Spectrum (4 stars)

This article is from 2009


Late-night telly turns hip hop fantasia

The old BBC 2 test card – yes, that one, with the little girl and the clown – is a bit of a strange premise to build a whole hip hop show around, but London’s Avant Garde Dance has managed to make it work. One dancer plays the girl, the others just represent the colours that surround her: a terrifying forest of black bars moving to their own agenda, or a party of anthropomorphised primary colours.

Even given C Venue’s limited technical capacity, there are some really stunning visual effects. Some of the late night television video interludes are a bit intrusive and let the focus wander, but when the combination of multimedia projection and dance coheres, it’s really special.

The soundtrack is also worth a mention: it’s mainly composed of static fuzz and looped musak, and yet acts as an excellent, dynamic background for the dancers to react to. Performing whip-crack, perfectly synchronised breaks and snaps in time to a music with no apparent rhythm has got to be hard, and it’s testament to the skilled choreography and ensemble that the movements stay so slick.

C Chambers Street, 0845 260 1234, until 31 Aug (not 17), 4.05pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£4.50–£8.50).


  • 4 stars

Immersing you in a world of late-night television wonderment - a visual feast of edgy urban contemporary movement with the vigour and intensity of hip-hop. Expect to be mesmerised and wanting more. www.avantgardedance.com

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