Dancing into the urban jungle

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This April resident company at Sadler’s Wells, Zoo Nation, will be bringing a bit of the urban jungle to our stage with their modern re-telling of all your favourite fairy tales. Here’s what our Arts Marketing Trainee, Sophie Shears, thought of it.


 

So, as the newbie in the office, I was pretty excited to be asked to go to a press night at Sadlers Wells in London to see Zoo Nation’s new spectacle, Into The Hoods: Remixed. However, with little background knowledge in hip-hop (that knowledge being watching Diversity on TV and dancing around in my bedroom to Kanye), I wasn’t quite sure whether it’d be for me. But the great thing about this performance is that you don’t need to be a previous fan of hip-hop or even dance in general, because I can guarantee you’ll come out a fan by the end of it.

The story launches into action and we see an illustrated projection of two children taking a walk through the forest, who get lost, ending up in the ‘Ruff Endz Estate’. This is when the screen is pulled up, and the stage is transformed into an urban jungle. All illustrations become reality.

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You can’t not appreciate the sheer talent that exudes from each and every dancer in the show. The theatre was buzzing with excited families (even the dads), as the stage lit up with an incredible ensemble of dancers and the rhythmic tale of all your classic fairy tale favourites began.

Through clever projections and lighting, a wide range of music and clever choreography, we are introduced to each character one by one. We meet all the much-loved classic fairy tale characters, Rap-on-zel, Spinderella, Jaxx, Lil Red and The Wolf – all slightly more down with the kids than the storybooks you’re used to!

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From kung-fu fighting for an iPhone to dancing away in Granny’s nursing home with all the oldies, the story follows themes of peer pressure, city gang culture and testing morality. I could compare it to a hip-hop pantomime – laughs for all the family, spectacular talent, music for all ages – there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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