Video: Pushing street dance to its limits at DanceEast this Christmas

Boy Blue Entertainment have double reason to celebrate this Christmas as they mark ten years of pushing street dance to its limits with their new show. Entertainments writer WAYNE SAVAGE found out the hip hop, it really don’t stop.

KENRICK “H20” Sandy and Michael “Mikey J” Asante are really giving it the works.

If you asked Santa for a show packed full of popping, locking, crump, hip hop, freestyling, break and house dancing you’ve obviously been good all year.

Don’t understand any of those phrases? Don’t worry, all you need to know is if you want to see some cutting edge dance theatre you’re in safe hands with this London-based, Olivier Award-winning, company.

They’ve worked on the E4 short film Udderbelly, Breakin’ Convention 2011 at Sadler’s Wells and So You Think You Can Dance for the BBC as well as performing to sell-out audiences at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Barbican, London.

Latest show BBE: Legacy, The Works runs at DanceEast’s Jerwood DanceHouse from December 14-24.

“It’s a celebration of the work we’ve done over the ten years, musically as well as choreographically. It’s going to be quite an eclectic show, we’ve fused different styles with contemporary [dance] and theatre,” says Kenrick.

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Then there’s some visual effects pieces including everything from ultra-violet work to torches and fun segments featuring nerd dancing and even some salsa.

With no story as such; 11 dancers plus Kenrick will perform around 20 different segments, all of which have their own life.

“When I was looking at the different pieces and trying to put [together] a running order of the different sections I was literally looking at the dynamics of the show; the moments where there’s going to be darkness, light, moments of humour, of emotion, moments of juxtaposition,” he adds.

“We’re playing with convention in so many aspects. There’s no story, it’s a show of inspiration for young people and people interested in dance. The story is about us and where we’ve come from.”

Kenrick and Mikey have known each other since they were 12.

Attending the same secondary school they became best friends when they hit 16-17. Both into dancing - although Kenrick had his eyes set on a basketball career initially - they started going to classes and were inspired.

“One day I said to Mikey ‘you know, I want to start a group’ and Mikey was like ‘yeah, cool let’s do this’. After trials and errors we started Boy Blue in May 2001,” remembers Kenrick.

“It was an opportunity for us to do what we enjoy doing and the way it grew was that there was an interest, so we wanted to deliver a service for the interest. It was nothing about trying to get funding, nothing about making money; it was literally ‘you know what, if all these people enjoy dancing, let’s do this. We’re going to be the company who we are’.”

Looking at their list of credits, it was the right decision.

“Yeah,” laughs Mikey, responsible for the music and pulling the chosen pieces together. “In terms of some of the things we’ve achieved for sure but it feels really like we’re just getting started. There’s so much more.

“I mean we’ve grown and learned so much from all the different shows we’ve done; we’re just going to keep on getting stronger and better.”

He says a lot of work has gone into keeping the Legacy show moving and feeling fresh at every turn, leaving audiences amazed at what’s happening next.

Kenrick agrees.

“If parents want them [their kids] to have something a bit more Christmas trendy then this will be the show to come to and, again, it’s not just for young people.

“Some of our shows we’ve done in the past we’ve had people in their 60s come down because it had the visual dynamics; if you like dancing, if you want some entertainment, come down and watch.”

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