The Can Fu Master

Posts tagged “tommy franzen

Watch Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on BBC iPlayer until 22nd Jan 2015

If you didn’t manage to get a ticket for Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Royal Opera House because there were no tickets left or if you missed the live stream on the 18th December 2014 then this is your chance. It can now be viewed on BBC iPlayer until 22nd January.

To watch it click on this link

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I’m dancing in a live stream of Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Thursday the 18th December

I’m dancing in a show called Mad Hatter’s Tea Party by ZooNation Dance company at The Royal Opera House in London. It’s going to be internationally live streamed on Thursday the 18th December 6.50GMT. It can be watched on this link.

If you want to find out what time it’s show in your county the have a look on this link,405,cn3

Don’t miss it!!! 🙂

Mad Hatter poster

Leda and the Swan by Kim Brandstrup now on YouTube featuring Tommy Franzen, Zenaida Yanowsky and Fiona Shaw

This film was shown at the Royal Opera House 5th-7th November as part of Deloitte Ignite. I hope you enjoy!


Choreographer and director Kim Brandstrup’s short dance film Leda and the Swan, commissioned by The Royal Ballet for Deloitte Ignite 2014. Performed by dancers Zenaida Yanowsky and Tommy Franzen, and Yeats’s poetry read by actor Fiona Shaw.

Find out more at…

The annual contemporary arts festival at the Royal Opera House. Deloitte Ignite 2014 was curated by The Royal Ballet and The National Gallery’s Minna Moore Ede, this year’s festival is a feast of dance and visual art.

The month-long festival celebrated and explored the origin of myth and creation through dance, visual art, film, music and movement. The festival focused on two archetypal myths: Prometheus, the Titan who creates man from clay and steals fire from the Gods, and Leda and the Swan, the mysterious conjunction of a mortal woman and the god Zeus, disguised as a swan.

Leda and the Swan

The trailer for The Five & the Prophecy of Prana

I’m opening a show at the Barbican next week on the 2nd of October. We play until 4th October before we head out on tour. I do the first 3 weeks of the tour and then I will leave to start on my next project. To book tickets for the Barbican click here.

To see where the show will be going on tour click here. My last show will be in Blackpool on the 29th October.

Enjoy the trailer!


My interview and front page in Kyrko Bladet

In last June I was interviewed by Emelie Krugly ( and photographed by Rikard Osterlund ( for the Swedish Church magazine called Kyrko Bladet. The theme was courage so I talk about how courage has gotten me through my life and career. Click on this link to read the article


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The trailer for the first episode of Nordic Folksong – Tommy Franzen – is out!

The trailer for the first episode of Nordic Folksong is finally out! The official release is due in September. Big thanks to the creators Andreas Lindström and Emelie Krugly Hill. Have a look at the official website


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Nordic Folksong is a documentary series that explores the lives of Scandinavian creative individuals living in England.

England has the greatest density of Scandinavian emigrants in the world and many of them are creative artists or designers that are not known by the Scandinavian audience. This documentary is trying to lift those that not only dears to move to another country but who believes in themselves and their dream of succeed as a creative artist.

Tommy arrived in the UK in 2001 and  is probably mostly recognised as the runner-up of BBC 1’s “So You Think You Can Dance” 2010 but some might have seen him in Mamma Mia – The Movie.  After working professionally as a performing artist for 16 years, Tommy has in the recent years also dwelled into choreography. Most recently he choreographed for ZooNation’s “Some Like It Hip Hop”

He was nominated for an award by the Critic’s Circle’s “National Dance Awards” in the “Best Male Performance (Modern)” category for his efforts in the show “Goldberg” at The Royal Opera House and “Blaze” (in which he also choreographed) at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre

Tommy is working with the Russell Maliphant Company and is touring internationally with the show “The Rodin Project”. Tommy has also been nominated an Olivier Award 2012 for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

My viral I shot for LA Muscle with @Coldcitystudios

Here is the LA Muscle viral I shot in October 2013. Filmed and edited by Cold City Studios. Really enjoyed working with these guys.

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Tommy Franzen and ‘The Five & The Prophecy of Prana’

I’m so happy and overwhelmed by what the reviewers have said about my performance of Wang Tang in The Five & The Prophecy of Prana. Playing a role like Wang Tang has been a dream role for me since I was a little boy. I’ve always been very much into martial arts and if it wasn’t for my passion for dancing, I think I would’ve gone down the martial arts route instead. So mixing my dream role with two of my biggest passions, martial arts and dancing, I’ve really been able to embrace this whole project on a deep level. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Kenrick Sandy and Mikey J Asante has given me.

For people who follows me and my career I wanted share with you the quotes I’ve had from the press regarding this show. I can’t tell you how honoured I am to have some reviewers writing these things about me…

The Times by Donald Hutera

“The troubled Master Wang Tang must whip them into shape. He’s played by the wonderful Tommy Franzén, a dancer whose economy, agility and strength can hardly be bettered. Franzén might be the reason alone to watch The Five & The Prophecy of Prana.

Original article –

The Guardian by Judith Mackrell

Tommy Franzén as Wang Tang is outstanding. As an actor Franzén is delightful, convincing both as maudlin drunk and wise seer. As a dancer he’s mesmerising, not only in the virtuoso hip-hop routines but in the silken lyricism of his t’ai chi-inspired solos. In his performance alone, you can see a whole new future for hip-hop.”

Original article –

The Independent by Zoe Anderson

“Delinquents are given a chance to redeem themselves by training with the monk, danced by the marvellous Tommy Franzén. Franzén is heroic, finding both the dignity of an old sage and the quicksilver attack of a warrior.”

Original article –

The Telegraph by Sarah Crompton

“The leading character is Wang Tang – mentor and teacher to the young gang of five, but a man with a troubled past. He is danced by Tommy Franzen, famous both for his television appearances and performances in shows as diverse as Kate Prince’s Some Like it Hip Hop and Russell Maliphant’s The Rodin Project. In everything he does, he has such silkily, weightless skills he is the epitome of grace.”

Original article  –

British Theatre guide

“Winner of this year’s Critic Circle’s National Dance Award for Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance (Male), Tommy Franzén (Some Like It Hip-Hop and Russell Maliphant’s The Rodin Project) is for me the star of the show.”

Original article –

The by Neil Norman

“The dancers combine streetdance moves with martial arts with some brilliance – especially the amazing Tommy Franzen.”

Original article –

Dancetabs by Lise Smith

“Franzén is in fine form as troubled hero Wang Tang, melding tutting and b-boying and kung-fu with the elegant fluidity of a tai-chi form.”

Original article – by Graham Watts

“The performances throughout the cast were excellent. Tommy Franzén provided depth to the complicated central character of Wang Tang, the sole surviving good Guardian who battles the demons of scandal and drink.”

Original article –

By Hugo GlendinningPhoto by Hugo Glendinning

Show finished 2nd Nov 2014 so as of time of writing there is still time to see the show. Book your tickets here!

Tenisha Bonner and I live on BBC Radio Saturday Breakfast Show 94.9FM 25th May

Join us tomorrow morning (25th May) on BBC Radio Saturday Breakfast Show 94.9FM at 8.15am. The show is hosted by Joanne Good & Simon Lederman We’ll be talking about Some Like It Hip Hop. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Tommy receives a NDA Awards 2012 for ‘Outstanding Male Performance (Modern)’

3rd time lucky and I receive an Award for my efforts in ‘Some Like It Hip Hop’ and ‘The Rodin Project’. In 2010 I was nominated in the same award and last year an Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Performance in Dance’.

Even better is that Teneisha Bonner also won an award for ‘Outstanding Female Performance (Modern)’ for Some Like It Hip Hop’.

Here is the full list of award winners

NDA Award 2012  NDA Winners 2012

Photographer: Elliot FranksTeneisha and Tommy NDA's 2012 Tommy at NDA 2012

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MoveTube: the terrific Tommy Franzén – a National Dance awards shoo-in? By Judith Mackrell

With his quicksilver fluency and remarkable range – from B-boy dance to balletic grace – the former So You Think You Can Dance runner-up deserves to win this time.

Judith Mackrell

Tommy Franzén

Monumental … National Dance awards nominee Tommy Franzén performs in the Rodin Project at Sadler’s Wells. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian

Last week, the nominations were announced for this year’s National Dance awards, and it’s no surprise that Tommy Franzén is in the running for outstanding male dancer. Whether touring in Zoo Nation’s Some Like it Hip Hop and Russell Maliphant’s The Rodin Project, or starring in Flashmob during its long Edinburgh run, there can hardly have been a night when Franzén wasn’t on stage during the past 12 months. But its not his stamina that makes him outstanding, it’s the quality and range of his dancing.

This glitzy showreel, culled from his appearance in the BBC’s So You Think You Can Dance, offers a quick tour around his signature skills. On a purely athletic level, there may be other B-boy dancers who execute fiercer turns or hold more heartstopping balances than Franzén – but I’ve seen none to match his quicksilver fluency. He glides and twists through a dance phrase like an eel (0.25-30), yet at the same time moves with a buoyancy that brings air and light to his footwork (0.50–59). It’s the hip-hop equivalent of classical ballon, and Franzén – who has worked with ballet dancers like Tamara Rojo in the past – seems to be consciously working classical elements into his repertory. At 1.27 he slips a brief pirouette in among the B-boy spins, while the climactic tumbling spin that concludes his final routine is like a reckless hip-hop version of the classical revoltade, in which the dancer appears to be vaulting over his own leg.

These clips were assembled to show Franzén’s best, point-scoring moves in SYTYCD. But while the shenanigans of the personality contest element robbed him of first place, what made him the honorary winner of that series was the exceptional musicality of his performances. In the first three routines, every move maximises the surface speed and bounce of the rhythm, yet Franzén still has the time to fill out the larger phrases, carving out his own expressive structure. It’s the secret of great popular dancing (Astaire had it too) and it’s very evident in the Beggin’ clip, where Franzén captures the song’s core dynamic of emotional yearning (the suspended spiral at 0.23) even while hurtling forward on its beat. In the final slow routine, set to Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River, it’s fascinating to watch him experimenting with the natural choppy pulse of hip-hop – slowing it down, stretching it out across the action of his arms and torso.

Franzén’s willingness to push himself against the grain of his genre is even more impressive in this clip from Classical Break, choreographed by Tony Adigun to a fragment of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

The music develops through challengingly slow increments of harmony and melody – if Adigun’s choreographic response occasionally seems a tad gauche (0.58), Franzén’s body gets deep inside it. Here too he rounds out every phrase (O.24), but there’s a floating suspension to some of his movements (0.28-30) and a miraculous, gliding evenness of footwork (1.19) that create an uncanny dialogue with the long, romantic lines of the score.

Franzén can also do stillness, and in the concluding moments of this solo you can see him daring to use the full force of his physical presence. It’s a quality that made him a natural dancer for Maliphant, even though the latter’s choreography owes far more to the meditative dynamic of t’ai chi than the urban gregariousness of hip-hop.

In this section of the wall duet from the Rodin Project, Franzén and his fellow B-boy dancer Dickson Mbi perform the extraordinary feat of dancing on a vertical plane. It takes strength and balance (Franzén is also a dedicated rock climber), but their graceful, molten manoeuvres combine a fusion of the human and the monumental that’s powerfully affecting – and a true homage to Rodin’s art.

Click here to view original article on The Guardian website.

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Newspaper articles autumn 2012

Here are some of the newspaper cut-outs that I’ve been featured in this autumn…


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Tommy nominated a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award “Outstanding Male Performance (Modern)” for the 2nd time.

I have for the second time the great honour of being nominated in this category. This time for my efforts in Some Like It Hip Hop and The Rodin Project. Last time it was for Blaze and Goldberg.

Kate Prince got nominated for Best New Modern Choreography for Some Like It Hip Hop. Although it was also choreographed Carrie-Anne Ingrouille and myself, they have chosen to just mention one choreographer.

Teneisha Bonner was also nominated for Outstanding Female Performance (Modern).

That makes it 3 nomination for Some Like It Hip Hop this year!! Very pleased 🙂

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The Rodin Project – Review Compilation

The Daily Express

Sunday November 4,2012

5 stars by Jeffery Taylor

RUSSELL Maliphant is now Britain’s leading modern dance creator. Two years ago his AfterLight won awards right left and centre and I believe his Rodin Project will top even that.

The new work is based on the French sculptor’s gift for creating movement as well as exposing his bronze and marble subjects’ most passionate feelings.Within this mystery Maliphant finds a truth about moving to music that takes your breath away. His steps include a strong element of gymnastics, particularly in a gripping fight between Tommy Franzenand Thomasin Gulgec.The curtain rises on a black cavern, illuminated centre stage is a white evocation of a Greek temple. A crumpled sheet hangs above a dishevelled mound of slopes and shapes. Three languid women (Ella Mesma, Carys Staton and Jennifer White) dressed in short tunics draw back the hangings and wait for the men.

Franzen, Gulgec and Dickson Mbi appear and join up in an erotic adagio, portraying inanimate statues into which Maliphant magics flesh and blood. Irresistible.

In the second half, the action is modernised. Held up for closer inspection is the harsh reality and hidden soul of Rodin’s work.

Then there is another extraordinary duet between Franzen and Gulgec. In slow motion they glide up and down, sometimes in a question and answer fugue, others harmoniously together, always searching, endlessly listening.

Maliphant’s The Rodin Project is a unique contribution to the art of dance.

Verdict: 5/5

The Evening Standard

5 stars

Russell Maliphant’s new work opens, appropriately enough given the artist who inspired it, like a fin de siècle fantasy of classical Greece.

In a sumptuously sleazy atelier, hung with fabrics, six figures arrange themselves on what looks like a huge bedsheet flung across a mountainous heap of cushions. The symbiotically responsive glow of Michael Hulls’s lighting is already starting to fragment their bodies, isolating muscles, limbs and lines of tension in a way that gets more aggressive as the dance evolves.

The men are dressed like fighting slaves in diaper-loincloths, and the women like racy priestesses. As Alexander Zekke’s specially commissioned cello score slowly yearns for something it can never quite place, they model as athletes and wrestlers, sirens and waterbearers.

Tommy Franzén, a human rubber ball recently seen in Some Like It Hip Hop, engages Tomasin Gülgeç in a circling, capoeira-style contest just after being puppeteered across the stage by Jenny White, using rods of the sort on which sculptors impale clay limbs to hold them in place. The sublimation of piercing and control, as coldly erotic as it is beautiful, would have thrilled the heart of J G Ballard.

At the start of the second part the clothes are modern and the fabrics stripped away, revealing metal walls and ramps, like a brutalist playground in a nursery school for free runners. The dancers hang, slide, tumble and contort themselves, while the choreography shapes a language of delight from a vocabulary of torment.

With The Rodin Project, Maliphant has made something formal enough to satisfy the Académie, and sexy as (the Gates of) Hell.


By Jann Parry

Russell Maliphant's <I>The Rodin Project</I>.<br />© Laurent Phillipe. (Click image for larger version)

Rodin, like Degas, frequently sculpted dancers in action, leaving the statuettes roughly finished rather than sleekly polished (unlike some vile modern figurines  of ballet dancers). They were trying to capture transient moments in solid, static images – far harder than a choreographer turning those frozen forms back into movement.

Rodin’s art and life have been the subject of many ballets – at least four in recent years, inevitably involving his love affair with the sculptress, Camille Claudel: all too easy for a choreographer to recreate her as the model for The Kiss, or for a Muse or Nymph. Russell Maliphant mostly avoids the obvious in The Rodin Project by insisting in a programme note that the piece isn’t biographical: ‘It’s about the inspirations that we take from Rodin and what inspired him’.

In Afterlight, Maliphant and his lighting designer, Michael Hulls, animated Nijinsky’s obsessive circular drawings into a remarkable swirling solo for Daniel Proietto. Nijinsky’s troubled musings were spun into dance. In The Rodin Project, Maliphant and Hulls transform dancers’ flesh into plaster, marble or bronze as they assume poses from Rodin’s sculptures. Spectacularly top-lit, their lithe bodies lack the rough-hewn power of Rodin’s creations (or Claudel’s). Only in the second part of the piece, referring directly to Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, do the dancers accomplish the feverish, off-balance movement the sculptor worked for 30 years to immortalise.

The Project is split into two halves: white, soft and slow; dark, hard and fast. In the first half, Es Devlin’s sloping set suggests an artist’s studio. Heaps of cloth used for clay and plaster modelling are piled high; swathes of suspended fabric are pulled aside to drape women’s bodies. Since the women already wear mini-togas and the men are in loincloths, they presumably represent the classical statuary that Rodin studied. Alexander Zekke’s assertive score sounds like the scrapings and tappings of chisels.

The choreography seems to evolve from conventionally graceful arm-wavings for the three women to warrior-like encounters for the men . En route we see the erotic intertwining of The Kiss couple and the incarnation of statuesque Dickson Mbi as The Thinker. Everything happens hazily in slow motion, preparing for Rodin’s monumental vision of the chaos of Dante’s Inferno in the second half.

Now the six dancers are either in street clothes or virtually naked. The set, stripped of its sheeting, is all hard angles with a steep wall at the back. The unyielding surfaces serve as slides and diving boards for parkour acrobatics. In The Gates of Hell figures writhe and tumble in high relief around the frames of doors Rodin designed for a museum entrance. The effect is so destabilising that it’s hard to tell whether the damned souls are climbing or falling. Rodin recycled some of the figures as stand-alone statues, including the crouching Thinker – maybe originally intended as Dante.

Russell Maliphant's <I>The Rodin Project</I>.<br />© Laurent Phillipe. (Click image for larger version)

Maliphant isolates his dancers in sequences punctuated by blackouts, as though featuring different aspects of Rodin’s creations. After a virtuso group display of leaps, spins and rolls over each others’ bodies and the set, there’s a sudden stillness. Hulls’s golden lighting sculpts a nude female body in sensual curves and dusky folds. The men come forward to arrange her positions on a plinth – a lapse of judgement on Maliphant’s part. They’re wearing cloaks that make them resemble The Burghers of Calais, or Rodin modelling Camille. Once they’ve gone, the music goes soulful for her fluid, lonesome solo: beautiful but verging on dance as look-at-me-art. (For a spectacularly bad example, see Boris Eifman’s Rodin ballet on YouTube.)

Then it’s the turn of Dickson Mbi to become a Rodin bronze, which he does heroically. He’s the most anguished soul of all, striking knotted poses and bringing different muscles into play, burnished by light from above. Tommy Frantzen springs into action in an athletic solo, fusing breakdancing and capoeira as though he were molten metal. The music, harsh for the group’s tumbling, eases into jazzy droning. The women, three graces or shades, mark time by the back wall, three muses or shades.

The climax of the entire piece is a breathtaking duet for Franzen and Mbi, treating a vertical surface as though it were the floor – the disorienting device of Rodin’s doorway. As if magnetized, they cling to the wall and each other’s bodies, changing places and defying gravity until Frantzen hangs down Mbi’s back. The duet starts and ends with Frantzen perched on top of the vertiginous wall. The piece should finish on the high note of the duet. Instead, there’s a group finale with supplicant hands (Rodin sculpted lots of pairs of hands) picked out in light.

The Rodin Project suffers from the same structural problems as Maliphant’s expanded Afterlight. He’s poured his and his dancers’ creative energies into a superb solo or duet. Then he’s added sequences for more dancers based on improvisation around an artist’s life and work in order to make a ‘full-length’ evening of dance. Though Hulls’s mesmerising lighting skills help make the various aspects cohere, they still have the feel of workshop segments filling out the music until the real reason for the piece arrives.

The Upcoming

5 Stars by Alice Audley

Inspired by the controversial French sculptor Auguste Rodin, award-winning choreographer Russell Maliphant has directed yet another extraordinary dance performance – The Rodin Project.


Opening in Angel’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Maliphant’s production was both fascinating and exhilarating, while also deeply unnerving. Gentle stroking, elegant spinning and torsos intertwining romantically one minute were harshly juxtaposed with jutting spines, angled limbs, writhing bodies and rasping rib-cages the next.

In particular, dancer Dickinson Mbi’s (who was spotted by Maliphant just last year at Sadler’s Wells) manipulation of his body made for addictive viewing. His shoulders parted from his neck, his legs wandered from his hips, his back curved from his stomach in a series of completely disconnected, yet utterly connected human expressions. His body appeared possessed, lost and out of control, yet he was controlling it.

Designed by Es Devlin and Bronia Housman, the set had three main changes. At the performances’ opening, the audience were softly brought into a white calm space. Four large drapes hung from the top of the set to the bottom (upstage) – their ends tickling the stage floor happily, behind which rested a jigsaw of blocks: some smooth, some edged and all white.

The three female dancers stepped on to stage in costumes, designed by Stevie Steward, that directly reflected the set – white togas, tied loosely around their shoulders, midriffs and waists. They looked like Vestal Virgins as they slowly peeled back the four giant pieces of cloth. Peeling aside the purity, calm and relaxed pretense of human nature for the demonstration of the raw actual interior of being that Maliphant was about to thrust us in to.


The second set was black – all cloths, drapes and white material were removed. The jigsaw centerpiece, that had been softened by its cover, now stood stark and angular. The dancers surrounded it, not so much approaching the stage but hunting it. Eerie, inverted and tumultuous, the dancing predators preyed on each other, replicating segments of movements in a perfect organisation of the disorganised.

The third set still had jigsaw-effect cubes and remained black, but it also featured an eight-foot wall, on which the homoerotic laced, anti-gravitational routine of dancers Tommy Franzen and Dickinson Mbi performed a routine that rendered the audience mute and gained a standing ovation. A testament to the physical and mental strength of the human being, the piece, tinged with rejection and resilience, was exceptional.

Visible throughout the entirety of the production were the fleeting bodily reincarnations of Rodin’s works – The Thinker, The Walking Man, The Age of Bronze and most hauntingly, The Gates of Hell – were all scattered among the dancers and were brought ever so much more to life by the ethereal lighting of Michael Hulls.


This lighting combined with the scratching, uncomfortable and brilliant music from Russian composer Alexander Zekke, unfolding Maliphant’s story further than pure dance ever could. Near the end of the performance, the six dancers stood by beams of thin white light and desperately grappled with their hands trying to take a hold of it. It was as if the light was divine understanding and, like the dancers unable to contain it, it was as if Maliphant was saying that although we can get glimmers, we will never be able to control or fully understand life.

From poised, chaste Vestal Virgins, to a naked temptress; from a testosterone-fuelled, neanderthal-esque fight, to a homoerotic scene of repression – Maliphant’s The Rodin Project captures the contrasts and angles of human nature, in a performance that is truly magnificent.

Verdict: •••••


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I was BBC Radio Joanne Good’s show to promote #somelikeithiphop

I was invited to join The Late show with Joanne Good on BBC Radio the other day to speak about Some Like It Hip Hop. It was short and sweet but I thoroughly enjoyed it. You can have a listen to it here from 49 minutes in

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Kate Prince, Tommy Franzen and Some Like It Hip Hop on BBC London News

For anyone who missed us on telly then you can watch it here on BBC iPlayer. From 19.20 onwards.

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Amazing #SomeLikeitHipHop photos by Jane Hobson! @Sadlerswells

These are photos are taken by photographer Jane Hobson from our photo call on the 19th September 2012. We opened Some Like It Hip Hop at the Peacock Theatre on 20th September 2012 for our second season there. The show has been revamped and the audience response had been absolutely incredible so far.

To view Jane’s photos of Some Like It Hip Hop click on the link below.

It’s still not too late to utilise the ticket discount code from my previous blog post.

Book your tickets here!

The photo below is taken from one of the new sections I have choreographed for the 2012 version of Some Like It Hip Hop.

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“Erebus” an “The Rodin Project” adaptation. Stunning images! #RussellMaliphant

The long awaited short film “Erebus” is finally here. It’s an adaptation of Russell Maliphant’s live show “The Rodin Project“. The Rodin Project will be coming to Sadler’s Wells Theatre 29th-31st October 2012 before heading of to Joyce Theatre in New York, so book your tickets now.

Cast: Jenny White, Dickson Mbi, Carys Staton, Thomasin Gulgec, Ella Mesma and Tommy Franzen

Director of Choreography: Russell Maliphant

Directed by Warren Du Preez & Nick Thorton Jones

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Review Compilation of “Flash Mob” at Edinburgh Festival 2012

Pre-Review…Dance shows have never really featured as much at the fringe over its million years unlike it does now. With a variety of hugely popular dance shows on TV the public demand for more dance shows has meant they now have the chance to not only get created but to tour and feature at the worlds biggest fringe festival.

This year “Flash Mob” is on a path to becoming the most talked about dance show of the fringe 2012. Filled with performers from all spheres of the dancing work “Flash Mob” has been causing stirs and now there is an opportunity to see why.

Though this was only day 2 of their shows at Assembly Festival main hall the early technical problems could have been more problematic than they where. It did get a little uncomfortable to see the dancers have to restart but it didn’t seem to faze the audience and they quickly managed to get it fixed though throughout the show there would still be a few glitches which I only mention do to the emotional beauty that these dancers showcased last night.

The ability, skill, and wonderment that each of the different dancers brought to the show was remarkable but I only had two issues. The first was a lack of story – the dancers are at the very top of their game and produce such a mesmerising spectacle on stage their different ability and skills could have been woven into a different narrative. The second issue was that the female dancers where not given their own section like the male dancers had been. As performers each of the women dancer showcased, grace, strength, and beauty in such a remarkable way and should have been able to move away from the male dancers and given their moment to shine.

A Contemporary  Move

When the Olivier Award nominate Tommy Franzen came on stage to perform a tough and physically brutal and honest contemporary piece the show change. In a stunning display of skill and ability Franzen showed just why he is an Olivier Award nominated performer. It was a heartbreaking piece to watch as Franzen moved in perfect balance with the music, his body wrapping around every note heard creating something truly breathtaking.

The whole piece was inspiring.

Link to the original article


The Scotsman –  5 stars

Dance review: Flash Mob, Assembly Hall (Venue 35), Edinburgh

Flash Mob includes jaw-dropping moves from a talented ensemble of performers.

Published on Monday 6 August 2012 16:39

FOR every self-indulgent, esoteric, audience-alienating dance show ever performed, Flash Mob is the antidote.

Flash Mob

Assembly Hall (venue 35)

Rating: *****

Don’t be confused by the title – this is no shopping-centre gathering where those around you suddenly burst into synchronised movement. This is a dance mob that’s flash – although for “flash”, read talented, hard-working and completely dedicated to their craft.

For those who think commercial dance means leaving your artistry at the door, then the five acts brought together to create this Fringe highlight are ready to prove you wrong.

Most of them have come to the public eye via television, reaching the finals of one of the recent glut of dance programmes re-igniting the genre.

Tommy Franzén is probably the best known, having been runner-up in the 2010 series of So You Think You Can Dance? and, fittingly, the production opens with him in a spot-lit solo.

But this is no one-man show. Flash Mob is a celebration of dance and the many wonderful forms it comes in. Known mainly as a hip hop performer, Franzén also does a nice line in contemporary dance, with some reflective work peppered with breakdance moves. When it comes to contemporary, however, Alleviate are the stars of the show.

Nicolette Whitley and Renako McDonald were runners-up in 2011’s Got To Dance, and their two heart-felt duets, one of which uses the Eminem/Rihanna song Love The Way You Lie to great effect, are joy to watch.

Having only recently made the final in this year’s Got To Dance, A Team has yet to make a name for itself in the way Diversity and Flawless have, but this slick hip hop crew deserves to. Four men and one woman switch from one soundtrack to the next in the blink of an eye, throwing in some impressive back-flips to warm up the crowd.

A superb and utterly spellbinding Irish dance duo, Brosena (also from this year’s Got To Dance), and sensual Latin couple Mike Viry and Yunaisy Farray, complete the bill, widening out the dance genre further, with Viry in particular providing some jaw-dropping moves.

It’s this pick-and-mix quality that makes Flash Mob such a great ambassador for dance as a whole. The only problem with the show is it lasts just an hour. With such joyous talent and variety on offer, that could easily have been doubled without fear of boredom.

Link to the original article


The Independant – 4 Stars

Flash Mob, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh

star number 1star number 2star number 3star number 4star number 5

Thursday 16 August 2012

When the dancers of Flash Mob ask the audience to join in with a dancealong routine, they get a giggly, enthusiastic response. It’s a happy ending for a friendly show that brings together dancers from various reality TV dance series, in styles from hip hop to Irish dance.

The dancers create their own numbers, which makes for variable choreography but warm, committed performance. Some routines have the cheesy openness of a 1980s dance movie: there’s big emoting and swoopy moves from contemporary duo Alleviate. Irish dance duo Brosena have a very Eurovision soundtrack, but match it with sparkling footwork. Mike Viry and Yunaisy Farray, who appeared in the movie Streetdance 2 3D, ripple and undulate through Latin numbers, hips and shoulders boggling.

The stellar performance comes from Tommy Franzén, recently nominated for an Olivier award. He shows both his street and contemporary dance sides, from weighted, curling moves to a sugar rush of a routine to the Jackson 5. He leads a cheerful rehearsal number with the other men, trying out styles and pretending to pinch each other’s showiest moves.

Link to the original article


The Independent

Flash Mob – Edinburgh festival review

Flash Mob

Bouncy and aspirational … Flash Mob’s performers have been culled from TV reality shows. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian

Britain has apparently become a nation of dancers, or at least a nation addicted to TV dance shows. The finale of this short, entertaining production sees the entire audience getting to their feet in response to instructions from the stage, uniting in a mass hand-jiving, hips-sashaying dance.

The selling point of Flash Mob is that its performers have been culled from TV shows, with headliner Tommy Franzen, a finalist from BBC1’s So You Think You Can Dance. What makes Franzen a star, however, has little to do with his screen celebrity: it’s the skill and musicality of his dancing.

His style is a mix of choppy footwork, one-arm balances and slippery dives, all delivered with a manner that’s part hip-hop homeboy, part music hall comic. On top of this, Franzen can layer elements of contemporary dance, jive and ballet, and phrase it all with such rhythmic acuteness that every move has a three-dimensional expressiveness.

Franzen alone is worth the price of a ticket – but unfortunately everyone else on stage ranks in very sharply descending order of appeal. My favourites are Irish dance duo Brosena, particularly their belter of an opener, which features a hip-hop version of Beethoven’s Fifth driving their feet to an intensity of swivelling, criss-crossing speeds.

A-Team deliver some tight and tough street routines, fronted by tiny schoolgirl Suki, whose speciality is balancing on one leg and jabbing the other high in the air, an angelic kung fu master in trainers.

Mike Viry and Yunaisy Farray look out of place, however, their strenuous sultriness imported from late-night Cuban cabaret; while contemporary dance couple Alleviate need to find better choreography than their literal-minded duets of sex and heartbreak.

Still, the bouncy, aspirational style of the show is hard to resist. The evening I saw it, one small child refused to leave her spot as the theatre emptied, still rapturously going through the closing flashmob dance.

Link to the original article

“Flash Mob” now of sale for our Edinburgh Festival 2012 run

Full line up for Edinburgh is Olivier award nominee and So You Think You Can Dance runner up Tommy Franzén, Got To Dance runners up Alleviate, The A-Team also from Got To Dance, Mark Swarf Calape winner of Move Like Michael Jackson, Brosena from Got To Dance and Mike Viry and Yunaisy Farray, Latin dancers from StreetDance 2 3D the movie. Where dance worlds collide, this will be an explosive show directed by the award winning Gary Lloyd (Thriller Live, Hair etc). Get tickets now


Buy tickets for THE RODIN PROJECT at Sadler’s Wells now in October! 50% sold already.

The tickets has gone on sale for The Russell Maliphant Company’s “The Rodin Project” at Sadler’s Wells 29th-31st October. I noticed that half of the tickets are already sold so you better get in there quick. Follow the link below to book your tickets and have a look at the trailer too.


I’m judging The Street Corner Challenge!!


http://www.streetcornerchallenge.comI’m judging The Street Corner Challenge, which is a competition accessible to every dancer in the world, 
turning the internet into the new global “Street Corner.

Judges include:

Bam Bam * Ken Swift *  OG Skeeter Rabbit * Slick Dogg
B-Boy Wicket * Jin * P-Lock * Davi * Storm * Gemini
Niki * Prime * Acky * Devonair * Tommy Franzen

I’m doing a show called Flash Mob with A-Team Corporation, Alleviate, Brosna and Streetdance 2 3D latin couple

On the 3rd of August we open the show “Flash Mob” at Edinburgh festival 2012. Apart from myself the show will include A-Team Corporation, Alleviate, Brosna and a latin couple from the movie Streetdance 2 3D. The tickets will go on sale 10th May. Gary Lloyd will be directing the show. I will keep you posted!

An article about me in Swedish newspaper “Skånskan” today leading up to tonight’s #Oliviers2012

Photo: Yvonne Erlandsson