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The HPG Festival Hub is the new centre of the action for the 2017 Sydney Fringe Festival. An enormous warehouse in Alexandria, the HPG Festival Hub will host a vast array of events before the month’s out, with one of the highlights of this week’s program being Feathered and fierce.

Feathered and fierce is a theatrical dance performance directed and choreographed by 2015 World Samba Solo Champion, Amy Mills. A troupe of eight performers, comprising Mills and her three-time National Samba Championship-winning team, present a 55-minute show that offers audience members an insight into the ferociously competitive Latin dance scene.

Across the hour, we watch these eight talented, highly trained, highly motivated and versatile performers showcasing their admirable dance ability. There’s even a performance involving swinging lights. We’re given a sense of an extended and demanding process, the undertaking of which is part and parcel of becoming a competition dancer. We’re also given a sense of the relentless determination to succeed a competition dancer exhibits. We see the troupe of performers warming up, learning from each other, being challenged and, ultimately, triumphing in a spectacular finale. It’s a demonstration of the fact that a colourful, polished, competition-standard routine is the product of hard work and effort.

Not only is the audience presented an impressive and dynamic choreographic display, but all of the action is underscored by a great mix of tracks. The music ranges from instrumental Latin pieces to thumping tribal beats, to an assortment of pop tunes, including songs by Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, Sia, Katy Perry, Freestylers as well as other recognisable contemporary voices.

And you can tell that these performers mean business – their commitment to the performance is palpable. Whether by way of filmed documentary or a live stage show, an insight into a world with which you’re unfamiliar is generally an interesting experience and certainly enhanced when it’s led by an individual or group genuinely passionate about their endeavour.

Feathered and fierce is an exuberant and engaging snapshot of the world of competitive Latin dancing and the performers who work hard to be at the top of their game.


Playing as part of Sydney Fringe Festival 2017

Venue: HPG Festival Hub Stage One, 225 Euston Rd, Alexandria, Sydney
When: 7:30pm, 8 and 9 September 2017
Tickets: Adult $25, Concession or Under 12 $22, Group 6+ $22
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