Breckin' Boundaries

Bury St Edmunds Corn Exchange

Bury St Edmunds Corn Exchange

This is the first East of England's all-boys dance platform and is a project designed to encourage youngsters to be involved in dance. One can't help thinking just how much the film Billy Elliot provided the seed to this wonderful idea and helped to dispel the long-held theory that boys cannot dance.

The 57 lads from six groups, with ages that range from primary to senior school, proved this clearly was not the case. There was only standing room left for the highly enthusiastic audience.

Tom Hobden, the choreographer-in-residence at the Theatre Royal, left the groups to perform without a hint of guidance from the sidelines. They were all extremely focused and demonstrated intense concentration but also enjoyment that can be had by the different forms of dance, ranging from contemporary to tap.

At times it was a cross between gymnastics and yoga, with extraordinary and innovative styles. Colchester Institute provided a STOMP-style performance with long-handled brushes and metal batons, and they even made their own music with these “instruments”.

Humour was in abundance in this act and others, which also included Wells Primary School, the Theatre Royal's own Boys Don't Dance Group, Dance East's Boyz United and Boys in Babergh, plus Positive Action (The Junction).

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It is amazing what they all packed into the hour-long session, showing vision, education but, most all, pure enjoyment by those performing and watching.

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