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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Blaze Streetdance Sensation Press Night

The editor mingles with the social elite
After a week of advanced previews, Wednesday was the press night for Blaze. We were all there. The Guardian, probably. Time Out, that could have been likely. You Magazine? For some reason they were there too, abandoning their rubbish as they left. That's how I know - they left their press ticket envelopes discarded on the floor. And of course, I was there - read our review of Blaze here

But paparazzi? Are you sure? Did someone inform the tabloids I had a hair cut? There was a good photographer huddle outside the doors of the Peacock Theatre. What's this all about?

Incidentally there was no red carpet laid out, just cold, hard concrete to stroll across.

"Ah yes, now I remember," I thought. "Lizzie Gough and Tommy Franzén from So You Think You Can Dance are in the cast. Those two dancers that were dancing professionally before the show anyway!"

Now, I'm down with inviting people with whom the dancers might have worked with in the past, but letting the paps know of your whereabouts when you're on a leisurely trip to the theatre just blows it a little out of proportion.

This is street dance, where dancers are used to going for a Nando's after a show than eating stuffed olives. 

Then again, when Arlene Phillips and Louise Redknapp (above) walked up and the cameras started flashing, what did I do? I stood in the background and held up a TooMuchFlavour flyer! With any luck I'll have scored some free advertising in today's Evening Standard!

It's interesting to see how the media seems to be more interested in the runners up of So You Think You Can Dance than its actual winner. Through the hustle and bustle of the Peacock Theatre's packed space I didn't happen to see Charlie Bruce. Winning clearly isn't everything.

The show was also a sell out, although two seats were quite obviously not filled right in front of me.

What annoyed me the most is the fact that afterwards dancers I could have spoken to at any dance jam were out of reach from the general public, despite being just across the room, cordened off in a VIP section while a paparazzi snapped pictures of Louise for their magazine. Worth sticking around for? I think not!

Hmm. Is it me, or will too much media interest in street dance distort the dancer's perception of normality when the hype dies down?

Incidentally a discussion on the direction of street dance and its relationship with the media will take place at Collabo '10 at Stratford Circus this Friday and Saturday (19-20 March), and Tommy Franzén and Mark Calape (Animaineax) will both have a seat on the panel.

If you're interested in being part of the discussion, and also want to see a dance show click here for more information.

What do you think? Street dance and celebrity going too far? You can comment below!


  1. Why wouldn't something as exciting, energetic and fascinatingly 'new?' as streetdance go locking, popping n spinning with people who see themselves as setting trends. Inevitable really.

  2. While I thought your pop at Charlie was a little bit on the cruel side, I had to agree in a way. Up to now, a month on after the show, I could not understand why someone as talented as Tommy could lose out to someone - hmm - have to be careful with the wording here - average. Don't get me wrong, she's not a Jedward for sure but I just feel that she is not a unique talent and I'm pretty sure there are loads of "Cheeky Charlies" in stage schools up and down the country. There is also the niggling thought that she was pushed by the judges in the final...

    Anyway, back to Blaze, I will be seeing it next week, I am excited and although some reviews seem mixed, from what I understand, the lack of narrative seems to be the downer for some. I will watch with an open mind.


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