Ballet pops with attitude
Direct from Cuba, the is here at last, writes
AFIERY mix of contemporary dance, ballet, street dance and hip-hop that warmed up the winter night when it exploded on stage in Brisbane last weekend, Ballet Revolucion lands at The Gold Coast Arts Centre next week.
stand-out female vocalist, male rapper and six Cuban musicians shake up expectations from the opening strains of the show’s Latin-infused, pop soundtrack of hits by Beyonce, Shakira, Usher, Enrique Iglesias, Prince and J-Lo, quickly becoming crowd favourites with their rhythmic delights and audience involvement.
Billed as ‘‘ballet with attitude’’ Ballet Revolucion showcases 20 Cuban dancers displaying equal measures of elegance and sex appeal. The athleticism and breakdancing skills of the perfectly-chiselled male dancers are matched by the grace and street-style grandeur of the featured female performers.
Highlights include a not-so-G-rated routine to Cee Lo Green’s ‘‘clean edit’’ of Forget You, featuring a girl and her entourage of male admirers, followed by a heartbreaking dance with two couples each seated on a chair, exploring the make-up of love and loss and defying gravity with their weightless affection.
The performers garnered a standing ovation at the Brisbane premiere – and can’t wait to get to the Coast on Wednesday, says Australian producer and Ballet Revolucion creator Mark Brady.
‘‘So many great things have happened for the show since we had our world premiere in Australia two years ago,’’ he says.
‘‘The show has performed sell-out seasons throughout Europe in (the) major cities of Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Frankfurt and Vienna.
‘‘We had the amazing honour of being invited to perform in the presence of Queen Elizabeth for the Royal Variety Concert on November 19 last year. Internationally, the show continues to wow audiences no matter where we perform, so bringing it back to Australia, and this time to the Gold Coast, is exciting.’’
Choreographer Aaron Cash, who began dancing with Clarrissa Hill in Brisbane when he was eight, has performed with Cher, Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov and was an original Tap Dog. He says he was thrilled to be asked to work on Revolucion.
‘‘ Ballet Revolucion differs from other forms of ballet as it’s fused with contemporary dance and danced to pop music,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s very accessible, it’s high energy, has great music and it’s definitely a feelgood show.
‘‘It’s a celebration of what the human body is capable of through dance. Within that, we look at love, lust, betrayal – the usual good stuff.’’
Ballet Revolucion plays The Arts Centre Gold Coast from Wednesday to July 6.
Ballet Revolucion – Picture: PETER WALLIS
Dance with a difference: onstage in Brisbane.