InNoForm at the Lilian Baylis StudioCultureTheatre
A slow-paced, almost tedious hip-hop dance show that is definitely not very “hip”, let alone all that “hop”, InNoForm brings very little to the London arts scene.
The Wild Card series is one of Lilian Baylis Studio’s more popular evenings and this September it starts with Botis Seva’s InNoForm. The work presented has been specially curated by the talented hip-hop dancer and choreographer. In his Wild Card performance, Seva has chosen to present an “immersive experience that invites the audience to question the commercialised products we have become entrenched in”. Aiming to bring hip-hop theatre to the public in a new, exciting way, and to “awake” them with new revelations and even brave statements about the world we live in, Seva’s attempt promised to be bold, unapologetic and original. Instead, it ends up being monotonous, unoriginal and even tiresome. From start to finish, it does not feel as if there is any culmination or some sort of catharsis at any point throughout the show.
A hesitant start sets the mood for what’s to come – a lot of the components seem to be dragging on, especially the very first dance performance, which shows four, otherwise very gifted, dancers go on with the same moves for what seems like an eternity. Had it been some kind of a composition or even more aplomb in the dance moves, maybe this longevity could have been endured somewhat easier but, sadly, there is not much to take out of what is being performed on stage.
The lack of a well-established plot or a strong narrative definitely has its toll. A lot of dance shows simply rely on the strong connection with the audience created by powerful dancing, but here this feeling was somewhat missing. This was not helped by the moment when the music was abruptly interrupted in favour of a low male voice speaking of how everyone was equal and inviting the people to speak to the person next to them. Followed by the lights shining on random individuals from the audience, seemingly making them feel uncomfortable, this looked a bit forced and almost laughable – the statements this “voice” was making failed to be profound and ended up sounding cheesy and, above all, clichéd.
Did the show shed the light on any inconvenient truths and shock the viewer with its honesty? Probably not, but it definitely managed to both bore and take out a few unintentional laughs from some of the attendees.
InNoForm was on at the Lilian Baylis Studio on the 24th and the 25th of September 2015, for further information or to book visit here.