On coming away from a performance that I struggled to find any positives in, I always feel a sense of guilt, but sadly this is true of the new offering from choreographers Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez, Titanium.
Dance fusions are very much of the moment and Titanium promises a fusion of hip hop and flamenco but unfortunately I was left with the overall impression of a show that does not know what it is. Containing no discernible structure and a mix of interlinked group numbers and solos, Titanium meanders between an urban take on both these dance styles without really saying anything or going anywhere.
The cast individually appear strong. The hip hop b-boys who finally get a chance to showcase their best moves in the climax of this short show with head spinning, leaps and legs flying in the air, are impressive but an exciting conclusion is not enough to save the artistic confusion that makes up the majority of the performance.
Dancer Iker Karrera evokes Stomp with an early solo featuring strips of titanium against a dingy backdrop. Karrera, like the entire cast, displays faultless musicality but the rhythms are so persistent and abrasive my ears were a little offended by the relentless onslaught of dance shoe on metal.
The group numbers failed to ignite too. They intended to be strong displays of masculinity fused with intricate flamenco origins but sadly when assembled en masse, the interplay between the cast smacked of knowing self-indulgence and self-adoration rather than the united tough guy image they’d hoped to create as they took it in turns to encourage each other with their various party pieces.
Admittedly, the dance content was never going to be to my personal preference, however the production seen challenged both musically and in its staging too. The staging is dark and dingy throughout and committed my pet hate with lighting that meant for long periods the stage nor the performer could clearly be seen, something I can’t stand when dance is entirely visual.
Things don’t improve in costuming either: the group number resembled a reformed 90s boyband in sleeveless black vests and camouflage trousers, leaving me scrambling for redeeming features. Musically is where I can be the most positive, between the grungy metallic thuds of the urban interludes, live vocalists provide the welcome flamenco flavour.
Titanium is playing at the Peacock Theatre until 23 May. For tickets and more information, see the Peacock Theatre website.