Non-stop energy makes for a Bolly good show
Bombay Express, Albany Theatre, Coventry, May 24 only. An hour of non-stop, energetic dance in fantastic costumes to a fast beat is what the dance group Bollylicious brought to Coventry. The surprise was to discover afterwards that the group is made up of four non-Indian dancers from Belgium, who love Indian dance forms and have had good press when they performed in India. The three female and one male dancer embrace different Indian dance styles, mixed in with some other aspects from their large repertoires. There are pieces of Kathakali (without the vivid make up), Rajasthan folk dance and dance familiar to anyone who watches Bollywood movies, all performed to the sort of music played in those films. For me the slower dances using elaborate hand gestures and pronounced facial expressions stood out for their emphasis on precision. However there was lots of energy and humour in other dances too, with the storyline on the wooing of a woman or lots of flirting, performed with humour. One traditional-styled piece was also performed by a dancer with a row of cymbals strapped to her lower leg which she struck with a metal hammer. Tom Decuyper shone as the sole male performer, his character chasing and charming the ladies, and showing his talents at spinning round to an amazing extent. Ayla Joncheere, Laura Neyskens and Julie Thomas also showed great skill and style in their performances. The beautiful costumes of all the dancers, which were changed several times during the show, were elaborate, colourful and sparkly. At times they looked a bit lost on the big Albany stage, and some of the more modern Bollywood numbers looked like they could do with a huge chorus dancing away in the background, but overall it was a fun night of talent and energy.