If surreal slapstick clown Bill Irwin and gravity-defying danseur Sergei Polunin had a love child, who was raised by suave French actor Jean Reno in a house built with the economic absurdity of Samuel Beckett, you’d have Yaman Okur. Whilst pianist Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven opens the act with a commanding turn at the grand piano, looking a groovy kind of gangly, like a Gallic Steven Merchant, the arrival of Okur – foreshadowed by a sort of a phantasmagorical presence of the same wardrobe – kicks off a series of captivating, delightful, hilarious, suspenseful and some times doleful moments that will entrance you for an hour. This performance is absolutely wonderful.
Collaborating together for two years, the musician and the dancer, have created an expressive and intriguing spectacle that is exhilarating to watch and powerful to feel via all the senses. Either of the elements of dance or live music would be a pleasure to consume on their own but, together – along with some of the most ‘actorly’ dancing I’ve ever scene – it’s magical. In parts the mood is absurd and in others it’s slapstick. No matter what, the energy, grace and outrageous physicality of Okur is impossible not to entrance its audience.
Whether you’re a fan of ballet or street dance – or if you’ve never been to a dance performance before – this layered, visceral and technically brilliant work with it’s soulful observations of everyday life and its combination of grace and wit, is fulfilling and glorious.
Review by Mary Beer
Following the presentation of Pierre Rigal’s acclaimed Scandale in Autumn 2018, Breakin’ Convention Presents returns with 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol (1mm above the floor) from French choreographer Yaman Okur in collaboration with Sébastien Lefrançois and Traffic De Styles.
A master of illusion and widely recognised as one of the most innovative b-boys in the world, Okur first performed at Breakin’ Convention in 2010 as part of Pro Phenomen. For 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol, Okur joins forces with jazz pianist Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven, creating a unique blend of breaking, music and masterful illusions.
Breakin’ Convention Presents — Yaman Okur and Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven’s 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol
Lilian Baylis Studio
Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R
27 & 28 September 2019