Streetdance show Blaze has reportedly played to more than 300,000 people across the globe and returns to Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre following its premiere back in 2010.
The narrative-free show brings together some of the best street and b-boy dancers from every corner of the world and sets them to a pounding soundtrack, mixing hip-hop, house and a dashing of pop. The bass-heavy score features the likes of Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson and generally keeps the young crowd entranced throughout. The set, which is essentially a blank canvas, is bought to life by some inventive lighting by audiovisual artists Robin McNiholas and Mehmet Akten.
The choreography is generally well-executed but doesn’t have an easy flow. Perhaps the use of different choreographers gives the show a disjointed feel but the energy really only takes over in the final freestyle section where the dancers get a chance to show what they’re made of. Thankfully there are stand-out moments before the finale – the trio of b-boys are stellar throughout and make the most of the entire stage, breakdancing on their backs, shoulders and heads in crowd-pleasing displays. The rest of the dancers never quite outshine the talented trio, although that’s not to say the performances are weak but they just hold the audience’s attention rather than grip it. There are impressive moments but little that was truly exciting.
The one-act performance is broken up with some audience participation (basically an update of the Fast Food Rockers’ ‘unforgettable’ hit single…) which went down a treat with the young, enthusiastic and refreshingly diverse crowd but did feel slightly at odds with the rest of the show.
Blaze is not ground-breaking by any means, but if you enjoy the dance sections of Britain’s Got Talent, without the campery of Walliams and Cowell, then this is the show for you.