The Five and the Prophecy of Prana
Blue Boy Entertainment, Warwick Arts Centre
Nov 4 & 5, 2014
The Five and the Prophecy of Prana blends hip-hop and Japanese manga into an epic and visually stunning tale of honour, greed and world domination.
The story concerns a quest by five street kids to take back five magical orbs under the guidance of a mystical teacher.
But though the plot is convoluted and hard to follow, it serves as a framework upon which to pin some amazing dancing and to project some beautiful imagery.
Hip-hop is, some might say, a relatively crude form of dance; its gestures owe more to martial arts than ballet.
The music is aggressive, percussive, and relentless: it is street music - uncompromising, defiant, very macho. In much the same way manga deals in crude emotions.
Heroes and villains, good and evil: everything is urgent and much, much larger than life.
On their own each form has its limitations,and the risk is that if you put the two together you get twice as much of the same. But no. This was a performance of relentless energy and sinuous beauty.
True, much of the action consisted of fight scenes. But what fights! The grace and eloquence of these dancers was simply amazing, and left the audience applauding throughout.
Of all the great dancers, Michele ‘Paleta’ Rhyner as the evil Soo Lin was perhaps the finest.
She created an unusual eerie space around her that was awe inspiring and terrifying.
By Nick Le Mesurier