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Blanca Li Dance Company - Elektro Kif - Lowry - Feb 2012


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I was at the Lowry last night to see Blanca Li's company in Elektro Kif.

 

From the programme notes and the post-performance talk, I learned that Elektro is a street dance style that started to emerge in Paris in 2007. Apparently it emerged from the dance clubs and developed a very intricate style of arm movement partly because of the lack of space to move around and because the fashion at the time of long sleeves or gloves highlighted the arm movements under the ultraviolet lights.

 

The show relates a day in the life of a class of boys at college and is absolutely exhillerating to watch. The curtains open on a plain set with 8 school tables and chairs. Each of the dancers arrives and establishes a character. Because the dance form seems to concentrate on the upper body a number of the sections of the work use the boys sitting at their desks and literally just move their upper bodies. Initially the arm movements look like boys preening themselves in mirrors but they gradually expand.

 

The piece follows a typical "day in the life" - arriving for class, a class, baseball game, free time, an exam, after-school "tribes". There was a beautiful, lyrical section in contemporary dance style in the middle of the piece, starting as a solo and gradually building to the whole ensemble. There was a lot of humour in the different sections and I would say that Ms Li has a keen eye for the behaviour of boys! The exam section, where the boys were trying to crib off each other, was particularly funny.

 

Elektro Kif comes in at 70 minutes without an interval and it is 70 minutes of exhilerating performance. The 8 dancers perform with enormous joie de vivre and I had a huge grin spread across my face for the whole performance. Do go and see this show if you get the chance (it is touring around the UK under the auspices at DTP).

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