BWW Review: BLAK WHYTE GRAY, Barbican
There's something simply magical happening on the Barbican's main stage at the moment. Upon entering the auditorium I didn't know what to expect, however I had been told beforehand that Boy Blue contained within it some of the most talented dancers in the country. After seeing the production, I can tell you that this is definitely the case.
The first piece is WHYTE. Three people begin, and group themselves closely together, performing synchronised choreography that is precise, to the beat and overtly physical. They carry out a layer of repeated actions, and you watch as the trio work hard to maintain their energy throughout the high intense movements.
It's superb to watch and the mover's commitment to their craft is astonishing. This isn't just any ordinary dance production - what everyone is witnessing is something truly special. As the rest of the company join the stage to begin GRAY (second piece), you quickly realise that everyone is just as talented in their own brilliant way.
When the interval hits you're surprised how the group have sustained themselves to work for so long. Thunderous applause erupts from the audience and they wait in anticipation to see what's going to happen in Act 2. There's a real excitement in the room, along with an open atmosphere. It's one that says everyone is welcome, and it's great to see such a diverse representation of viewers in such a privileged setting.
The final piece is BLAK, which once again sees the entire company on stage, working together to create a sensory explosion of colour and motion. This section feels more tribal; war paint is used and cultural masks hang on strings above. It's gritty and raw - it evokes so much.
This production last year received an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Dance Production, and there's really no surprise why that is. In each movement there's so much passion, intensity and emotion. Lives are being represented, talent is being showcased and stories are being told.
It really is one of the best dance productions in recent history.
Blak Whyte Gray at Barbican until 15 September
Photo courtesy of Boy Blue