MENwhoDANCE ‘Alpha’

MENwhoDANCE ‘Alpha’
Adelaide Fringe Festival 2024. Star Theatre One at Star Theatres, Hilton; Feb 6 & Feb 20 – Mar 3, 2024; Port Lincoln, Feb 8; Whyalla, Feb 9; Port Pyrie, Feb 10; Renmark, Feb 14; Mt Gambier, Feb 16.

The title of this production is MENwhoDANCE ‘Alpha’. However, it is so much more than that. The boys don’t just dance, they sing and most of all they entertain!

The men in question, Charlie, Calin, Bailey, Willian, Rhys and Dhuruva individually have their own styles but mould them into a tight unit which is like a union of Human Nature and Manpower, they are the boy band of dance groups.

I saw the show in 2022, so I was naturally keen to see how it had evolved. It is now a two-hour show (including interval) with an emphasis on comedy and includes ballet, modern dance, hip hop, tap, circus skills and more. The boys hail from all over the world, but are united by their common love of dance and entertainment.

The production is well paced and conceived by Malcolm Harslett, cleverly lit by Luke Bartholomew, features some well-designed audio-visual effects and is choreographed by the boys themselves.

There is so much to choose from stylistically, ranging from an alien on a segway and umbrellas (Charlie), an underwater scene featuring aerial silks (all the boys), a testosterone filled workman number complete with a torn t-shirt (Willian) and a golden hat that causes the wearer to dance uncontrollably when worn (Dhuruva and Rhys).

I particularly enjoyed the tribute to Spartacus and his battle with Gannicus featuring the balletic talents of Charlie and Bailey, who later tap battle in ‘Everything Old is New Again’, bringing back old Hollywood.

Other highlights are the boys’ version of ‘Fever’, performed on stools and reminiscent of the famous ‘Cell Block Tango’, some clever unicycle action on a confined stage (Calin), Bollywood hips in ‘Indian Shadows’ (led by Dhuruva), and a steamy version of ‘Fever’ (Charlie, Bailey, Willian, and Rhys)

There were a couple of technical ‘moments’ involving lighting and miking which did not affect the enjoyment of the evening. This company has had thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment stolen very recently and together with community efforts have moved Heaven and Earth to present a tight evening’s entertainment.

This production will be touring to Whyalla, Port Pirie, Mt Gambier, and Renmark, where I am confident the production will be well received!

The show then returns to Star Theatres, a venue which is rapidly becoming the ‘Off Broadway’ of Adelaide. This show is well suited to its intimate auditorium, where you can get ‘up and personal’ with the dancers.

MENwhoDANCE ‘Alpha’ is two hours of total enjoyment, where you can forget your troubles and enjoy the dance styles from six extremely talented men who are sure to please any theatregoer!

Barry Hill OAM

To check out or round-up of Adelaide Fringe reviews, click here.

Subscribe to our E-Newsletter, buy our latest print edition or find a Performing Arts book at Book Nook.