27/01/2010 - 30/01/2010
The Connection presents the 1970s American funky dance-style, electric boogaloo, in a way that audiences in New Zealand have never experienced. Set in a conservative living room this intimate epic follows the journey of two dancers who are entrusted with rescuing the spirit of electric boogaloo from a metronomic abyss inside a grandfather clock.
Desperate to make contact with the two living room occupants, the spirit of electric boogaloo sends them pieces of two dress suits that once fully assembled will allow them to bridge the gap from past to present and set the spirit of electric boogaloo free from the clock and into a new age.
Future Fame and Mase Boog represent the electric boogaloo dance group Star Connection and have earned their place as two of New Zealand’s top practitioners of electric boogaloo. Choreographed to a completely original soundtrack composed by Future Fame, this dance-theatre experience will leave you spellbound.
Venue: BATS, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington
Season: Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 January
Tickets: $16 full / $13 concession
Masters of Electric Boogaloo need sharp directorial eye
Review by Jenny Stevenson 28th Jan 2010
Of all the excuses to get down and boogie “the clock made me do it” must be one of the more original.
In The Connection, dancers Future Fame and Mase Boog have the secrets of Electric Boogaloo – a seventies funk style of dancing – revealed to them by an anthropomorphic grandfather clock. Portentous edicts issue from its depths about keeping the essence of 1970s funk alive and metronome-style sounds are emitted delineating the rhythm of the form.
The dancers discover hats and jackets in the style worn by the original master and inventor of the form – Boogaloo Sam – in the clock’s interior, and slowly master the moves of the dance while wearing them. Interspersed with these sections are some inspirational video clips of the granddaddy of funk, James Brown, the original Lockers and of course, The Electric Boogaloos.
It’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek – not to be taken too seriously – but as a theatre work it could use some sharpening up and a directorial eye. The multi media approach to the work could be rendered more subtly and some dramatic tension could be introduced to give interest to the story-line. There are moments when slapstick humour threatens to emerge but these are never fully exploited.
Electric Boogaloo is a fluid form of funk that Fame and Boog have both mastered, adding their own personalities and individual styles of movement to the mix. It requires a high degree of control, a rhythmic surety and smooth, rolling “connections” between steps. The style features robotic moves obviously inspired by illusional mime, idiosyncratic gestures and soft leg movements.
The undoubted highlight is the solo by Fame, while wearing a green jacket, but the pair moving in unison is also highly effective. The moments when a move is passed from one dancer to the other and then extended, works well.
The Connection has potential to develop further – as outlined in the programme – into a fully-fledged theatre work for the Star Connection Group of which both dancers are members.
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