Ipswich: Demon Barbers come to DanceEast

Get ready for a night of dance like no other with bells on... literally.

B-boying, popping and krump meet clog, sword and Morris dancing as The Demon Barber Roadshow calls Time Gentlemen Please at DanceEast tomorrow night.

Known for pushing the boundaries of English traditions, the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award best live act winners are transforming it into The Fighting Cocks pub and inviting three young hip hop performers for a folk versus contemporary smackdown cum mash-up.

“It’s quirky but accessible,” says artistic director Damien Barber. “It’s really important to us to present traditional dance in an entertaining way, we don’t want to put on a performance of it as a museum piece. We want to entertain people with these dance forms.”

As well as the Barbers, who have been performing since 2001, this show also features extra dancers, a beat-boxer and a percussionist. It makes for an interesting night.

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“We get a real mix of audiences; grannies and grandads bring their grandkids and they’re all sat next to hip hop crews. There’s something there for everybody.”

The group spent a lot of time researching and developing the latest show, looking at the similarities between the two dance styles.

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“They’re basically both from a folk culture, hip hop is a modern day sort of urban folk culture,” adds Damien.

“The two styles really come from the same background, only from different times and places. Neither really started life as art forms for consumers. They’re essentially art forms performed by every day people for their own entertainment and their communities. Essentially that’s what our show is about.”

Time Gentlemen Please comes to Jerwood DanceHouse, Foundry Lane, Ipswich, from 7.30pm.

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