I distinctly remember walking down to the venue at Rhino Room going, "I hope they don't make me dance - I'm terrible at dancing!" A pretty dumb thing to hope, when you're going to a dance-themed show, if you ask me!
But, lo and behold, that was exactly what the crew from Cultural Renegades made me (and the rest of the audience) do and I cannot stress this enough - I am so glad that they made me dance and move! I'm pretty sure I haven't had this much fun on a dance floor in years.
Despite the nerves kicking in quite strongly (even after having a couple of drinks to get into the mood), all of those feelings instantly dissipated when we found ourselves in the midst of the most energetic crowd I have ever had the pleasure of sharing an event space with!
Setting up their show to resonate strongly with a street dance-off type of vibe, Cultural Renegades aims to break down any and all barriers and instead, unite everyone through an electric combination of spoken word, free-flowing poetry, and, of course, dance. This was a highly immersive experience, where the audience inherently became a vital part of the show - not in an intimidating way, but in a way that imbibed a sense of community and instilled a sense of pride of coming together from so many different walks of life.
Upon glancing through the room, we could see a versatile age bracket that brought people in their teens and people in their late 50s posing a united and tightly knit bunch of individuals, who were simply looking for a great night out. That was exactly how the show proved itself worthy of hearty applause, as each performer took centre 'stage' (which replicated the look and feel of a mosh pit at a concert), as they emerged from the crowd to reveal their moves and their personalities to shine bright under the disco ball. The movements exhibited by each performer will leave you breathless and speechless, as they bring the heat to the dance floor and bounce between their own signature moves and synchronized routines.
My absolute favourite bit was when the whole room participated in this little exhilarating number, which reminded me of that episode from FRIENDS, where Monica ended up taking a dance class and got all the moves wrong, but was giving it a go, nonetheless. That was me (I was Monica) and despite not being able to get a single move right, I was over the moon to be able to have the opportunity to give it a shot!
The show is quite unlike anything I have ever experienced, but one that thoroughly brought back colourful memories from my trip to Jamaica a few years back. The choreography is solid (thanks to Creative Director Lisa Crowe), the beat drop is spectacular, the movements are fluid yet electric, the street style is on point, the hip-hop soundtrack will do miraculous things to your hips, and the overall urban ambience will create a rhythmic mix of locking, popping, house, breaking, twerking, and bopping that will leave you giddy in the head for all the right reasons. By participating in this very unique form of dance, it isn't a surprise on how the overall experience makes you feel confident and free to explore your own restrictions and barriers. This is a show that celebrates and does not discriminate - it encourages you to break away from anything and everything that may divide us and instead, place us into a universe that accepts and warmly welcomes people from different cultures to give a voice to their own identity in an inclusive environment.
You will turn into a "woo girl" like I did and you will have the best night of your life, this I can safely promise you.
Date attended: 28/02/2020 Overall rating: ★★★★★
Cultural Renegades has one more show - TONIGHT - at the Rhino Room, as part of Adelaide Fringe. Book your tix here.