STAGE REVIEW: Emerge + See @ Dance City, Newcastle (29.03.22) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Rob Anderson by Darren Jelly O’Kane

Breakin’ Convention brought it again this year with their Emerge+See commissions. Everything came together at Dance City in Newcastle, with a night of hip-hop inspired performances from two groups, Origin and the Bad Lions Crew.

After exploring the mentorship and creative development programme within the Emerge+See initiative, dancer and choreographer Rob Anderson was one of the selected creatives for this commission. He collaborated on the stage with Darren O’Kane and Jackson Watson under their Bad Lions Crew moniker to create a powerful performance exploring Northern heritage. Rob choreographed a piece which celebrated Northern Soul and its history within Newcastle, sharing the pieces of hip-hop found in our local area. Set in the 70’s but using styles of movement that are more contemporary, it was wonderful to suspend my disbelief and get lost on the story with three friends dancing together.

Another Newcastle-based crew who were successful in gaining this creative commission are Origin. The incredible artists who took to the stage with both music and movement were Kay Greyson, Mimi, Igor, Marshall and Blessing. With their beginnings in stilt walking, it’s clear this group have maintained their skills in balance and motion, making every action look effortless as well as very deliberate and decisive. Similar to Rob’s work, this crew explored the narrative of friendships, but this time in a more contemporary and familiar setting. Kay Grayson told their story through rap, which matched brilliantly with the hip-hop inspired movement, which was also infused with so many different styles of dance.

This night was a celebration of the incredible skill the North has to offer, and the beauty of movement as a form of language. Bad Lions and Origin both proved that, with the opportunity, they can tell fantastic stories that explore the cultural diversity which exists within our creative community.

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