Insane in the Brain at the Peacock Theatre

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Insane in the Brain. Photo: Hakan LÃ¥rsson

Swedish dance troupe Bounce’s Insane in the Brain opened this week at Sadler’s Wells’ West End venue, the Peacock Theatre.

It’s generally ballet that fills my dance card so I was eagerly anticipating this modern, street-dance version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. And I was pleased, if not surprised, to see the audience was a bit younger and more diverse than you often get at traditional ballet performances.

This high-energy show had some fantastic choreography and use of props. The bed scene, with its percussive repetition and alternating light effects was one of my favourites. The slanted backdrop was used for some excellent acrobatics and I loved the dance-offs. I would, however, have liked to see a few scenes made a bit shorter, and the dancers really cut loose in some parts where they seemed to be holding back – this may have been opening night jitters though.

Music was a mix of hip hop (Missy Elliott, Dizee Rascal, Notorious B.I.G), cheesy chartoppers (Lionel Ritchie’s Hello, Maniac and Fame), classical compositions (Greig), metal (System of a Down) and, of course, the title track by Cypress Hill.

A clever inclusion was a short film halfway through – starring the Bounce dancers – which meant the cast could take a well-earned breather without the audience being disrupted by an interval. Plus, they sat right in front of us, so that was quite cool.

If you like things a little bit electro, a little bit shocking, you’d be crazy to miss Insane in the Brain in London until the 3 October (then at various venues around the UK until 21 November).


  1. IndyLondoner says:

    Sadler’s Wells are the best – the annual Breakin’ Convention is a permanent fixture in my diary!

    Check out Bounce’s Michael Jackson tribute: Class.

  2. KT says:

    Thanks for the tip!! That wouldn’t normally be my cup of tea, but you make it sound very interesting.

  3. Lilac says:

    I saw this show then heard one of the tracks “Express Yourself” at a party on Saturday night… chance, or coincidence? Either way, all good!

  4. Sasha says:

    “Into the Hoods” also has some spectacular street dance. See: