Ballet Revolución, Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre
From the land of mambo, rum cocktails and suggestively large cigars, dance extravaganza Ballet Revolución has erupted onto the London stage at the Peacock theatre. A 20 strong company of ballet artists direct from Cuba amaze and enthral as their bodies undulate spectacularly to live music. The show is an invigorating synthesis of classical ballet and modern folkloric jive taken from the clubs and beaches of Cuba. Producers Mark Brady and John Lee had a vision of blending the innate domestic rhythms of island life with the disciplined technique of ballet and the results are breathtaking.
‘The dance troupe demonstrates incredible versatility in their movements as they thrust their hips and wind their torsos whilst their legs flutter elegantly in a cabriole.
Dancing to modern pop tracks including Shakira, Prince and Cee Lo Green the dance troupe demonstrates incredible versatility in their movements as they thrust their hips and wind their torsos whilst their legs flutter elegantly in a cabriole. This fusion of styles is enabled by the extensive work of acclaimed choreographers Aaron Cash and Roclan Gonzalez Chavez. Their respective backgrounds in Broadway musicals and hit Salsa shows radiates throughout the innovative routines. The performers really do dance as though it’s their last night on earth as they pirouette and leap through the air as though on strings. Their movements are highly acrobatic, it was incredible to see the dancers make their bodies stretch, bend and twist with such aqueous fluidity.
The pop culture element is provided by the music as much as the hip-hop shoulder winds and occasional cheeky robot moves. The Ballet Revolución band, play their selection of chart hits giving each track their own Latin vibe with the thud of the conga and peal of the trumpet. The tag ‘Ballet with attitude’ is certainly apt; the inclusion of shredded black tutus and distressed unitards embellishes the urban undertone of this canonical dance style. There are a number of traditional pas de deux numbers; the two bodies showing their full range of movement as they slide and roll in symbiotic harmony. There is also a large amount of group work with plenty of shimmying and high kicking to emulate the social significance of street culture and carnival.
‘Their movements are highly acrobatic, it was incredible to see the dancers make their bodies stretch, bend and twist with such aqueous fluidity.’
Only a culture as diverse and rich as Cuba’s could produce dancers with such spirit and physical expressiveness. This deep down sensuality has been superbly incorporated into the graceful flow of ballet creating a show, which not only entertains but also captivates and astounds. Viva la Revolución!
Aaron Cash, choreographer, Ballet Revolucion