After seeing the last Diversity tour, Connected, I knew that any opportunity I had to see more of their work, I absolutely would. This latest tour named Supernova takes us on a journey back in time and into the psyche of your deepest fears. There is something quite special about this impeccable storytelling. This is not just a dance show, but a visual spectacle written, directed and choreographed by Ashley Banjo who really is a visionary.
The staging is filled with tech and the overall look throughout the show is breath-taking. We start with a little science lesson by Ashley himself, explaining why the tour is called Supernova. Seen through the eyes of an 8-year-old boy, the show ultimately deals with how life is simpler in childhood and as we grow, our fears are heightened.
One thing I have always taken away from watching Diversity is the outstanding synchronization of the performers, where every step and every beat is spot on. The whole company excel through each movement and are masterful in their individual storytelling aswell as creating a spectacular ensemble piece. A particular stand out moment must go to Sergio ‘Checho’ Carvajal, who regardless of his disability was mesmerising to watch and complimented the very essence of Diversity.
Now this show relies heavily on the video projections that take place over the split-level staging, with large LED screens. The timing, the sound and the pictures have been engineered in a completely genius way to keep the story moving with intent. The choice of music was also spot on, with each song slotting into the narrative well. The upbeat numbers complimented the softer choices which included Stormzy’s ‘Blinded By Your Grace’, a truly beautiful piece of art that assisted the atmosphere in being moved between intensity and peace within minutes of each other. There were many musical moments where the music was thumping through my chest, once again heightening the experience. As I’ve mentioned before, everything about this show is so visual and there is so much to look at, including the many props used throughout.
The opening number to the Michael and Janet Jackson hit ‘Scream’ sets the tone. The costuming resembles the faux leather look in the original music video by the Jackson siblings and provided a high energy start. As we journeyed into act 2, we were taken back to the golden age of dance and the era of black and white films. The costuming and make up was so clever during this section, that it appeared as though the performers were actually performing in black and white, a real treat for the eyes.
With a clear camaraderie between the full company of Diversity, there was also time for humour between Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely. The duo, who also host a radio show together on Kiss FM, obviously have a wonderful rapport and this came across so well. It’s always a pleasure to see a group of people who gel together so beautifully, as this makes the overall experience for the audience member one to remember.
As I leave the theatre, the usual chit chat between people is always the time I relish as you get to overhear many conversations of what other people thought. I am happy to report that everyone I heard had nothing but praise for what is a fantastic show full of emotion, important storytelling and of course, incredible dancing. Playing across 83 dates in 40 towns and cities, Supernova is some of Diversity’s best work, so if you can, make sure you pay them a visit.
This show was reviewed on the 19th November 2023 at The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. Full tour details can be found here: See Tickets - Diversity Tickets and Dates 2023 & 2024