BLKDOG @ Sadler’s Wells Review

The older we become, the easier it can get to let go of what was, or perhaps not, dependant on how you generally encounter the world. Age and experience making us that much wiser, detachment from childhood seen as a necessary process that determines who we currently are. Many a memory ingrained, either sharp as day or gradually fading. An exploration of the things we tend to suppress and not resolve, critically acclaimed choreographer and director Botis Seva and his dance company Far From the Norm returns to Sadler’s Wells with his Olivier Award winning Hip Hop dance work BLKDOG.

Drawn to the dark recesses of an individual’s mind, we watch Far From the Norm dancers – Jordan DouglasShangomola EdunjobiJoshua NashHayleigh SellasVictoria ShulunguNaïma SouhairLarissa Koopman and Ezra Owen speedily, nimbly yet uniformly travel around the Sadler’s Wells stage, crouched, monk-like – as if neurons firing off signals across one’s nervous system – thoughts, dreams, nightmares, scenarios, daydreams materialising as the collective explore various happenings as they arise.

Seva’s production inquisitively exploring the unaddressed, unknown, known and unsaid. In a time where we’re becoming braver in regards to addressing the topic of mental health, BLKDOG is an exemplary dance work for creating a safe and creative space to explore unresolved traumas and vices. Torben Lars Sylvest’s expansive musical compositions taking us further into this complex labyrinthine world, atmospheric sound elements mixed in with short spoken voice over sequences musically encapsulating the mental turmoil and anguish experienced by said individual. The cast battling the challenging assault course that is life, we root for them, they tightly grouped together – warriors ready for the onslaught. BLKDOG’s hypnotic, repetitive crouched motif very slowly inducing intrigue – unaware of what will happen next, we’re able to appreciate the uniformity of the ensemble, tension also simmering throughout as the evening serves as a purge of emotion and what was. A dynamic, intriguing, honest hour!

Written by Lucy Basaba.

BLKDOG was shown on Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October 2022 at Sadler’s Wells as part of their Well Seasoned Programme. To find out more about the production, visit here…

For our interview with choreographer and dancer Botis Seva, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop