The Ballet Revolucion Company and ATA Allstar Artists. Her Majestyʼs Theatre Adelaide. 24 Jul 2013
The doors of Her Majesty’s open. The street loud speakers boom out ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’. The foyer music is just as loud. But when the show starts the music is really loud, and brilliant, and the twenty Ballet Revolucion dancers sure can dance. This is a case where the cliché ʻcolour and movementʼ rings absolutely true.
The show opens with a classical ballet routine that quickly morphs into the first of many raunchy, totally contemporary fusion dances incorporating duets, solos, or the whole company. This is a cast of strong males and strong females. The choreographers are Aaron Cash and Roclan Gonzalez Chevez.
One routine follows another in swift succession as the company lays the foundation for what will be two hours of exploring Cuban beat, Latin American rhythms, standards by Beyonce, Prince, J Lo, Ricky Martin, Bob Marley, and Usher; all mixed together with acrobatic and athletic skill, and classical and contemporary dance that, on a cold Adelaide winter night, really hits the mark with the opening night full house audience.
Ten minutes in, I am struck by the loudness of the music, its clarity, and the fact that the onstage dancers are totally in synch. Suddenly the lights change, revealing the eight upstage musicians pumping out the beat; and what musicianship. From the generous vocals of Weston Foster and Kristin Hosein, to the soul filled trumpet of Thommy Garcia Rojas, and the powerful conga drums of Luis Palacios Galvaz, each musician adds their own distinctive quality to the evening’s soundscape. The onstage bass is played by musical director, Osmar Salazar Hernandez.
There were really three shows that we were watching. The dancers with their blend of classical, contemporary, and acrobatic movement; the band with itʼs power packed musical accompaniment; and the spectacular lighting show of sharply focused cones of red, blue, yellow, or white light lifting the dancers from the surrounding blackness of Her Majʼs deep stage.
After sixty minutes of dance, music and lighting display, the audience was in a festive mood and ready for more. Which is exactly what they got after Interval. The second half of the program was more emotional, sensuous, body on body, and dived deeper into the subtext of the music with the band taking a more prominent and visible part in the performance.
There were many delicious duos, small ensemble pieces, extended physical moments, character work and comedy routines. For example the male nerd dance with the buff males donning glasses and shirts and looking amusingly awkward. Then the nerds whipped off their shirts to great audience appreciation. Forget Manpower . . . these dancers know how to strut their stuff.
All too soon it was time for the bows and the standing ovation. But then the finale encore - a full fifteen minutes of thrilling solo and company dance moments, band improvisation, and lighting magic which further highlights why this immensely talented company of Cuban dancers and musicians are drawing in the crowds across Australia with their current tour down under.
My highlights were the three couples dancing to an elegant rendition of Princeʼs Purple Rain, the whole of company body contact routines, the extended conga drum solo, and of course the final encore.
The Ballet Revolucion Company can dance. The evidence lies within this two hour spectacular dance performance at Her Majesties Theatre.
When: 23rd to 27th July
Where: Her Majestyʼs Theatre