Blaze fuses West End show and club night
Dance show set for Glasgow Theatre Royal
Despite a history dating back over 30 years, hip hop still feels like the new kid on the dance block. Partly because it’s so fresh it could never feel old – but also because only now is it getting the recognition it deserves.
Once exclusively confined to pavements and nightclubs, hip hop has found itself a home in the theatre, with shows such as Into the Hoods, Bounce, Pied Piper and Breakin’ Convention opening up the genre to different generations.
Described by its creators as a cross between a West End show and a club night, Blaze is the latest streetdance sensation taking the UK by storm. Performed by twelve streetdancers, three breakers and a DJ, the show also boasts impressive video and lighting design, ensuring the backdrop is as slick as the dance moves.
Blaze also features two dancers who recently proved their mettle on TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, Tommy Franzen and Lizzie Gough. Having spent weeks trying to impress judges and voters, learning new routines in an instant and adapting their bodies to all manner of dance styles, how did the programme prepare them for the Blaze tour?
‘Walking straight into rehearsals after So You Think You Can Dance was really tough as we were two weeks late into them,’ says Franzen. ‘But being in ‘learning choreography fast’ mode really helped. And it will be really nice to travel around and perform live for all the people I’ve managed to reach out to on TV.’ ‘So You Think You Can Dance kept us on your toes,’ agrees Gough. ‘We were always doing something different, learning quickly and using various props and set, which Blaze does too – there’s a lot going on.’
The huge growth in hip hop audiences proves they must to doing something right. To what does Franzen attribute the genre’s increasing appeal? ‘The wow factor seems to be something that most people appreciate,’ he says, ‘and there is a lot of that within the hip hop dance styles. Whether it’s moves that look gravity defying or like illusions, they all look impressive.’
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Fri 15 & Sat 16 Oct; Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Thu 21-Sat 23 Oct