Breakin’ Convention presents “The Ruggeds,” an energetic team of B-boys from Eindhoven, Netherlands – talented and heart-warming performers who befriends the audience and invites them into their home. They present an eclectic mix of breaking, acrobatics, music and humour through a story of urban living!
The curtains part to reveal an inviting shared interior space. An imaginatively designed set showcases multi-storeyed urban living. A comfy lounge with a television playing on, a study with stacks of books and a desk with a laptop placed next to a low reading light. A cosy loft bedroom. All split is different levels set in square boxes on the stage. These are framed in a metallic structure that are handy for the boys to climb up and down, doing their agile acrobatics and summersaults when they are not in the mood to use the conventional ladder conveniently placed.
Youths stream out of their loft bedrooms and TV lounge to loiter in shared spaces gradually transforming their movement into energetic and unusual dance moves. They are fun, crazy, athletic, brimming with infectious energy.
Interactions between the dancers are layered with dynamic breaking to alternating foot tapping and lyrical music. Weaved through innovative segments with a strong undercurrent of social messages “Between Us” also hints at the dichotomies and struggles of modern day living. In a sequence we see them turn into lifeless mannequins falling side to side and back to front, taking turns- some fall while others save, not once touching the floor leaving the audience on the edge of their seats gasping for air-in case there is a miss, one might disintegrate into pieces. Perhaps they mimic the lifeless mindless automatons that we have become in our pursuit of material goals.
Another sequence about plastic and littering sends a strong message about the environment.
The sequence where the entire group of dancers are hypnotised by the TV is thought provoking
There is a strong comic element to their acts which triggers laughter especially from the young audiences
Amidst solid dance routines, they trick each other through a variety of interesting dance choreography. There is friendly banter, innovative tricks and leg pulling which suddenly transform to stunning acrobatic moves
While they are in their zone, they do not, for once forget their audience-between sequences they exchange meaningful glances, an inclusive experience throughout. They make the audience join in through claps and clicks – and this is how the show actually begins. When the audience are settling in, a hand up to the elbow peers out through the split of the curtain and clicks, developing in a rhythm that the audience catches in. From there you are straight in it and part of it. There were giggles rolling around the house, particularly from the young audience who were thrilled at the tricks from the beginning through the 1 hour and fifteen minutes that the Ruggeds thoroughly entertain their audience.
Out and out entertaining, The Ruggeds have packaged breaking in an innovative action-packed superb dance show that has a story to tell and appeals to both young and old! True to its mission ‘Breakin’ Convention Presents’ is transforming hip-hop and breaking culture to a theatrical form by presenting imaginative and vibrant hip-hop performers from around the globe.
Running at the Peacock Theatre until Saturday 18th September-It is a thrilling experience and a great way to go back to live performances for those that are planning on something for the weekend!!
Reviewed by Protima Chatterjee