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Celebrating Cycles

1 Mar 2024
3 min read

The natural cycles of birth and death are at the core of Boy Blue’s latest work, co-founder Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante tells us.

The idea of evolution is fundamental to hip hop culture. Whenever someone creates an incredible performance, there’s always someone else coming up who wants to beat it, to improve on it. You find it at the core of hip hop battles, whether dance, DJing or rapping. Hip hop always wants to be fresh and take things to another level.

It’s this concept of constant change that’s inspired Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE, cofounder of Boy Blue, for the dance company’s latest work, Cycles

‘There are two major energies that I’m really connected with right now,’ he tells us. ‘One is the notion of the hip hop dance battle energy, of continuous movement. That’s something that we haven’t seen in a long time on our stages. A lot of the time we’re focused on shapes, lines, the architecture of what lighting can do, but I really want to explore the idea of creating something that pulses, that is consistently pushing forward.

‘The second energy is the notion of the natural order of life, the organic nature of things, from birth to death, sunrise to sunset. It keeps on going, no matter what is happening in our lives, or what is going on in the world.

‘I think sometimes we don’t really acknowledge how this world, ourselves and the things that live in and die around us are constantly evolving, shifting and changing. It’s like a propulsion.’

He says he finds the idea of this cycle of birth and death very grounding. ‘I remember this quote I heard about the last day that a person will utter your whole name, there will be a moment where something comes in to take that place, or your spot on the planet. I thought about all the people who seem larger than life and are now not with us anymore. But their death makes space for someone else to take that mantle. Death is looming, but it should give you energy to want to live and to push forward. You have to decide: is this thing going to be a monkey on your back, or will it give you the energy to push on?’

Words by James Drury

Boy Blue: Cycles, 30 April - 4 May, Theatre

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