Ballerina Who Loves a B-Boy (5 stars)

This article is from 2007

Ballerina Who Loves a B-Boy

If you see just one Korean breakdance show this year . . .

Although it’s been crammed into a hotel function room better suited to the cringey frugging of a wedding disco, this gleeful little production is the most assured and exuberant of the cluster of Korean breakdance shows infesting the Fringe this year.

The eponymous Sandy-and-Danny love story is really just an excuse for frenzied, freestyling displays of technical skill, as a ballerina clashes with the asbo-worthy noise pollutants preparing for a street dance competition outside her studio. It’s a heightened, hyper-real experience, from the tribal, Technicolor street fashions and joyous soundtrack to the beat-perfect moves. During the popping routines, you’re close enough to marvel as robotic jerks ripple through the dancers’ muscles and faces. If the ballet scenes feel a little lacklustre in comparison, they make our heroine’s decision to cast off her tutu all the more understandable.

Sadly, the central culture clash was mirrored offstage. Despite a wholly deserved standing ovation, the pre-show crash course in keeping the dancers hyped with whoops and cheers failed to make an impact on a stolidly embarrassed Edinburgh audience, who were practically sitting on their hands in dour determination not to betray their enjoyment. Breakdance performances feed off noisy interaction we’re not, as audiences, accustomed to supplying.

But when you’re watching human bodies whirl and lock in gravity-defying poses, the air is saturated with endorphins from the frenetic, relentless energy of the performances, and you’ve got a grin stretching your face in spite of yourself, it’s OK to shout a little. In fact, it’s okay to scream yourself hoarse. (Kirstin Innes)

clubWEST@Hilton, 07720 285 550, 7.45pm, until 24 Aug, £12 (£9).

Ballerina Who Loves a B-Boy

  • 5 stars

If you see just one Korean breakdance show this year... 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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