The things that dreams are made of

Marlon 'Swoosh' Wallen, from Flawless
Marlon 'Swoosh' Wallen, from Flawless
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DANCE troupe Flawless have embarked on their most ambitious tour with a feature-length show, Chase the Dream, which comes to the Lyceum on Saturday.

Premiered last summer at the Edinburgh Festival, the show features not only the exciting street dance routines for which the Britain’s Got Talent winners became famous, but contemporary jazz, modern ballet and jump jive.

That’s the idea behind Chase the Dream, to expose the diverse range of skills both collectively and individually among the 10-strong group.

“With five- or ten-minute shows you are so restricted and we have so many ideas,” says choreographer and founder Marlon ‘Swoosh’ Wallen. “We do individual solos and duets – things that people had no idea we could do. It’s not just street dance. It’s two very different halves like a totally different show in each.”

The group was formed in 2004. “I selected the members myself because I think auditions are demeaning,” says Wallen. “Also that way you avoid getting annoying characters with the wrong attitude. I selected individuals I felt could share the dream together. It grew organically for a year. We all knew each other from going to the same school or college. And it’s the same 10 in the group today.”

It was 2005 before Flawless began performing. “We were grateful for a year to work out a style and image and how we could be different.”

It earned them a string of awards, including Best Street Dance Group in 2005, the UK’s Street Dance Champions, International Dance Champions and triumphing in the World Dance Championships over 50 nations from around the world in Germany.

But that made little impact on the public at large. “There was no exposure at the time and that’s why we did Britain’s Got Talent,” says Swoosh (“I’ve been called that since I was a kid and it’s stuck,” he explains).

Winning that transformed their profile. “Not just us, but street dance generally,” he points out. “Now there are so many dance shows. When we were first trying to establish a national profile there were no dance shows going on.”

The success of the movie Street Dance 3D moved it on further. “To be part of that journey was something you couldn’t put a price tag on for us. Apart from anything else, it made London look brilliant.”

They have also appeared in music videos for Madonna, Beyonce, Leona Lewis and Westlife but who are the fans of Flawless?

“Audiences come from all ages and generations and we have seen all kinds of people buy tickets,” says Wallen. “People have come all the way from Italy to see the show. Now we are coming to places we haven’t been to before – like Sheffield.”

And where next for the troupe? “The next thing I would like to do is take the show to Europe. The future seems endliess but the ultimate ambition for Flawless is do do a big arena show in Las Vegas. Everyone in the UK was surprised that we have moved on so well and we can show we can do it.”