#TheFive – an explosion of dance, animation and martial arts

Boy Blue’s artistic directors; Kendrick ‘H20’ Sandy (choreographer) and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante (composer) have teamed up with Japanese manga artist Akio Tanaka and London based film makers Yeast Culture to bring an immersive experience of hip-hop dance, manga and martial arts.

The Five and the Prophecy of Prana image

The Five and the Prophecy of Prana follows the story of five troublesome youths who are sent to a young offender’s camp run by Wang Tang (Tommy Franzen) grand master of the martial art, Pih Poh Fu. What they don’t know is that he is a Guardian of Prana – a secret warrior group who have been entrusted to protect a spell that controls peace. When one of the Guardians rebels and seeks more power, the five youths must lead the battle of good against evil.

As the lights in the theatre dimmed I knew this was going to be a show like no other. A deep voice narrated the story and a giant storybook appeared at the back of the stage to help tell the story. Some of the conversations popped up like in a comic book which I thought was really clever.

The dancers were stunning throughout the show and as their skills developed they were able to show their growth really believably. The sets were mainly made up of white blocks which animations were projected onto to make the backgrounds for each of the scenes.

The combination of projection and real time fighting made the fighting scenes exceptional. I especially enjoyed the dancer’s slow-mo fighting scenes as it really added something special to the show. One of my other favourite scenes was the fighting scene in a nightclub as the way they used the lighting really made the club look like it was shaking and the fighter look super powerful.

Two standout performances of the show for me were those by;

Soo Lin (Michèle ‘Paleta’ Rhyner) as she played good girl turned bad really well, and her super flexibility added extra creepiness to her villain status. She really did remind me of a spider.

Wang Tang (Tommy Franzen) as he played the grand master superbly. His fighting and dancing skills were breath taking and he was mesmerising to watch. He really did remind me of a kung-fu warrior from a martial arts film.

#TheFive is an out of this world must see for all of the family that comes highly recommended.

Words by Michelle Stannard

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