We’re finally back in Henham Park for cinch presents Latitude 2022! Thursday was a stunning start to the festival, and we’re here to bring you all the highlights.
With dance, theatre and late night entertainment, it was a truly fantastic way to kick off.
Symone: Utopian (T&C’s Apply)
You know how getting ready for the big night out is sometimes more fun than the night out itself? That’s exactly how Symone’s Thursday evening performance of Utopian felt. Balancing the line between circus show and warehouse rave, the show manages to be hilarious and hard-hitting in equal measure.
Utopian balances cultural commentary with surrealist excess. Audiences were treated to a whirlwind of gender-nonconformity, exceptional aerial performance and contorted circus skills. There are also nods to pop culture aplenty: the show is set to a blend of trash-fuelled dance and hyperpop, with a few pop classics, including Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”, thrown in.
From the hula hooping to the six-inch platforms atop a pair of rollerskates, and the poles, chains and powerplay to the giant box of popcorn that ended up cast across the stage, the show subverts all expectation. Thought-provoking, yet utterly entertaining.
DanceEast: Folk Dance Remixed
It’s golden hour on the lake as the stirrings of a fiddle fills the air. It’s the beginning of another Latitude, and on the Waterfront Stage, DanceEast’s Folk Dance Remixed is ready to help you shake off your stresses. Audience participation is not only encouraged – the atmosphere is so infectious that it’s practically commanded.
With an original fusion of folk dance and hip hop, Folk Dance Remixed is quirky and vibrant. They’re interactive with the crowd, and soon the combination of fiddle, electric guitar and beatboxing joins the applause. Everyone, from toddlers to pensioners, is on their feet to join in the dance tutorials.
The sea of movement as the audience learn a dance called a “Horse’s Brawl” reflects the sea of water they dance beside. It’s high energy, and the group combines old traditions through contemporary movement, teaching us everything from breakdance to Bollywood. A truly great reason to let the kids stay up late, and perhaps get up to shake things off yourself.
Mikey Snooze & Friends
As darkness fell, inhibitions loosened and the hazy pull of lights and tunes lured festival-goers into the woods. Mikey Snooze was, of course, waiting there to greet them. Renowned for his ability to get the party started and keep it going long into the night, Mikey exceeded expectation with an infectious blend of party-pop that traversed the decades and had everyone up on their feet.
From the families with children who had persuaded their parents to let them stay out a little past their bedtime, to the teens and adults alike dancing amongst the dust, everyone joined in with roaring collective singalongs. Mikey kept the energy high throughout with his silly, spirited persona and expert blend of pop bangers. The nocturnal revelry embraces everything from ABBA and the Bee Gees, to Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.
With eyes bleary, feet sore and a good time well and truly had by all, this was a nod to Latitude’s long-established ability to unite its audiences in these smaller snapshots of carefree festival fun.
The Cocoa Butter Club
The spokesperson for Cocoa Butter Club, Jordan Charles, explains how they came into existence, about people of colour being pushed to the sidelines in the performance sphere, never to have a seat at the table. “Instead, we made our own table,” he declares. watching them, it’s clear to see they didn’t just make a new table – they laid it up with a feast.
Full of vigour, the audience piles in to The Outpost, sitting neatly on grass, faces expectant for a show. Within minutes, it was disorderly – claps, screams and beaming smiles for the group that were showcasing freedom of expression in the most scintillating way.
Lights down low, Mimi Sugarpill dazzled the audience with her sensuous burlesque performance, whilst the Drag Kings made us swoon and contemplate – showing the power of dance in discussing heavy topics like slavery.
Meanwhile, Amazi Hoops has two Guinness World Records, and a thousand hearts captured at Latitude. Jaws drop as she bends her way hoops with neon lights studded throughout, transforming the space into a myriad of discotheque-like colours.
This isn’t your average late night act. If you’ve never been initiated into cabaret, this is the way to do it.
Check back tomorrow for all the best bits from Friday, including headliner Lewis Capaldi.