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Review: Z Bo Jackson Dance Gala

Z Bo Jackson is a new dance company created by esteemed choreographer Barbara Evans (AKA Bo Jackson). This dance gala was their dramatic entrance into the world.

The opening number, performed by Z Bo Jackson, was a hellish sex fantasy. The dancers were dressed in pristine bondage, each autonomous, in charge of their own body and sexuality.

Their next number, the final of Act One, seemed to be a sequel to their first one. The demonic dancers were now stronger and bolder. They all wore tight, revealing underwear, proud to show off their bodies, and finished their looks with black angel wings.

The principal male dancer of this number was Manchester’s own Wade Lewin. Lewin has appeared in The Lion King in the West End and also the films Aladdin and Rocketman.

Chrissy Brooke, the winner of Dance Dance Dance, was the number’s female lead, and a winner she was… She was the Eve to Lewin’s Lucifer, though I think Lewin seduced the entire theatre…

The long number ended with the triumphant dancers crowding around the centre of the stage, proud and mighty. It was gripping and cathartic. I felt seduced, desiring to join them in the darkness, embracing each other’s sexuality… Then the stage lights went up…

The headliner of the night was dance troupe Flawless, who you might remember were the runner-up when Diversity won Britain’s Got Talent…

Perhaps Diversity were busy?

Jokes aside, Flawless were nobody’s runner-up. The crowd loved their three very different but equally impressive numbers. They lived up to their name. They oozed sex-appeal. They were dripping in finesse. They were groovy, funky, swanky, and sexy. They were the visual representation of Black (and Asian) Boy Magic. Okay, I’ll stop…

The event was hosted by Kimberly Wyatt, most famous for being a member of the Pussycat Dolls (or Nicole Scherzinger and the Pussycat Dolls…). She’s the one with the short blonde hair who always did that leg-in-the-air thing… She was also a judge on Got to Dance, won Celebrity MasterChef, and is an ambassador for the Bloch Dance World Cup.

Wyatt was great as a host simply because she didn’t take it too seriously. She was fun and free-spirited, which was refreshing. She conducted interviews with Jonathan Wilkes (of the Wilkes Academy but whose Wikipedia page simply refers to him as being ‘a close friend of Robbie Williams’…) and Bo Jackson herself.

I was feeling a little disappointed that she was just hosting and not dancing, though she is heavily pregnant… She asked Flawless if her unborn baby could join their dance troupe and made a joke that something might happen later on. Whilst the audience presumed she was referring to her going into labour, she was actually foreshadowing Flawless’ final number, where she leaped out from the wings and joined them for one last dance! She might be heavily pregnant, but she still owned her body…

Brandon Lawrence’s (from Birmingham Royal Ballet) solo number was the perfect display of unashamed masculine strength. Maybe he could do a performance on Good Morning America to show that this is what happens when a man sticks with ballet, Lara Spencer.

Z Bo Jackson Company had an all-male number; it was masculine and bold but at the same time sexy and vulnerable. Like Lawrence’s solo, it was inspiring seeing grown-men unafraid to be bare, vulnerable and exposed, and proud to dance for a cultured audience.

Company Jinks and Phil Winston’s TheatreWorks were also both fabulous, though the latter’s number was very similar to Z Bo Jackson Company’s Act One finale number.

This event provided me with some of the best dancing I’ve ever seen, and I’m excited to see what else Z Bo Jackson has to offer.

Tags: Barbara Evans, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Bo Jackson, Dance, Flawless, Kimberly Wyatt, Palace Theatre, Pussycat Dolls, review, the Pussycat Dolls, Z Bo Jackson

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. BBC logger. Politics and IR Student. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Snapchat: theonlywayisjam. To write for theatre, email [email protected]
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