Rock the Ballet

This afternoon I sat in seat W28 for the performance of Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet. The show is a collaborative effort between husband and wife team, Rasta Thomas and Adrienne Canterna of New York City. The show is a fusion of ballet, musical theatre, jazz, hip hop, acrobatics and contemporary dance, to a soundtrack for the people. We heard the Black Eyed Peas, U2, Michael Jackson, Queen, Right Said Fred over the State Theatre’s sound system, creating an atmosphere unique to the show itself. The technical skill and precision of the dancers was incredible, but it was sincerely matched by their passion for their craft, and a professional work ethic only possible in a small cast.

Apart from Rasta Thomas and Adrienne Canterna, the principals are part of the troupe the Bad Boys of Dance. As far as I understand, this group of six male dancers is changeable, but are all trained under Thomas. Canterna choreographed almost the entire show, and her attention to detail and grasp of each style is wonderfully executed.

I’ve always wanted to be able to dance. As I’ve frequently reminded them, the one thing I regret my parents not making me do as a toddler and primary school girl, is attend dance classes. I want to know that I have that ballet foundation, the one that will make it possible for me to pick up a routine with ease, and be able to feel that lyrical flow. Over the years I’ve done martial arts, sports aerobics, musical theatre, and the odd jazz, tap or Zumba class. Whilst I can feel a beat and keep in time with the music, I know I’ll never have the satisfaction of feeling completely comfortable in the dance world.

Dancers are able to make sense of the music in a unique way. Musicians play expressively, compose, improvise and sometimes even choreograph their works, but only a dancer has the ability to create total fluidity using both body and space. A show becomes an experience, and today I was consumed and overwhelmed by the show’s unity. The synchronised movements, full use of stage breadth and depth and how in tune each dancer was with the music and fellow performers.

I could not get over their athleticism. They were all so fit and toned, but you could see the hours of hard work they put in to get these results. Centerna’s figure was so precisely sculptured, she became all the more incredible to watch. Her thighs were muscular but feminine. I can only dream of having pins like her.

I’ve come home tonight left hanging, wishing, thinking. When I watch dance, theatre and even some dance-oriented movies, I always feel like I’ve lost a part of me I never actually had. I want to be able to dance. I wish it came naturally. What they can do is inspiring and scary, but the results are full of a blinding emotion that captures me every time.

If Rock the Ballet comes to your city, do yourself a favour. Go and experience their work. If you’re not left stunned or inspired, I’d love to hear from you. And your heart must have been elsewhere.

  1. Gary Levy said:

    Wow, ‘cl’! Well I might also have missed this amazing show but reading your appraisal is the next best thing to being there! I could almost see those beautifully athletic bodies in motion.

    I know how strongly you can ‘feel a beat’ and appreciate so many different rhythms. I’m sure this could transfer to your inner workings if you took some classes and put your mind to it! Maybe all the bits and pieces of training you’ve done over the years adds up to more than your realise. Even if they don’t, if the will and vision are strong enough, all else (including head, torso and limbs) will follow…

    PaperMan xx

  2. darstellungsrisiko said:

    moving bodies in space, taking up space, creating new form in space. Your writing helps me transcend the place where I am seated reading this blog. I can feel a sense of this movement physically through your words and want more.

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