having been runner-up in the 2010 series of So You Think You Can Dance? and, fittingly, the production opens with him in a spot-lit solo.
But this is no one-man show. Flash Mob is a celebration of dance and the many wonderful forms it comes in. Known mainly as a hip hop performer, Franzén also does a nice line in contemporary dance, with some reflective work peppered with breakdance moves. When it comes to contemporary, however, Alleviate are the stars of the show.
Nicolette Whitley and Renako McDonald were runners-up in 2011’s Got To Dance, and their two heart-felt duets, one of which uses the Eminem/Rihanna song Love The Way You Lie to great effect, are joy to watch.
Having only recently made the final in this year’s Got To Dance, A Team has yet to make a name for itself in the way Diversity and Flawless have, but this slick hip hop crew deserves to. Four men and one woman switch from one soundtrack to the next in the blink of an eye, throwing in some impressive back-flips to warm up the crowd.
A superb and utterly spellbinding Irish dance duo, Brosena (also from this year’s Got To Dance), and sensual Latin couple Mike Viry and Yunaisy Farray, complete the bill, widening out the dance genre further, with Viry in particular providing some jaw-dropping moves.
It’s this pick-and-mix quality that makes Flash Mob such a great ambassador for dance as a whole. The only problem with the show is it lasts just an hour. With such joyous talent and variety on offer, that could easily have been doubled without fear of boredom.
Until 27 August. Today 6pm.
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