Diversity @ LG Arena, 7th April 2012

Diversity got digitalized and Birmingham got diversified on this dull Saturday afternoon here at the LG Arena. After following Diversity on Britain’s Got Talent I was very excited about getting the chance to come and see them but I realized today that there is only an amount of street dancing a man can take. As far as the show was concerned we had to wait a good 25 minutes for any dancing to actually take place as the start was just hyping up the dance crew. The crew had even got Sky News in on the act to announce that they were missing but the only thing Diversity were missing for the first part of the show was a lot of the originality that won them Britain’s Got Talent. The special effects were pretty but Ashley Banjo (the groups leader) didn’t throw Perry Kiely (the little one with an afro) around enough for my liking (which may be because Perry isn’t 13 anymore) and even when he did the LG Arena had conveniently placed a bar directly in my eye line.

Diversity were stuck in The Da Vinchi Code today, they were trapped and digitalized, the crew had to gain energy presumably by dancing better to escape and they were helped along by The Protector and The Key Maker. The Protector was the most interesting dancer and he looked about six years old gliding across the floor performing impossible break dancing moves. Half way through the first half something terrible happened to Diversity and they got bewitched by an average female dance group who brought chairs with them wherever they went, when I say a terrible thing happened you might think I’m talking about Diversity getting cursed but the girl group weren’t all that special they brought some variation but not one of them did a back flip!

It got to the point where Diversity were getting a little dull to watch then something magnificent happened, they all changed their trainers and became better dancers, I don’t know if this was the desired effect but something about those sparkling white trainers brought the guys to life. It could of been that or the change in music, as it was time for the classics. Then it was my favorite part of the performance, a grand piano appeared and so did BGT Contestant Paul Gbegbaje who performed a collection of well known hits for the squad to dance to.

In the interval I was starting to wonder whether Diversity were only at their peak for three minutes at a time as everything from their BGT days wasn’t there. The comical routines and sudden song changes were missing and the lifts and turns didn’t look as good as they did on the BGT stage and they definitely needed a huge stage show to back them up.

But now it was time for level 4, Diversity had changed their trainers again and the second half was crammed with immense routines and techniques. The crew started by paying tribute to Michael Jackson which then brought another 2009 BGT hopeful Julian Smith out to woo the audience with a snazzy saxophone solo and I must say he was incredible. Perry’s little brother even came out to steal the stage and slide up and down with his entertaining moon walk.

Then three assassins appeared, who stole the show tonight. A blue hulk like figure threw himself across the stage while belly flopping the floor as a martial arts expert kicked the air and a ninja rotated round with a pointy looking stick. There was so much talent witnessed today, I was getting a little overwhelmed when two of the most flexible dancers I’ve ever seen came out and stunned the crowd with their unique routine in a sphere lifted above the ground.

Just as the show was intensifying the audience got involved for level 5 with the huge ball race and clap game which was a nice touch but it did take away a little from the story line but nevertheless just like that Diversity appeared again to finish the show with a spectacular finale. Ashley Banjo flew to the ceiling to touch the powerful ball at the heart of the game as the flexible dancers spun round mid air accompanied by the illuminating Diversity crew flashing away. Diversity definitely know how to pull off a show, the show was well thought out as all the extra acts all fitted in with the story. The lighting was incredible and the main thing was it was quite humorous. From the second half onwards all the moves were their from Diversity’s glory days, each routine coincided with the story and still 3 years after winning Britain’s Got Talent they’re very humble. They are very likable and this along with the well choreographed routines is precisely why they sell out twice in a day at an indoor arena.

Review – John Kirby
Photos – Katja Ogrin

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