Rock the Ballet
Pop-rock ballet makes for pure entertainment from Rasta Thomas’s Bad Boys
This article is from 2011.
Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance have come to town and swapped tights and Tchaikovsky for snug black trousers and an unashamed pop-rock soundtrack. New York-based ballet dancers they may be, but there’s not a whiff of neurotic Natalie Portman about them – in fact here the effect is definitely more Kids from Fame than Black Swan.
The seven-strong ensemble (all male except for ballerina Kamille Upshaw) throw their fine-tuned ballet skills as hard as they can at numbers from the Black Eyed Peas, Queen and a whole lot of Michael Jackson. Classical music does feature once, in the form of Bizet’s Carmen, but then the boys are dancing with blow-up dolls at the time.
There are some beautiful moments of sinuous, acrobatic choreography, but for the most part it’s pure entertainment, of the prime-time Saturday night kind. And there’s something a bit earnest in some of the rockier numbers which rubbed the edge off the fun just a touch. But it didn’t stop the crowd from baying for more twice in a row, and the Bad Boys came into their own in a brace of brawny and fabulously showy encores.
Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 28 Aug (not 15, 22), 6pm, £16–£20 (£14–£18).