Imagine being in a nightclub with pumping pop by your favourite artists, then suddenly the dancefloor is taken over by a troupe of energetic, athletic, graceful, powerful ballet dancers… Who are also breakdancers… Who are also hiphop dancers… Who move effortlessly from one genre to another – now all poise and strength; now all rhythm and hips; now all grace and allure. Huh?!
Ballet Revolución, exactly as its name implies, takes all the visual stunningness of ballet and spins it on its toes. Strength, mastery, mystery, power, elegance, adaptability – felt like you could throw any genre at them and they would nail it. There were solos, duets, quintets and ensembles – and the dancing was matched by the powerful sounds of the band: big sounds, big audio, big beats.
Noybel Gorgoy Reyes’ voice – pitch perfect on Lorde and Sia – filled the theatre as congas and drums beats filled our bodies and the dancing filled our hearts. More traditional ballets you can often feel like you are witnessing in some kind of detached etherealism. You don’t watch this ballet, you feel it. The choreography was creative – The Police’s Roxanne given a jazz-esque reimagining; an elegant, dream-like Chandelier would have thrilled Sia, while Beyonce’s Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) was given a male-led twist. Pleasingly, there was no apparent gender focus: women were equally strong as men who were equally elegant as the women.
For all that the show was good, there was still some tightening that could have been done. An opening scene, featuring cast members limbering up in tracksuits at dance school, could have been cut entirely. Subsequent scenes of Cuban-style warm-up were too lengthy – while they served to set a low tempo, there wasn’t enough light and shade and we were held at the same tempo for way too long. Timing wasn’t always spot on, in some ways added to the charm. Cut down the opening scenes, tighten the tech and the timing, lose one or two of the pop numbers and you’re good to go. Si!
Ballet Revolución continues at Her Majesty’s Theatre at various times until Sun 19 Jul.
Book at BASS on 131 241 or bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Guido Ohlenbostel