Culture Editor Ash Sutton reviews Diversity’s The Supernova Tour finding it to be a fantastic combination of dance, storytelling and unmatched talent

first year Digital Media and Communications student, culture editor and general geek

It has been a dream of mine to see Diversity on tour since I was a measly five-year-old kid watching them dance on Britain’s Got Talent. It was their Supernova Tour at The Wolverhampton Halls that finally brought that dream to a reality. If you are unfamiliar with Diversity, they are an Essex-based street dance group who won BGT in 2009 and have only gotten bigger since. I’ll be honest back in 2009 they were probably best known for throwing and flipping around the youngest of the group, but their talent was undoubtably unmatched.

Diversity is front-manned by now-TV-personality Ashley Banjo, who is the brains behind the entire production and very obviously the star of the show. It is him who choreographs each routine, writes the spoken-word poetry that runs behind it and acts in the story they convey. Because while Diversity is a dance troupe, their performances are much more than just dance.

Their performances are much more than just dance.

The Supernova narrative told the story of ‘an eight-year-old boy with a dream of exploring the stars’. A story that evolved into how one can struggle with failure, success and fear as they grow up, the boy (the older version of which was played by Banjo himself) learnt how to come to terms with his fear by exploring his mind and his childhood memories. The story overall was honestly heart-breaking, but had some very clever comedy moments, and made for one of the most engaging shows I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

As I have mentioned, the talent of Diversity is unrivalled. Mixing street dance with hip-hop, rave and contemporary, the group put on an incredible show. They used their stage impeccably, with it being split into the main area and a balcony, the group masterfully filled their space. There were trap doors and projectors that were put to great use, with the screens not only telling the story in the background but interacting with the dancers in some parts.

There was also an incredible use of props throughout the show. Ranging from flaming torches to LEDs to an awful lot of doors (one of which one of the dancers very nearly toppled over during one of the tensest scenes of the show), there was always something new and exciting on stage to keep the audience in awe.

There was always something new and exciting

The standout of the show was towards the end of the first half. It was a routine that showcased Banjo’s character reconnecting with his inner child by reminiscing on the old TV shows he used to love. The dancers donned the costumes of the Powerpuff Girls, Power Rangers and a couple of the Pokémon characters as they flipped to an incredible remix of the theme tunes. It was a breath of fresh air in quite a depressing and real story. My second favourite part was similar, coming in the second half, where there was a scene reminiscent of black and white movies, the group playing with the slapstick comedy that Charlie Chaplin was most known for, and the costumes really making you wonder if you had stepped into the 1920s.

Coming out of The Halls, I was beaming. The show was everything I had wanted to see in the last fifteen years (a number which makes me feel ridiculously old) and exceeded every expectation I had going in. If I could, I would watch The Supernova Tour until I knew the dances by heart, however the main leg of the tour ended just a show after this one in Hull on 7th April. However, you will definitely catch me in the audience the next time they are in town, and I would highly advise you all do the same.

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