Cool Heat Urban Beat
Her Majesty’s Theatre
5:00pm, Sat 11 Mar 2000
Short Review: NoYo
Like many other productions at the Festival this year, Cool Heat Urban Beat delivers lots of visual and aural spectacle, but not enough lasting substance. As an exhibition of urban dance, it is fabulous; as a coherent dance piece, it is lacking.
I was unlucky enough to be present at a matinee in which one of the performers injured himself (attempting to do an assisted back-flip) early in the performance; for some time after, both the audience and the performers were decidedly flat. (I’m unsure as to whether the injured dancer resumed later in the piece; I suspect not, having seen the way he landed on his back).
The dancing was always vibrant and full of energy; the tap movements, in particular, were fabulous. And words cannot express the fluidity of movement displayed by the dancers – “fluid” really is the operative word there. The two live musicians – Daniel Moreno on percussion, and DJ Mizery on turntables – were also superb, engaging in a “duel” with each other while the dancers took a breather. DJ Miz was also seen teaching a youngster to scratch in the closing minutes of the performance!
All the performances were superb – so what was lacking? Well, variety for one thing – the show got into a group-solo-group routine far too often, and some of the dancers’ solos did not differ greatly from one piece to the next. Sure, there were some truly superlative parts in amongst it all; but I personally found the performance to be too repetitive, and easily forgotten. Nice watching it while it’s there, though.
(BTW – why is the programme so full of mis-prints? In a 30 second glancing, my little eye spied three typos… not a lot of care for $10, it seems!)