History, Dynasties And All That Jazz!

Jazz Dance Company

Dynasties.  The Sands of Time

Theatre Severn,

Wednesday 14th June 2017

 

The definition of Jazz is a fluid and ever changing phenomenon. However to simply define it one could say it’s a variation on any given theme. Giving that as a rule of thumb, The Jazz Dance Company couldn’t have chosen a better name. Since Nineteen Ninety Four The London Studio Centre’s Jazz Dance company have been filling stages and playing with their themes.

It is hard to say where one might see better. They are simply superb. They are thrilling audiences with this show, "Dynasties The Sands Of Time." Racing through History’s Dynasties from Henry The Eighth  to the execution of the Romanovs and the decline of the powerful Eastern  Dynasties. It is quite a historical voyage. With the message being clearer in some dances than in others, however that is a good thing, Jazz expects the recipient to also play with the themes and read one's own story into the moves too...

Better still however is to ride the scene. Go with the music and watch the fluidity of theses supple bodies and their fantastically powerful moves. Forget the world outside and just roll. That is what this show does for you.

People shy away from Modern Dance a little as they see it as too arty, to high brow and just not them. Not only can those myths be dispelled here and now. The truth is when the moves, music , dress, lighting and synchronicity comes together the experience can be one of great emotion and breath-taking disbelief at what it is the human body can actually achieve. But it can and with varied styles such as Bob Fosse's rigid discipline or The Berkely Babes though to Diversity and the Street Dancing scene, that is so current right now, this spectacular programme thrills and delights.

This show offers a journey not just through time alone:  No it is a journey through the art form itself as all the expected parts work together; and whilst physical energy is a difficult thing to quantify one would imagine that when the stage is full and buzzing there is as much energy being expended  as one will see at the Shrewsbury Half Marathon on Sunday. This show calls for tons of energy , the cast has it in spades and that energy touches the audience massively.

Artistic Director Robbie O’Reilly not only directed but was also one of the choreographers and happened to choreograph one of the best pieces in the show . That was "Renaissance", with a highly irreverent glimpse of the Bard the piece went onto describe what was going on in those times. It was cheeky, naughty and great fun and captured the spirt of this incredibly hard working team.

Layla Ellison’s Sovereign was also a very strong piece but with a choreographer who has worked with Rhianna and The Black Eyed Peas to name just a couple, one would expect nothing but the best.

Technically this show is brilliant with a lighting plan as complicated as one will ever see. But the working partnership between light, sound and exquisite costume is truly remarkable. 

It goes on giving. From the off the show gets stronger and stonger, that is not to say the start is weak, it isn’t, but it goes from a good start into a complete maelstrom of excellence until the end when the audience cheered and whistled and made the noise of a thousand! Well the main component of the audience were young teenage girls, in fact I have seen less at a gymkhana! However it was clear that they, like the Adults were enthralled by this technical masterpiece.

Define Jazz as you will, keep your definition loose and flowing and involve yourself deeply in what is happening on the stage and I guarantee you an experience far beyond your imagination. Jazz Dance Company can do that and I am sure Dance fans everywhere will be waiting with bated breath to see what will come next  from this marvellously creative company.

This Is a Four Star Review.

Owen J. Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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