Méli Mélo II
Inch-perfect dance parody
This article is from 2007.
Parody is a tricky thing to pull off. There’s a risk that, while attempting to point out the absurdity of the medium you’re lampooning, you destroy what made it worth imitating in the first place. Happily, Chicos Mambos succeed in negotiating that difficult balance in this outrageous, affectionate tribute to various forms of dance.
Admittedly some of the routines here outstay their welcome rather earlier than others: the Little Mermaid spoof, for instance, is little more than lip-synching with natty props. The most inspired sequences are those where the dancers’ skill and intricate knowledge allows them to subvert a familiar routine.
Highlights include a take-off of the Esther Williams bathing beauties films of the 50s, while there’s also an inch perfect version of the Pas de Deux from Swan Lake in which Prince Siegfried sports a giant codpiece. Even the ludicrously lengthy curtain call is spot on.
The costumes are integral to the show’s humour, from spinning, billowing saris to the pleated black train of a flamenco dancer. This is one for dance aficionados and those in search of an hour of solid comedy alike. Delightful. (Allan Radcliffe)
Assembly Universal Arts, 623 3030, until 27 Aug (not 20), 10.15pm, £12–£13 (£10–£11).