BOXING and ballet are not at first glance the most obvious of stage chums.
But, after just over an hour of stand-out moves choreographed to show off the beauty and brutality of the differing disciplines, I wonder why no one has thought to blend them before.
A fascinating fusion of hip hop and fisticuffs, Boxe Boxe plays on the theatricality of both worlds and works in a way I never would have expected.
As the curtain went up, several sets of bright red gloves directed the incredible live Debussy String Quartet to the sounds of everything from Schubert to Glen Miller.
A dozen limbs disentangle then re-entangle themselves on the dimly lit stage before a brilliantly witty bouncing and bulky referee bursts forth from the ring.
Punchbags swing over an appreciative audience, dancers spar and round after round engrosses.
The remainder of the show is a masterclass in street dance, perfect timing and spectacular choreography from artistic director Mourad Merzouki and his talented international troupe of men who use every muscle in their bodies to make every shape imaginable.
Members of the Paris-based company showed off their skills in a series of encores before answering the questions of a young audience, many of whom were enjoying something a little different during their Easter holidays.
This powerful and original show by Compagnie Käfig, the first in a new series of contemporary dance shows brought to Southampton by Dance Consortium, certainly packs a knockout punch.
It’s undoubtedly niche and won’t attract the mass audiences of the big Mayflower musicals, but is a feat in athleticism which is more than worthy of a watch.
Boxe Boxe is only around for one more night. I suggest you get ringside seats for the rematch.
- Boxe Boxe continues tonight. Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or visit mayflower.org.uk.