Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the new dance production featuring the music of Sting and choreography by Kate Prince.
The Guardian: ★★★★ “It has clarity, immediacy and mainstream appeal, and there’s no denying that the songs are great. Most importantly, it has an infectious, pressing energy that boils over the edge of the stage. It should be a big hit.”
Time Out: ★★ “Improbabilities pile up, and the ending is preposterously saccharine. Where’s the anger? Prince doesn’t call on the darker side of hip hop dance, but sticks to showcasing the robust b-boy skills of her company, mixed with punchy contemporary moves.”
The Stage: ★★★★ “The sophisticated lighting and superb projections enhance and illuminate the storytelling, especially those sequences involving shadow dancing and silhouettes, particularly in the sad/funny sequence ‘The Bed’s Too Big Without You’, which is an extraordinarily intricate combination of dance, graphics and set.”
The Telegraph: ★★★★ “Still, the show is by Kate Prince, the hip-hop maestra behind such past hits as Into the Hoods and Some Like it Hip Hop: ie it has form, not to mention her ensemble of fantastically gymnastic young dancers, ZooNation. What’s more, much of Sting’s music – of which she turns out to be a lifelong admirer – has socio-political under- or indeed overtones. So maybe (just maybe…) deploying it, as here, in the service of an always-topical story about displaced refugees, might not prove so silly after all.”
Evening Standard: ★★★★ “Yes, this is a tale of displacement, loss, conflict, but one of human resilience too. But mainly? It’s just a lot of popping, locking fun.”
Culture Whisper: ★★★★★ “In short, Message in a Bottle is a triumph. For once, a spontaneous standing ovation is richly deserved. Go. Take the children, and the rest of the family, too.”
The Upcoming: ★★★★ “ZooNation delivers a performance that resonates in the heart and in the ears. A vigorous production that shakes and moves to tell a tale of today’s humanity.”
The Reviews Hub: ★★★★★ “It all adds up to a beautiful story, told with a clarity and joy that cannot fail to win the heart. And, as with all Kate Prince choreography, from her work on shows such as Everybody’s Talking About Jamie to her body of work with her own ZooNation company, it is full of genre-defying combinations of hip hop, ballet and contemporary dance, and an ensemble that manages to dance in perfect synchronicity with one another, while always retaining individual character.”
Message in a Bottle will play at the Peacock Theatre until 21 March 2020 before embarking on a UK and international tour.