‘360 Allstars’ was sick.
Taking the streets to the stage, ‘360 Allstars’ is an epic variety show that knows how to turn it up for the audience.
Presented at Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Playhouse Theatre, the highly energised display, spotlights a range of BMX, breakdancing, basketball, rap and acrobatic stunts to wow onlookers. Starring international, award-winning performers from a range of artistic disciplines, ‘360 Allstars’ brought the best of the best to the cultural precinct in an urban circus spectacle.
Kickstarting the show with its 90s video-game style, performers of ‘360 Allstars’ were introduced with an audio-visual summary of their stats and skill-sets; a little glimpse into the acts in store for the evening. This retro thematic visual was a highlight and lighting design helped to achieve the effect with performers cast in sectioned circular spotlights, theatrical shadows and bright neon graffiti LED colours. This aesthetic brought strong guerilla and radical contemporary vibes, with set design lending itself to a street battle set-up. The height of such theming landed in the ‘B-Boy Battle’ where performers versed as video game players, complete with a Tekken-like character selection, battleground selection, graphics and moves.
The stage layout hosted a big projection screen towards the back, with two raised platforms either side for drums and music. The remainder of the space was bare and open to support various allstar tricks. Indie hip-hop tones and music flavoured the production throughout, in an old-school meets new-school kind of way. This was also reflected in many of the stunts, where fan favourite tricks sidled-up with fresh moves to elevate the show to the next level.
Internationally acclaimed ‘Mistress of Ceremonies’, Mirrah, MC’d the event with a smooth sass, which complemented her fellow host, and multi-award winning musician, Gene Peterson. Together, they riffed the backing beat to the show and had audience members grooving in their seats. The sound reverberated throughout the theatre, and it was hard not to get swept up in the stylised rhythm and rapping. Peterson, who donned many hats for the production (as creator, producer, performer), also gave an epic drum solo, complete with a go-pro camera so one could receive the full first-person effect.
Spinning, flipping, hopping, worming and sliding, B-Boys, Benny and Fongo, were the ultimate tricksters. They seemed to have a lot of fun moving and dancing against each other in numerous battles. B-Boy Benny brought a youthful humour to his breakdancing, whereas B-Boy Fongo had the more impressive powermoves, head spinning fast and endlessly.
All the way from Indonesia, Heru Anwari showed audiences exactly why they’re the 3 x Australian BMX Flatland Champion. Balancing, hand-standing, and rotating across the BMX, Anwari is a professional physical athlete.
Seasoned performing artist, Rowan Thomas, made the Cyr Wheel (a single large ring) look effortless. As the World Record Holder for “Most Coin Spins in 30 Seconds” (a move commonly associated with the Cyr Wheel), it was easy to see Thomas’ passion and extraordinary ability for their art. Thomas was easily one of the standouts of the evening.
Rounding up the line-up, and quite possibly stealing the show, Belgium-born World Renowned Basketball Freestyler Bavo Delbeke had the audience wanting more. Juggling and manipulating up to 5 basketballs at one time, Delbeke combined his talents with the clowning artform for a sporty and comical showcase. Spinning the b-balls on almost anything – finger, head, sunglasses, etc. – Delbeke put the star in all star.
‘360 Allstars’ was an entertaining combination of street art, sport and theatre. Reinventing the concepts of circus, this is an hour of exhilarating fun not to be missed – especially if you have basketball, BMX or breakdancing fans at home.
‘360 Allstars’ performs until Sunday, 16 January at QPAC. For more information visit the QPAC website.
Photos by Darren Thomas.