Review: Rock the Ballet
It's ballet, but not as we know it. Rock the Ballet, the brainchild of ballet superstar Rasta Thomas, is billed as the bad boys of dance. And like any good bad boy, even though you know you shouldn't, it's hard not to fall in love with the cast of Rock the Ballet.
This is not anywhere close to ballet in its purest form. There are no point shoes, no tutus, no tights and no stiff routines. It's also not quite as sharp and focused as some ballet-lovers might expect. But it is impressive. With a soundtrack of close to 30 songs from the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay and Michael Jackson, this is ballet for the non-purists.
And if you get into the feel of the show, as last night's audience so willingly did, it is really very easy to get swept away by the skill and passion shown by these dancers as they summersault, leap and flip their way across the stage.
An athletic mix of contemporary, jazz and hip-hop dance, with a bit of gymnastics thrown in for good measure, these six dancers are magnetic when in full flight. This show has won over audiences all around the world.
Yes, the routines are a bit shallow and same-samey at times, but there are moments of genius - how often do you see six men dance their way around a stage to Maria Callas' voice, with blow-up dolls in hand (and in one case, a not-so blown up doll), all done in jeans and T-shirts?
And it is humour that is the charm of this show. The dancers obviously take their dancing seriously, but they are also clearly having a ball and they want the audience to have fun too.
That is surely the only reason for the Chippendales-esque routine at the end of the show, not that the largely female crowd minded.
Told you they were bad boys.
ROCK THE BALLET
WHERE: Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna
WHEN: June 12-17