Hold onto your seats and get ready for a night of heart-thumping, eye-popping, dance entertainment – Rock the Ballet has hit Australia!
Love it or hate it, you can hardly ignore it. Direct from New York come the Bad Boys of Dance - hot, young and extremely talented male dancers who combine ballet with contemporary, tap and hip-hop styles of dance. Throw in many an acrobatic trick and you have yourself a very entertaining performance.
The Bad Boys of Dance is the brain-child of Rock the Ballet producer Rasta Thomas, whose unlikely career in ballet started when his father sent him to lessons as punishment for bad behaviour in martial arts class.
Inspired by dancing greats Michael Jackson and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rasta felt a need to keep challenging himself with groundbreaking dance routines and to connect with a younger audience, and so the idea for Bad Boys of Dance was born.
Thomas is not a one-man band, his dance partner and wife (who he met at age ten), Adrienne Canterna-Thomas is the principal choreographer of Rock the Ballet and like her husband she too appears in the show.
From the moment that the first song I Gotta Feelin’ by the Black Eyed Peas filled the theatre, I knew I was in for an uplifting and enjoyable show, yet there’s no denying that the fans of traditional ballet may have had trouble appreciating the choreography.
Even I admit to cringing at the sight of a perfectly extended point one moment and flexed foot the next. Yet if you can leave that behind and appreciate Rock the Ballet for what it is, a new frontier in sexy male dance, then you might find yourself having the time of your life.
Adding to the entertainment value the dancers are backlit by a video production, complementing each of the dances and helping to create a certain mood.
The first act seems intent on acting out a series of short stories to a cast array of musical styles, everything from modern pop to Bizet's Carmen and French song Ne Me Quittes Pas by Jacque Brel.
If you’re looking for deep and meaningful then this isn’t the show for you. The Carmen number (the only number choreographed by Thomas) showed the Bad Boys of Dance acting out amorous liaisons with blow up dolls with a video featuring a cartoon prostitute parlour in the background. Was this act some kind of comment on the Russian sex industry? No it was not. Discussions later with Canterna-Thomas revealed that it was in fact, just a bit of fun meant to make the audience laugh.
Act two was arguably even more entertaining than the first and was a tribute to the musical greats featuring songs by Michael Jackson, Queen and Prince.
As the charismatic male dancers continued to perform mind boggling acrobatic stunts with seemingly little effort, there was no denying that the tension from the female audience members went from simmering to boiling, reminiscent of a male strip show.
Canterna-Thomas gives her own flirtatious performance and keeps the male audience members happy. It did seem a strange choice to integrate only one female dancer into the show. Yes, Rock the Ballet is all about showcasing the male dancer, yet watching Thomas’ wife perform sexy moves with almost every Bad Boy was almost disconcerting.
From a relatively quiet start, the audience’s appreciation of the show grew to fever pitch as it reached its climatic ending. Avoid disappointment, don’t duck out early to make a quick getaway, or you will live to regret it.
Rock the Ballet
Venue: Regal Theatre
Dates: June 29 - July 17, 2010
Bookings: Ticketek 132 849 | www.ticketek.com.au