IT’S a breathtaking experience fusing boxing with ballet.

The brutality and elegance of both these contrasting worlds collide in Boxe Boxe, a spine-tingling show which packs a knock-out punch.

Eight exceptional dancers blend martial arts, street and contemporary dance to create a spirited and stunning fusion of hiphop and fisticuffs.

Boxe Boxe draws on the rich pageantry and theatricality of boxing where bright red gloves effortlessly morph into puppets and punch balls explode like featherweight balloons.

The dancers move in perfect unison to live music from the Debussy String Quartet, with beautifully rendered classical music including Schubert, Ravel, Philip Glass and Glenn Miller.

Director and choreographer Mourad Merzouki explains: “Each aspect of boxing has an equivalent in choreography: the ring and the stage, the gong and the curtain going up, the referee and the eagleeyed critics – for me there are all kinds of similarities.

“So there’s a mix – the excitement of combat and fear of the spectators: the gut fear of getting badly knocked about, of taking a licking, together with that great feeling of abandoning yourself, of achieving absolute fulfilment in that magic moment on stage or in the ring.”

The show is brought to The Mayflower theatre on Monday and Tuesday by Paris-based Compagnie Kafig in a rare UK performance, as part of a nationwide Dance Consortium tour.

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