On Sunday 17th March, a young group of talented dancers and actors took to the stage at The Albany in Deptford -a longstanding cultural hub for the people of Lewisham, and put on one of their most electrifying and galvanising performances to date.
Imagine, that all of the things we need to survive; water, oxygen, fuel are all controlled by power.
Then, imagine a huge mainframe have been placed into the centre of the earth to control this. Imagine that we have called it The Earth Data Mainframe. Now, imagine that it has malfunctioned.
What on Earth?!
That’s what the cast and crew of Love2Dance boldly invites us to explore, and to experience this nightmare scenario for ourselves. That, and add a David Bowie-esque ‘Under Pressure’; techno infused hip-hop and a bunch of smart, savvy and sassy group of delinquents and you get Love2Dance’s Pressure.
This dystopian narrative is set within a far distant future, a system which bears similar tenets to the one we have today - the bourgeois controlling the proletariats. Indeed, the smart, savvy, and sassy groups of delinquents are inmates at a youth detention centre.
Synchrony and synergy is what this whole production emanates. The talented youth of Love2Dance demonstrates their skillful and proficient repertoire to the people of Lewisham, exploring the different ways in which bodies can be used to mimic and re-create technology, emotions and action.
A large part of the ensemble portrayed the myriad of circuits which made up the Earth Data Mainframe, each having their own individualised and stylised choreography and movements, so the audience would be able to discern which ‘circuits’ were malfunctioning and which were not.
Our protagonist, a bright inmate, studying for his exams, gets recruited by the head of the ‘Earth Emergency Division’ alongside his fellow inmate and are both sent down to the centre of the Earth to fix the malfunctioning mainframe. We see the protagonist ‘fixes’ the broken circuits, re-creating the dance sequences by the malfunctioning ‘circuits’, and then tries to make them follow his own movements. A fast paced montage begins as he goes through the motions of each malfunction circuits bending them to movement conformity. Time is running out. The Earth is quickly dying. We share his despair when he has no choices but to abandon the remaining broken circuits…but then, plot twist! He jumps out of the shuttle transport at the last minute and saves the day by a millisecond.
A phone call from the presidential office. All is well. And the public is none the wiser.
Love2Dance’s Pressure transcends beyond their infusion of technology and hip-hop, is also a social commentary of the contemporary world that we inhabit, and of our potential for destruction. The use of an esoteric, yet profit-driven businessman, who recruits from a juvenile prison is clearly a metaphor for the workings of society today- our need for smooth sailing and ignorance of failure.
Irregardless, the choreography and acting by the ingenious ensemble makes Love2Dance’s Pressure an exciting, dynamic and captivating performance to watch.