ZooNation Dance Company is bringing hip hop dance away from the streets and into theatres. Their hugely successful Some Like it Hip Hop was described by The Times as "zany and zippy, hilarious and heartwarming" and their latest show, performed by ZooNation's Youth Company, has just as much joy and punch.
The famous Wizard of Oz tale is transformed into Groove On Down The Road, in which young Dorothy dreams herself out of the schoolroom and into a fantasy yellow brick road adventure. Alongside a humanised-form of Toto and transformed classmates (for example, Simon Crow, who has failed in his essay, becomes a scarecrow wishing for brains), they travel to Emerald City High School to meet the wizard.
The show is a lot of fun and the talent of the performers on display is remarkable considering their ages (between 10 and 19). Jaih Betote Dipito as the Scarecrow and Liam Francis as Lion excel in particular with their polished hip hop skills. Arizona Snow also makes a charming and assured Dororthy wearing red sparkly sneakers.
This is another crowd-pleaser from ZooNation that will delight children and adults of all ages. And seeing the numerous younger audience members break-dancing in the foyer afterwards made us smile every bit as much as the show itself.
Groove On Down The Road is at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX, until 1 September. Tickets priced £10-32 are available from the Southbank Centre website. Londonist received a complimentary ticket for the performance.
Photo: Ed Miller