Fringefeed | 17 Feb 2020

Cultural Renegades

Back for its fourth season, FRINGE WORLD Award winning show Cultural Renegades filled the Lotterywest De Parel Spiegeltent with the sounds of hip hop, afrobeats and dance hall with electrifyingly mesmerising fusion of spoken word, music and dance created by Lisa Crowe and held down by DJ Aslan, MC Strictly DT and the crew of insanely versatile and talented dancers.

A roaming performance that promised to encourage “the notions of unity and freedom of expression,” crowd participation by “taking their audience back to a time where cipher circles dominated a night out,” and did it deliver.

DJ Aslan came through with a meticulously curated playlist of musical fire, while MC and host Strictly DT hypnotised the crowd with deeply emotive and thought-provoking spoken word and freestyle rap. Add an extra layer of dance to help fuse the show together drawing from a range of styles from breakdance, dancehall and hip hop and you’ve got a fool-proof recipe for an incredibly immersive, powerful and uplifting experience.

Crowe succeeds in producing a show that fuses music and dance, two universal languages that transcend social constructs like race and ethnicity and serves to unite people regardless of their background. What was created was a safe space for both performers and audience members alike.

A celebration of diversity and representation, reflected in the musical choices and the faces represented in the entire cast, it was refreshing and extremely relevant in today’s political and social climate.

Cultural Renegades exceeded expectations – dance and cipher circles, crowd inclusion and participation, and they did not miss a beat when things seemed to go awry with parts of the Spiegeltent flooring coming undone. A cast of true professionals, the show went on and vibe continued as a dance circle broke outside as the crowd spilled out fo the tent in front of the entrance of the Spiegel tent.

Nothing but a joyful and elevating experience. A must see.

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Katherine Curnow

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