Art meets sport in theatrical style with the latest performance by French dance troupe Compagnie Käfig.
The Paris-based artistes will visit the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on Monday and Tuesday with their latest production, Boxe Boxe, a breath-taking show which fuses the noble art of boxing with dance.
Through choreography by artistic director Mourad Merzouki, the brutality and elegance of both these contrasting worlds collide in a spine-tingling show which packs a knock-out punch.
‘Each aspect of boxing has an equivalent in choreography,’ says Mourad.
‘The ring and the stage, the gong and the curtain going up, the referee and the eagle-eyed critics – for me there are all kinds of similarities. So there’s a mix – the excitement of combat and fear of the spectators, the gut fear of getting badly knocked about, of taking a licking, together with that great feeling of abandoning yourself, of achieving absolute fulfilment in that magic moment on stage or in the ring.’
Eight exceptional dancers blend martial arts, street and contemporary dance to create a spirited and stunning fusion of hip-hop and fisticuffs.
Boxe Boxe draws on the rich pageantry and theatricality of boxing where bright red gloves effortlessly morph into puppets and punch balls explode like featherweight balloons.
The dancers move in perfect unison to live music from the Debussy String Quartet, with beautifully rendered classical music including Schubert, Ravel, Philip Glass and Glenn Miller.
Mourad founded Compagnie Käfig in 1996. He began practicing martial arts and circus arts when he was only seven years old and at 15 Mourad discovered hip-hop and began to develop this street art which he still combines with other choreographic styles today.
In June 2009, Mourad was appointed director of the Centre chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne where he continues to develop his own projects.
Boxe Boxe comes to the Mayflower from April 14 to April 15. Tickets £14.50–£19.50.
Call: (023) 8071 1811 or visit mayflower.org.uk for details.
n To see a video of Boxe Boxe visit Portsmouth.co.uk/video.