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Ace Dance and Music exploring life in many forms in Mana Pictures: Brian Slater and Danilo Moroni

Mana: The Power Within

The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome


ACE Dance and Music have used the influence of African and Caribbean dance to fuel Mana: The Power Within.

In this energetic show topped with high energy and beautiful movement, Mana presents an interpretive story and lets the audience understand their cultural translation in a powerful performance.

Mana stands for the life that is shown within all inanimate objects and is a word that is used in Twenty-four languages. With Ace’s cultural influence and artistic flair, we are exposed to an atmosphere that lets us interpret the inner life inside all things around us.

Their performance consists of two separate pieces, separated with an interval. The first is A Thousand Shepherds which explores the spiritual journey of looking into and beyond the essence of who we are and those around us.

Within this piece of explosive dance with its slick and episodic movements from each performer there is also an awesome display of choral harmony.

The company is made up of six dancers and Iona Waite, Sophia Preidel, Jerome Wilks, Tom Tindall, Tiffany Bell give a fierce performance of accuracy and pure energy. manamidThey are lead beautifully by Yukiko Masul who has the audience in awe of her wonderful sense of movement of the body.

Ace’s African influences are clearly seen throughout, as well as flamenco roots that are cleverly woven into the piece. The eerie and almost slow moving start creates an enticing atmosphere, with a surrounding of smoke and a backdrop of white light to enhance the senses. The sounds that complement their movements are tribal and enticing. The dance is elegantly in sync and with its intensely powerful movements from the company, the cultural reflection is heightened.

The performers move as one, but yet there is also an individuality. They represent a culture and a group of beings as opposed to just one person. Sudden changes in music and movement give way to awesome sequences which seem to tell a series of different stories within the one piece.  Its is a powerful performance, with high energy and a fantastic display of emotion and influence.

Their second piece is called simply Mana. As with A Thousand Shepherds, their African spirit is still as present and alluring. Mana however is set in an ancient time and alludes to Sharman traditions of dance.

It is incredibly spiritual and gives way to an ambience that has an earthly root and tribal atmosphere. Costumes show a tribal background and bamboo sticks used as props to create a wall for the audience to look through as the dancers perform behind it.

The movement and music in this piece complement each other in a beautifully exotic way. The engaging dancers made sure that each move was as slick as the last and not a move out of place. It created an incredible portrayal of a world full of culture and energy.

The journey is fantastically interpreted which makes this engaging piece all the more powerful. The hot land that this piece shows us is definitely felt by the entirety of the audience.

Ace dance are an explosive Birmingham based company. They force the audience to share in their high-energised stories of passion and brightness. Within both pieces, we are compelled to the dancer’s strong presence and watch as they present us with a fantastic display fuelled by culture. Celebrating life, dance and the beautiful human body, Ace dance are thoroughly entertaining, culturally inspired and interestingly mesmerising.

Elizabeth Halpin


Further dates

8th Oct 2015, Strike a Light Festival, Gloucester  Tel: 01452 503050

15th Oct 2015, Déda, Derby Tel: 01332 370 911 

Ace dance and music


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