Some like it hop. Well Dickson Mbi certainly does, writes Christopher Walker.
His new one-man dance piece Enowate recently had a sensational world premiere at Sadlers Wells.
It was strangely disturbing, but will no doubt speak volumes to hip- hop fans in London’s Afro-Caribbean community.
Enowate, means truth stands. And Dickson Mbi was inspired to create it following what he says was a life-changing journey to his ancestral home in Cameroon.
In this piece the artist asks himself that most basic of questions – “who am I?”
Dickson said: “I really believe I’m just a normal guy trying to do something with himself and I’d like people from my area to feel welcome in the environment I’m working in.”
Well “normal” only works as a self-description of Dickson if it encompasses being extremely talented.
He trained at Lewisham College & London Contemporary Dance School, mentored by Stuart Thomas and Bim Malcomson.
He has a background in jazz, ballet and contemporary dance and is well known in the hip hop dance community for his remarkable popping skills.
“Popping” as I’m sure you know, is a funky dance move on the streets, involving the technique of quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk in the dancer’s body. ~
I hope you’re not trying this at home.
In Enowate, Dickson draws on sinuous elements of hip-hop and contemporary dance in combination with original music and otherworldly animated projections.
These are quite remarkably particularly in the closing sequence. It is not quite clear who is responsible for them as no one other than Dickson is credited.
The piece is only an hour long which is merciful as it is very disturbing at times. Most especially when Dickson moves in a most inhuman way.
It brought to mind alien creatures in science fiction movies, such as the crab-like monster in Super 8.
Disturbing and challenging but very much worth it. Snap, crackle, pop…
Sadlers Wells is a wonderful platform for such interesting works.
Picture: Enowate Picture: Nick Thornton Jones