Talented teenagers from across Wolverhampton and Sandwell are being given the opportunity to perform their acclaimed hip-hop version of The Wizard of Oz, Groove on Down the Road, at the Birmingham Hippodrome for three nights from Wed 27 to Fri 29 September.
The show was developed in July 2017 when the cast spent three weeks working alongside a team from Sadlers Wells’ based ZooNation, one of the UK’s leading hip-hop dance companies, whose previous productions include the critically acclaimed Into the Hoods, Some Like It Hip Hop and The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The new production was premiered at The Arena Theatre Wolverhampton in August 2017.
Set in a fantastical urban world, ZooNation’s Groove On Down The Road tells the story of Dorothy and her adventures with Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion on their journey to Oz. The audience join Dorothy, complete with ruby sneakers, and friends in this hip-hop dance production as they follow the yellow brick road in a quest to find happiness and family.
The show’s director, Rhimes Lecointe, who cast the production through auditions with Coppice Performing Arts School, Our Lady & St. Chad Catholic Academy and St Matthias School in Wolverhampton and Shireland Collegiate Academy in Sandwell, explains:
‘The response from the audience when we premiered the show at the Arena theatre was amazing and the quality and enthusiasm these young people have shown has been extraordinary. We are thrilled to be showcasing the work at Birmingham Hippodrome which has such a strong reputation for dance.’
Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome added:
‘The West Midlands is brimming with young creative talent and we see this all the time in our work with schools, colleges and the community here at Birmingham Hippodrome. Recently local young people have performed with us in shows like Fagin’s Twist and The Red Shoes Curtain Raiser whilst events such as B-Side Hip-Hop Festival, Dance Sampled and U-Dance – the national Youth Dance Festival for the UK – have seen a vibrant explosion of young dance talent across our surrounding streets and stages. Through our work with world-renowned dance companies like ZooNation, we’re thrilled to be nurturing the dance talent of the future whilst also encouraging young people, from all kinds of backgrounds to enjoy and take advantage of our world-class facilities and to express themselves through dance’.
The project was supported by Wales Millennium Centre, Arts Council England, The University of Wolverhampton and Children in Need as part of an ambitious programme to encourage progression and develop dance talent in the region.
Groove On Down The Road visits The Patrick Centre at Birmingham Hippodrome from Wed 27 – Fri 29 Sep. For tickets, call 0844 338 5000 or visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com for details.
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