Big Dance Bus – All the World’s a Stage
Who says rainbows can only be seen after the rain? In the thick of a downpour in Leicester Square, I saw a rainbow – a most incredible one that was bursting with colour into a kaleidoscopic vision of joyful, unbridled celebration. Of course no rainbow is complete without its seven colours, certainly not this one!
The Big Dance Bus is an archetypal double-decker Routemaster. Resplendent in red, the bus is one of the city’s principal icons. It has been livening up London’s streets and monuments this summer, offering Londoners and tourists alike an entertaining feast for the eyes. Hakeem Onibudo, the enthusiastic host of the Bus’ programme, encouraged the audience to rap and sing along, urging to rain to stop. The orange jumper he was wearing surely was a sign of his interminable positivity.
A myriad of groups performed on the Bus’ dance floor – English National Ballet dancers Zhang Jia and Max Westwell embodied grace and elegance in an excerpt from Swan Lake, and the South Australian Precision Dance Team, clad in white and yellow dresses, thrilled with high kicks and radiant smiles – One Singular Sensation they definitely were! But not only did various dance genres share the stage, different cultures from around the world got their turn in the spotlight as well. Altachinolli Dance, who hail from Mexico, turned heads even before they took to the stage, fielding many a photo request from passersby. Feathers adorned their voluminous headdresses, prompting audience members to venture out from under the protective shield of their umbrellas for a closer look. To the beat of the drum played center stage, the effervescent performers stepped and skipped, the audience eagerly clapping along.
Due to the rain, the terpsichorean activity by the Bus had to be interrupted and a grassy, green Astroturf was laid over the dance floor before it was deemed safe to continue. This was a stark reminder of the summer, glimpses of which surfaced in Leicester Square in the morning. The intrepid audience, hungry for more, did not need sunshine to turn their skies to blue. They greeted each performance with smiles and generous applause, encouraging everyone who graced the Big Dance Bus stage – from the young girl in a purple dress who simply wandered on, to the live percussionist under his indigo hoodie in Union Dance’s hiphop act.
Filed under: Ballet, Big Dance, Dance | Leave a Comment
Tags: ballet, ballet dance, Big Dance, cultural olympiad, english ballet, events, london, London 2012 Festival, national, olympics