We often book trips to the theatre. The Arts Award students review them for their portfolios. The GCSE Students watch choreography to help inspire them for their own work.

At the end of 2015, Babel Ark Fund subsidised tickets for the children and students to go to London to see “Into the Hoods Remixed” and “The Snowman”. Both at The Peacock Theatre.

“Into the Hoods Remixed” Review by Melissa Dobson

Into the Hoods, which is written and directed by Kate Prince is an exciting and entertaining show. It was originally performed from 2006-2008 but this is the show remixed.

Into the Hoods is about two school children who were lost and found themselves in the hood on Ruff Endz Estate. Their only way of getting home was to find a iPhone as white as milk, a hoody as red as blood, weave (hair) as yellow as corn and trainers as pure as gold. Along the way, they met loads of funny characters and the music plus comedy parts are brilliant. It is definitely a well written and thought out show.

It is a Dance, Hip Hop and Street show. It is performed by a company called Zo0-Nation and they are all amazing dancers. Their routines are finished to perfection, it was so spellbinding to watch, especially towards the end when the lights were dimmed. I really think it created a good atmosphere on the stage.

I loved Into the Hoods so much as it was different to anything I had seen before and there were so many “WOW” moments and funny bits. Overall, I thought the was incredible and mesmerising. I would recommend to everyone!

In January 2016, the GCSE students were very fortunate to go to The Roundhouse Theatre in Camden to see the Premiere of Akram Khan’s latest work “Until the Lions”

“Until The Lions” Review by Nisha Lakhanpaul (GCSE Year 1 Student)

Roundhouse 2On Thursday the 12th of January 2016 I attended “Until the Lion”. by Akram Khan at the Roundhouse Theatre in Camden.We went to see an adaptation of poet Karthika Nair’s book¬†“Until the Lions”¬†: Echoes from The Mahabharata. This was a combination of Indian Kathak Dance and contemporary dance. This is influential dancers Khan’s latest piece. The tale told was one about a princess: Amber, being abducted on her wedding day. She is stripped of her honour and then invokes the gods to seek revenge.

The production was based on the 360 degree/”in the round” theatres across the world. The premiere was in london.

Roundhouse3We went in the car to Camden with my Mum, my sister, Amelia and Melissa. The streets were lit up in the lat hours of the day as the roads filled up in the run up to the performance. As we stepped into the theatre there was a sens of excitement as people bought refreshments before the show. Going into the main auditorium there was a sensation as the audience settled and patiently waited for the dancers. The lights dimmed, creating tension in the atmosphere. The lighting changed to a warm golden orange as it focused on the stage. The stage looked like the inside of a tree trunk with the veins running through it. There was an approximate 2 metre edge around where the dancers performed when they weren’t the main performers.

When the dance started I was astounded by the emotion shown through the strong, powerful, direct movements. The way their bodies moved like fluid with the actions made, the contortions and lunges so much more powerful and emotive. Akram Khan wore a traditional plain white men’s Salwar suit. This is a long white full-sleeved top with slits to the hip and a neck cuff with baggy white trousers. The princess was wearing a light, golden, beige, long top-dress with mid-sleeved arms. It had slits up the sides and was fitted at the top with a V neck. Underneath, she wore a flesh coloured leotard. The third dancer had a long vest type dress with slits and tight, fitted trousers. This was to make her look more manly. The colours are traditional pure colours associated with cleanliness, they also harmonised with the golden lighting.

I believe that without the music/accompaniment, the performance wouldn’t have been as intense as it was. This is because of the authentic sounds and crescendos and the Bangladeshi rhythms. The music was played live with four people sat around the stage, singing, playing the drums, banging the stages, reciting mantra and repeating sequences.

There was a lot of turns, leaps and large gestures used especially when they were arching their backs and transferring their weight. the dancers were in contact through much of the dance showing the romance. There were explosive, vibrant movements performed with strength and power. There was a lot of travelling across the stage in different manners. Eg. the point where the princess is wrapped around Khan as they crawl around the stage. It was very lyrical and contemporary with moments of Kathak. Towards the end of the performance, the stage split, lifting up, making it look like a volcano. Orange light burst through the cracks along with smoke. In this piece were were two females and one male. However, one of the females played a man.

I really enjoyed the intensity of the dance and how emotion was portrayed through actions and dynamics. I enjoyed the whole show, but I didn’t like the part where they were placing sticks in and out of the stage. My favourite part was when all three dancers were moving round the stage banging sticks. I would recommend this to dancers and non-dancers because it gives you an insight into what can be achieved through dance.