Smother, ZOO, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
201 Dance Company
Andrea Walker (Choreographer / Artistic Director)
Luigi Ambrosio (Dancer), Alex Bowen (Dancer), Michaela Cisarikova (Dancer), Saran Kohli (Dancer), Dineshi Nirgunananthan (Dancer), Simon Tichelaar (Dancer).
Running time

An exploration of the discrimination that many LGBT groups face through the genre of commercial Hip Hop - an interesting concept, but does it work? Not entirely. 201 Dance Company's Smother instead only touches upon the isolation and segregation some face.

201 start powerfully, though it seems more like something out of the latest pop music video than a beginning to a dance theatre performance. This may be due to the music choice which seems disconnected with the piece and does not add to the overall performance, acting only as a backing track.

Choreographer and co-founder of 201 Andrea Walker, creates impressively tight and precise choreography. He does not, however, give much room for a narrative to develop.

Despite this, Walker himself has to be credited for his outstanding performance. He stars in the company's Fringe show and has a commanding stage presence which mesmerises his audience. This goes for all the performers, Luigi Ambrosio, Alex Bowen, Michaela Cisarikova, Saran Kohli, Dineshi Nirgunananthan and Simon Tichelaar who are highly skilled and give energetic and stylish performances.

A section which stands out in particular is a solo performed by Michaela Cisarikova who captivates through her beautiful animalistic isolations: she portrays raw emotion throughout. This slowly spirals out of control as the other dancers almost act as silhouettes walking past her and ignoring her - a powerful image representing the discrimination faced by gay people.

This sadly was the only one. With such an incredible group of dancers who act as a real team throughout, it falls ever so slightly short with a vague story line. With gay marriage legalised recently in the USA and Ireland only just voting Yes to equality, this performance reminds us how important and relevant these issues are, however it needs a more convincing story line to connect to its audience further.