Beats on Pointe at Peacock Theatre is a dance production which left me with many questions for its creators. From the choice of music and sound set up to costumes and props, all of which seems to be misplaced in this production. While you expect to see a ‘Step Up’-like mixture of classical ballet and street dance, you get a strange version of a dancing battle with unimaginative and repetitive choreography.

The show lacks any elements of storytelling and this is one of the main problems. We see a series of short, 1-1.5 minutes long acts, randomly changing one another on stage without any logic behind. It reminds me of watching an endless chain of TV commercials with choreography, feeling more like a teaser for the production rather than the show itself. The soundtrack is a mix of 1980-1990-2000s hits and overall feels pop and cheesy.

Another problem of this show is the undelivered promise of the clash between ballet on pointe and hip-hop dance. In reality, there is little to none from classical ballet, it’s jazz routines at best, and performances seem to be dull and simplistic. The choreography keeps repeating itself and if in the first part of the show you still can stay interested in the action on the stage, the second part turns out to be completely boring. Furthermore, creators of the show somehow believe that to make the dance routines interesting, they need to dress dancers in tutus decorated with glitter, rhinestones, and neon lights. It does look bright and flashy indeed, but the choreography should be interesting on its own.

The volume of the music is set to maximum, making it truly uncomfortable to sit through the show. When mic’s were used I felt physical pain in my ears. Younger members of the audience were cheering loudly and giving long rounds of applause to each simple acrobatic trick. But, there were technical mistakes on stage and the show felt unfinished, still at the rehearsal phase rather than ready for its opening night.

The show may turn out great on the stage of small towns across the country, but in one of the key dance institutions in London, you expect a completely different level of choreography, storytelling and production. Beats on Pointe fails to deliver good entertainment or artistic performance.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Beats on Pointe at The Peacock Theatre
Author Rating
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Elizaveta is a journalist by education and marketer at the present moment, she practices ballet in the weekends and reads classic plays in the evenings. Elizaveta has been in love with the theatre for years and is always happy to recommend some interesting, original, and undiscovered theatrical gems.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This review reflects the show PERFECTLY.

    The performance and costumes were amateurish, there’s absolutely nothing gluing one part of a show with the next and the ‘comedy’ moments were awkward and contrived. There’s no narrative or order-of-things to engage the audience beyond a slightly annoying stage-hand coming on before the show starts to try whip up a frenzy.

    Random beatboxing, rapping without rhyme or rhythm and a female vocal solo was all a bit disjointed, again without a story seemed to be stuff that was included ‘because we can’. Even the token camp fellow mincing around on stage for cheers became annoying because he did nothing to earn the adulation beyond wearing lycra shorts and a pink tutu.

    We didn’t completely hate it, there were moments of joy to be had but they were quickly rubbed out by the pointless pretending-to-be-a-DJ in the corner and the super-awkward old lady twerk moment.

    Our view (our being a family of four, kids both dance scholars) is that if the billing was more honest about it being just a fun, two-hour troop show with two ballerinas putting in a turn and not in the west end, it would be fine.

    But this is NOT a west end quality show and needs some real work to make it so.

  2. I didn’t see this show as the culture clash between ballet and street dance could not be less interesting as a concept. But it was on in Manchester this weekend and I did wonder what it was like. I’m sure this review is pretty much as I would experience the show however there is one comment that shocked me with it’s London-centric arrogance: “The show may turn out great on the stage of small towns across the country, but in one of the key dance institutions in London, you expect a completely different level of choreography, storytelling and production.” Sorry, but if it isn’t good enough for London then I don’t see why – or how you have the nerve – to suggest that that it may be good enough for the rest of the country.

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