ZooNation to Premiere Groove on Down the Road, Hip-Hop Version of "Wizard of Oz," in London
By Mark Shenton
ZooNation, an award-winning contemporary dance company who previously brought Into the Hoods to the West End and whose Some Like it Hip Hop will open its third season at London's Peacock Theatre, is to stage the world premiere of Groove on Down the Road at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, beginning performances Aug. 10 prior to an official opening Aug. 14 for a run through Sept. 1.
It is being staged as part of Southbank Centre's Festival of Neighbourhood, and was commissioned by Southbank Centre.
Written and directed by Kate Prince, who founded the company in 2002, it relocates The Wizard of Oz story to a fantastical urban world, telling the story of Dorothy and her adventures with Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion on their journey to Oz. The audience join Dorothy, complete with ruby sneakers, and friends in this hip-hop dance production as they follow the yellow brick road in a quest to find happiness and family.
It will include music from the 1978 film "The Wiz," re-mixed with current hits by DJ Walde.
The cast is made up of young dancers from across the U.K., all under the age of 19, showcasing the talent of ZooNation’s next generation of dancers. The role of Dorothy will be shared by two 11-year old dancers, Arizona Snow and Portia Oti.
In a press statement, Prince commented, "Working with the ZooNation Academy of Dance is the highlight of my week. I oversee their training every Saturday and they never fail to amaze me with how much they know and are capable of at such a young age. They have been born into an environment where access to hip hop dance and culture is at the simple touch of a button and they are saturated with information. As a result they are a whole new breed of dancers who have a raw, authentic and fearless skill and passion for dance. They give our adult company a run for their money! We better watch our backs."
To book tickets, which are on sale to Southbank Centre members from May 1 and the general public from May 3, contact the box office on 0844 847 9910, or visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk for more details.
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