Thursday, 23 May 2019

REVIEW: Beats on Pointe at the Peacock Theatre

Beats on Pointe: Masters of Choreography is on a 2019 World Tour. The Australian dance team, made up of 13 professional performers, take us on a ‘journey’ through a fusion of Ballet and Hip Hop. There is no narrative to the production, but the merging of styles supposedly represents combining two worlds. 

The evening begins with the ‘host’ encouraging us to follow their Instagram page and rapping. As if this was not a strange enough start, we then had a significant break before the show actually began. Not much of a hype-builder. Disappointingly, the music was deafeningly loud throughout the performance I spent the first few dances painfully adjusting to the sound. Completely spoiled the opening. Beats on Pointe is structurally more similar to a showcase rather than a West End show as there is an erratic combination of styles and themes. The transitions are badly planned; one moment we are watching a contemporary duet and the next a beat-boxer and vocalist have a flirtatious feud. The purpose of the show is lost as they integrate comedy sketches with serious choreography and, although the dancers are talented and versatile, it just doesn’t work. 

The creative team have choreographed some interesting pieces; however, they are not up to scratch. Having this fusion of styles does not come without challenge and it is obvious that not all the dancers are classically trained. The ballet sections are not technical enough to be fully enjoyable; the fouetté turns are out of sync and the dancers looked stiff and uncomfortable. The duets were the highlight of the entire show, especially Georgia Mae Rutland and Danny Williams’ ‘Out of the Woods’ performance.

Overall, the dance ability was excellent. They were sharp, expressive and captivating to watch. Nearing the end of the first act, several of the male dancers were visibly tired and lost energy- but ultimately the performers were the only thing holding the production together. Brodie Chesher was a stand out performer, his confidence and attitude were exceptional. 

I felt that the show is quite outdated in many ways. The music was not recent,
the set design was a bit 00’s (graffitied alleyway) and it was very gendered. Most dances were boys versus girls, with the women wearing sexualised torn-up crop tops and were trying to impress the men.

It’s unsure who was in mind when Beats on Pointe was created. It has a bizarre concept (pointe work to Eminem?) and is unoriginal. The talent is there so perhaps with some different creative choices this could be upturned to a sell-out show.

Review by Hannah Storey

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Stalls L22 | Price of Ticket: £45

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