Rock the Ballet incorporates multiple dance styles

This article is from 2011

Rock the Ballet incorporates multiple dance styles

Ballet gets a rock and pop makeover at 2011 Edinburgh Festival

If the word ballet leads you to thoughts of starched white tutus and tight buns, then Rock the Ballet is here to disabuse you of that notion. For although there will indeed be tight buns on stage, they’re considerably lower down than your average prima ballerina’s.

Founded by US ballet star, Rasta Thomas, the Bad Boys of Dance are a group of honed to perfection dancers able to turn their hands, and feet, to any number of styles. As well as classical ballet, Rock the Ballet also features hip hop, tap, contemporary, musical theatre and gymnastics.

‘Everybody has to come to the table already able to do multiple dance styles and able to be moulded,’ explains dancer Shane Ohmer, who recently took over from Thomas in the lead role. ‘Because once you join the show, there’s always a growth – we all teach each other new things.’

Set to a soundtrack of rock and pop classics by Michael Jackson, Queen and Prince among others, the show is billed as pure entertainment – and not just for the audience. ‘I’ve never enjoyed anything more,’ says Ohmer. ‘Even when I’m not performing in it, I’m in the audience. The show is extremely athletic and a lot of fun. It’s all about entertainment and bringing the best of the best from America.’

Assembly Hall, 623 3030, 6–28 Aug (not 8, 15, 22), 6pm, £16–£20 (£14–£18). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £10.

Rasta Thomas' BAD BOYS of DANCE

Rock the Ballet

  • 3 stars

Direct from New York and a sell-out European season comes Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet starring the Bad Boys of Dance. An explosive fusion of classical ballet blended with the excitement of tap, musical theatre, contemporary dance, martial arts and gymnastics to a stellar soundtrack including hits by Michael Jackson…

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