Review – Rock the Ballet – Bad Boys of Dance at the Peacock Theater

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I’m a ballet fan, as you know, but I’m also a fan of exciting dance nights that aren’t driven by pointe shoes and violins. And, I’ll admit, I also get a thrill out of going to watch people perform who are, well, yummy. And the idea of watching “Bad Boys of Dance” whip their shirts off and “rock the ballet” sounded very appealing to me. For once, I had no difficulties getting someone to come with me: seeing gorgeous men flinging themselves around on a stage to rock and roll was a very easy sell!

It was great to see people moving to music I enjoy – “Tainted Love,” “My Sharona,” “Sexy and I Know It” – and the audience was really into it (occasionally singing along). A lot of the dancing was forward facing group moves, like 90s music videos, with the various men occasional taking a moment to show off with spins, leaps, or even backflips. (Oddly there was no actual street dancing – a bit of a gap, I think.) The mix was spiced with the addition of a blonde female dancer (Adrienne Canterna) who seemed to me to be one of those hypermobile types, capable of bending in half backwards as well as, er, undoing her arm from its socket (or that’s what it looked like). Canterna did a lot of duets with lead male dancer James Boyd, which, thankfully, managed to stay on the right side of good taste – you saw her as the fun, athletic, smiling girlfriend that everyone could relate to. She pulled off leaps and spins that challenged the men mightily – I actually wanted to see her in toe shoes, just to see if she could keep the speed up. Amongst the men, I found myself keeping an eye on Jace Zeimants, who, while less heavily muscled than the other guys, seemed to feel the music more.

Rock the Ballet

The BAD BOYS OF DANCE in ROCK THE BALLET
Photo Credit: Irina Chira

If I had my druthers, I would have liked to have had some more slow bits, rather than such a generally even rock beat. The dancers just could have done more if there’d been more headspace to not be rushing around all of the time. And I felt the show was done a bit on the cheap – costumes appropriated from the Gap, cut-rate background projections and no set – but the rock music and lively dancing kept the evening rolling along. The second half, in which there were costumes that were much more “phoar” and much less “casual day at the office” was bushels of fun – with Jailhouse Rock giving all the men a chance to show off and “Shot Me Down” (a remix of Sonny Bono’s “Bang Bang”) being my favorite bits. All of this on a sunny summer day, white white galore and walking out to “Sexy and I Know It” – I haven’t had this much fun since the Buttrock Suites way back in the Seattle days. Nice job, Bad Boys!

(This review is for a performance that took place on Thursday, June 12, 2014. It continues through June 28th.)

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