Ladysmith Black Mambazo and a team of dancers bring a piece of Africa to the heart of Birmingham in this Zulu Ballet.
Apparently, Inala means abundance of Goodwill in Zulu, and that is exactly what sweeps over the audience from the stage.
The stage is empty except for a row of musicians at the back. Looming over everything is the backcloth that evokes the feeling of the wide open sky of Africa, the lighting creating dramatic mood changes for each number.
Inala isn’t a ballet in the traditional sense, while the dances and songs are lyrical there isn’t a story being told.
There is a purpose for each routine, each one has it’s own feel and style which gives you enough information to sit back and enjoy the scene before you. The programme encourages you to decide what it means based on what you think it means.
Each dancer is as important as the next, performing moves which look free and instinctive, born of the beat, yet strong and technically perfect. The duets leave you wide-eyed and the group numbers in awe. This is a style of dance that fits perfectly with the music. It flows but with a beat that taps into something long forgotten.
Even Ladysmith Black Mambazo move, they are rarely still, using repeated motifs to emphasise the songs. Their voices add a further dimension, sometimes haunting, sometimes joyful, always beautiful. They bring drama and also humour.
This is a powerful and striking performance that transports you for a while to a beautiful place. Simply stunning.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.