Diversity back in Glasgow with new extravaganza

Perri Kiely and Diversity return to Glasgow. Picture: Robert Perry

Perri Kiely and Diversity return to Glasgow. Picture: Robert Perry


PROVING that the film world does not have the monopoly on trilogies, streetdance company Diversity is back in Glasgow this week with its third live show inspired by digital technology.

After 2010’s Diversitoys set the scene, with the dancers all portraying toys that came to life, follow-up show Digitized found them trapped inside a computer game.

Now they have managed to burst free and, armed with a range of superpowers, are off to save the world in Limitless.

“We’ve got fire, wind – crazy stuff going on,” says Diversity dancer Jordan Banjo. “There are two stages, and people fly between the two.”

For Banjo, whose brother Ashley started the group six years ago, playing a superhero on stage is a boyhood fantasy turned reality.

“As a group, we’re quite nerdy,” says Banjo. “We love Marvel comics and The Avengers. My superpower is fire, so when I’m running around throwing fireballs out of my hands, I feel like an eight-year-old having fun.”

Ever since the London-based troupe denied Susan Boyle the top prize on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, life has been a hectic round of rehearsals, live appearances, TV shows and touring. But unlike many reality show contestants, whose fame decreases incrementally the second their particular television programme comes to an end, Diversity has kept on going and growing.

“We were just a group of friends and brothers who loved to dance,” says Banjo, “and next thing we know, we’re performing in arenas. We all know how lucky we are to be living our dream and doing what we do.”

Luck may well be part of it, but hard graft has played more than a supporting role in Diversity’s success. More likely to be seen sweating in a studio than posing for photographers outside a nightclub, the dedication of the eight dancers (down from the troupe’s original eleven) has never been called into question.

From the moment that youngest member, Perri, was first catapulted above the heads of his fellow dancers on Britain’s Got Talent, the time and energy that goes into a Diversity routine has been obvious. “Perri gets thrown 15 feet in the air, with nothing underneath him but me and Warren standing there to catch him,” says Banjo. “So it takes a lot of trust and a lot of practise. I’d be lying if I said nothing ever goes wrong, but we do such a lot of rehearsing, that by the time we go on stage we could close our eyes and do the routine.”

• Diversity: Limitless is at The Hydro, Glasgow, tonight www.diversityofficial.com




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