Groove On Down The Road @ Queen Elizabeth Hall Review

Make your evening shine by being part of the awe inspiring hip-hop sensation Groove On Down the Road, which is brought to you by the massive talent entity that is ZooNation‘s Artistic Director, Kate Prince, and ease on down the road to the Southbank Centre this month for a show you can’t sit still for.

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Groove On Down the Road is a contemporary hip-hop dance reimagining of the family favourite, The Wizard of Oz, brought to the Southbank Centre in celebration of this summers’ Festival of Love, showcasing these talented youths love of hip-hop music and dance.

Groove On Down the Road is the first full-scale production created by ZooNation youth Company (ZYC) and due to popular demand, is back again this summer to deliver bundles of family friendly fun from start to finish.Even before you get down to realising just how fantastic all of the choreography and delivery in this production is, one of the most memorable parts of the entire night is how important and beautifully executed the message is that ZYC puts forth.

Kate Prince (ZooNations founder and Artistic Director – also the shows director, writer and choreographer) said she was inspired to reinvent The Wizard of Oz because she is “really interested in creative intelligence and what that means, and can we harness the incredible creative abilities that young people have.”

Keeping with the message of not stifling childrens’ creativity and individuality, everything in the production correlated with the norms of a typical school room, for example: the yellow brick road was created from blank yellow pages from school work books, the citizens of Oz wore green school uniforms uniquely altered for each of them, the Poppy girls symbolized the temptations of drugs and alcohol, and the Wicked Witch of the Wests’ monkeys were all dressed in the same drab uniform.

Aside from the remarkable set, costume, music and lighting design, the best part of the show is definitely simply being able to watch the masterful dancing that these young professionals make look so effortless. Thirteen year old, Arizona Snow (Dorothy) is almost never offstage in the 1 hour and 15 minute performance, yet didn’t even break a sweat as she kept up the momentum in this high energy showcase. Jiah Akwa, 17 (Scarecrow), Michael Ureta, 18 (Tin Man), and Mike McNeish, 18 (Toto), all blew the audience away with killer moves unique to each of their characters, yet for me, the performance of the night was performed by understudy Dylan Mayoral, 17, in his opening sequence as the cowardly Lion; with a smooth balletic quality to his moves, Mayoral was simply flawless.

With an insatiable cast of 30 extremely talent youths, you can bet that there was not a single dull moment on stage, and every single participant deserves the credit due to them for pulling off smash hit performances night after night, and I know that I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for each of them. 5/5

Review written by Kitty Harper.

Groove On Down The Road is currently showing at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (Southbank Centre) until Tuesday 26th August. For more information on the production, visit here…

 

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