Lavish costumes, a well-set stage, and some good footwork marked “Climax 2009”. If John Britto Dance Company’s (JBDC) "Climax 2009" (at Kamaraj Arangam) proved anything, it was this — when rigorously trained feet and a keen eye for design come together, the effect can be overwhelming.
The stage and the costumes had been prepared on a lavish scale — a giant LED screen displayed moving images that corresponded with the dance pieces. With its overpowering glitter, the screen ruled out the need for any other glitzy devices. This gave the leg-shakers ample space to showcase their skills.
The choice of costumes was a commentary on discriminating taste, as was evident in a hip-hop piece by JBDC’s professional dancers and a ‘Justice League of America’ theme performed by the juniors.
And yes, children excelled at ‘Climax 09’ as only they can. Kids shine when they pull off difficult steps and also when they bungle ridiculously simple ones. A piece by the JBDC sub-junior (aged 5 to 7) brigade had all the usual suspects — a boy momentarily distracted by a movement in the audience, a girl hopelessly behind the rest and a small clutch that seemed ultra-talented because of the relative ease with which it performed the same steps.
While the company’s principal dancers mesmerised the audience with their lyrical jazz, samba, a fusion of Bharatanatyam and jazz, modern dance within the framework of Brazilian capoeira, and the electric salsa — images of little children dancing to a 1980s pop medley (including Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’, Kenny Loggins’ ‘Footloose’, Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’ and Wham!’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’) were at the top of a set of arresting images from “Climax 2009”.
The event served as a source of encouragement for students, from sub-juniors to adults, at the four JBDC centres in the city.
The event followed its standard format of welcoming celebrities on a red carpet and ending in a burst of dancing that included the audience. In customary fashion, John Britto’s friends gave brief speeches about the man and his brainchild.
This year’s speakers included actors Vijay Adiraj and Sri, Britto’s schoolmates.