We Sampled 'Dance: Sampled'

Fatso suits abound

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We enter the hallowed portals of The Hippodrome. Leave the hurly burly of Hurst Street and we are suddenly encased in a world of dance: the foyer, the main floor, the restaurant has hiphop, Indian classical dance, even the bouncing clattery looniness of Morris Men. All free.

Dance: Sampled (it ends tonight - Saturday) is a world of movement. And that free stuff is inside so you can get your dancing rocks off, Primal Scream-style, while keeping warm and spending nothing.

Buy a ticket (c’mon, cheapo) and the staged pieces are high class: Birmingham Royal Ballet with a lyrical piece backed by Grieg; an Argentinian couple —Julia Urruty and Claudio Gonzalez — hilariously donning fat suits and wild wigs to dance a lubricious (we love that word) crazed tango; and the Havana-based Acosta Danza with a twosome about an angsty domestic crisis.

Standout though is The Richard Alston Dance Company which offers a light and airy ensemble piece which fills the stage with Balkan gypsy music. Some of the lip synch for the pre-recorded interviews were out... tsk tsk, but that’s us being petty. And we’re not petty people.

Anyway, the Hippo has a full timetable today (Saturday) with workshops starting at 1pm.

And then the free stuff again from 6pm which invites participation: local groups such as ACE Youth Dance, B-boys and yes, indeedy-doo, the one and only Jockey Morris. Men with them bells, sticks and whacko wreaths in their hair. What's not to love?

Birminghamhippodrome.com or call 0844 338 5000

By Richard Lutz

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