A detour worth taking

There is always something going on at Dansehallerne, the pulsating performing arts warehouse slap bang in the middle of the landmark Carlsberg brewery complex, and on Friday, the Detour Urban Dance Festival returned to shake the floorboards with five inspirational and unique pieces.


‘Boxwood’ is the title of a stylish solo work by the nimble and fluid Anna Näsström, which is set to the dubstep soundtrack of the same name by Kaoshus. It’s an intriguing, sharp, chiselled piece that combined elements of modern contemporary dance, hip-hop, waacking and vogue.  Näsström, fashionably attired in platform boots, strode purposefully onto the stage as if on a catwalk, before moving fluidly around in a small rectangular box of light on the stage. Striking a variety of elegant poses, the nimble Näsström invited us into her own compelling universe.


The brilliant Bruce Blanchard had ten days to work together with young Danish dancers from the group 2bDanzefusion. The result was an impressively energetic performance that was both breathtaking and humorous. Using gasping sounds and stomp to add an element of aural movement on the stage, the eight vibrant dancers expertly got to grips with Blanchard’s challenging choreography. It was an intimate and popular performance that deservedly won a warm reception from the audience.


Polished Norwegian troupe dEEp doWN dopEIZM (3D) are an Oslo dance crew formed in 2008 through a passion for the music and freestyle dance. In recent performances, the crew have matured impressively, and here in Copenhagen, they put on a visually evocative show. Beginning as a swaying unit rooted to the ground, they broke free to release the individual talents of the dancers. It was an incredibly tight, thoughtful and hypnotic performance that underlines the group’s growing reputation.


Vigdis Hentze Olsen, who hails from the Faroe Islands, has performed on stages from London to New York. The winner of the Danish 2006 ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ competition, she has moved away from the commercial to wholeheartedly embrace the experimental. Her edgy and ambitious choreographed piece ‘Catalyst’ took the audience into a mysterious and murky twilight zone where the dancers struggled gracefully against each other. This was an edgy and fascinating performance that demonstrated the potential in the fusion of contemporary and urban styles.


The undoubted highlight of the evening was the prolific and internationally renowned Soul Mavericks who provided the perfect climax to Detour by simply exploding onto the stage. Transforming themselves from soulless businessmen into irrepressible schoolkids, the incredible energy and classic Bboying talents of the crew filled the stage with stunning acrobatics and a healthy dose of personality. The Copenhagen audience were also privileged to witness the charming and talented Atkinson sisters: Bgirls Terra and Eddie. It isn’t often that you see a six-year-old execute such perfect headspins! It was a phenomenal performance from the UK crew that brought the audience to their feet with a resounding standing ovation.


It was a perfect end to an evening that took plenty of detours through different styles, but was never in danger of losing the way.



September 14