I’m a big fan of dance – in fact, there’s few things I enjoy more than spending an evening in a theatre being moved by movement. So for me a show like Dance: Sampled, where you’re treated to taster sessions from the world’s top dance companies, sounds pretty much perfect.
But this show isn’t just about existing dance devotees. Instead, it’s for all the people out there who have always been curious about dance but just don’t know where to begin. I mean, imagine going to a music concert if you didn’t know the difference between rap and classical – it would probably be pretty confusing. So, by presenting small snippets of different styles Dance: Sampled allows you to try out a bit of everything and find out which ones get your toes tapping.
A co-production from The Lowry, Sadler’s Wells and Birmingham Hippodrome (and part of Arts Council England’s new producing programme The Movement), the show features no fewer than eight acts including the newly formed Acosta Danza (setup by legendary ballet star Carlos Acosta), flamenco funsters dotdotdot and the amazing acrobatics of The Rugged. If none of those get your blood bounding then there’s always the challenging ballet of Carlos Pons Guerra, the sensual strutting of tango twisters Claudio Gonzalez and Julia Urruty, the cultured class of Northern Ballet, and BBC Young Dancer of the Year 2015 Connor Scott.
Plus there’s also a programme of workshops and pop-up performances, giving you the chance to make some moves of your own including a break dancing workshop, a ballet masterclass and even a dance battle.
Let me summarise: this is a chance to see a range of companies and styles that normally you’d have to travel several thousand miles, and probably spend several hundred pounds on tickets, to see. Think of it as the dance equivalent of the samples section in a fancy supermarket, where you get to try all the classy stuff without having to cough up the big bucks.