THE WHISTLES and whoops begin before the performers even step out on stage but then this is clearly what the Life Of A B’Boy is all about.
Battling it out to win respect through their vocabulary of breakdance, house, bogaloo, popping and locking, these performers from Funkstylerz Dance didn’t have far to look for converts.
A packed house of largely young people, loved the mix of dance, speech and live scoring by DJ G Kut as a trio of performers from the 15 strong company of Funkstylerz dancers told us what it was like to be a B’Boy.
A single shaft of light drew them towards the gladiators’ circle where they would battle it out to show their breakdance credentials and to outshine the opposition. Performers Mouse, Steady and Chimp Chilla share their life stories and how, for them, the breakdance scene is the only way to find their way into the light.
The performances defy physics and gravity with co-ordination, flexibility, strength and nerve all being tested. There was humour and the whiff of sadness and while the dancers’ skill and physicality were never in doubt, the power of those performances was perhaps not best served by a production which had little edge, no urban feel.
This should have been a powerhouse of a narrative, a call to those who feel marginalised that there is a language in which they can share, a community to which they can contribute. Rapping of the narrative would perhaps have tightened the delivery and added an emotional rhythm missing here.