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Friday, 26 March 2010

Does Blaze signal streetdance acceptance in theatres?

The twits aren't angry! What did Blaze do right that others didn't?
I don't wish to dampen Blaze's flame (when your show is named after anything hot you're open to lots of mediocre metaphors!). It's s brilliant show, had a successful run thanks to its (coincidental) tie to So You Think You Can Dance, with Tommy and Lizzie being two of the main attractions for new dance audiences, but it hasn't had as big a reaction on the social network scale.

The press night was awash with excited people, but behind the celebrity spin it's been a bit different in the blogosphere. Less anger, for one!

When a big show is coming up I use a Twitter tool called Hootsuite to track key words and see what people are saying about it. Sometimes I reply to them to get a bit of a debate going, drop them a link to our review, and the amount of tweets under each column gets bigger and bigger.

Last September I wrote a blog about the (laughable) literary outcry against Bounce's Insane In The Brain called Bounce criticisms holding back hip hop theatre? after reading people's opinions:
@ereuben Saw ad on the tube for "Insane In The Brain," a street-dance version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I need lithium & a passport STAT
@SaliWho I love One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest & hip hop, so why does this sound like horrific theatrical hell?
Etc. Which prompted an even angrier reply - click it to read it yourself, I'm not going to repeat that person's ignorance.

Blaze, complete with its Masonic symbols present (the pyramid intersecting a cup, if you haven't seen the Da Vinci Code) hasn't had the same reaction with the public (those connected via Twitter, at least).
No "this is an outrage!" No "not in MY West End!" Just tweets about how excited they were to see it, how much they liked it and why you should see it too.

The social network monitoring doesn't reflect the general consensus of the UK's opinions, I know, but shouldn't be disregarded for measuring people's interests. It's an interesting way to engage what people are thinking - @SaliWho, quoted above, even went so far as to take a photo of her theatre listings!

Have people finally grown to accept street dance in theatres? Or are they only happy about it when it isn't based on a classical text, a la Pied Piper or Into The Hoods? Interesting.

Blaze runs until 28 March.

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