Heart Drivetime presenter Steve Denyer, shares his dance journey having this week seen Imbalance by Joli Vyann in the Patrick Centre.
For the last four months I have been following my regular gym sessions with amazing feats of dance on at least a monthly basis. I’m not dancing of course, but instead, my cool down has seen me transported by DanceXchange’s performance season at the Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome.
To-date I’ve seen gruesome fairy tales, explored new versions of the Carmen story and Shakespeare’s Rosalind, and all whilst the phenomenal dancers appear not to break a sweat.
This week however the incredible performer Jan Patzke announced ‘it’s hot in here’ and wiped the sweat from his brow, and following the incredible set piece that saw him balance, his co-dancer Maelie Palamo on his hand, on a table, you couldn’t help but understand why!
The show was Imbalance by Joli Vyann, which combined acrobatic skills with athletic dance in a way we haven’t seen yet in DanceXchange’s current season. Whilst each performance has been of course athletic, Imbalance brought dance together with circus, the kind of moves you wouldn’t expect to see in contemporary dance, and it was jaw-droppingly good.
The performance explored our use of technology from laptops to mobile phones and through the performance we saw this reliance on technology become something more obsessive, tipping the life/work balance to the wrong side of the scales. Through a clever soundtrack that included the voices of young people reading out abusive tweets and hashtags, it reminded us of how unhealthy our obsession with social media can be.
As an increasing dance enthusiast, and now having seen several amazing performances at DanceXchange, my only criticism would have been to condense the piece, for me I would have kept it to 45mins max!
But it was the dancer’s strength, fitness and the way they brought together their clear acrobatic skill to create something that looked so effortless and stylish, that I keep thinking about. Jan Patzke, a former stuntman, was a giant of a man, easily over 6ft, yet his obvious strength as he appeared to effortlessly hold his partner above his head and literally flung her around his neck until she was a blur was all done with the utmost gentleness.
Hugely inspiring for my own fitness regime, although I have a long way to go with my gym sessions if I think I am going to start balancing someone on my head whilst tweeting!
You can find out more about the remaining DanceXchange season here.
And if the gym is not for you but you want to improve your fitness and embrace the wonderful world of dance, DanceXchange offer classes to suit all levels of experience in all styles, take a look here.
Tune into Heart Drivetime with Steve Denyer from 4-7pm here