You must go and see Ballet Revolución! It is the hottest event in town. It is exciting, vibrant, powerful, stirring, sexy, and at times it takes your breath way. It’s a party and a celebration of humanity. Whether you think you are into dance or not, you will be wowed by this remarkable company, and you will be reminded how beautiful and awe inspiring the human body can be. These dancers have the X factor!
Ballet Revolución is a Cuban dance company with a difference. It is not a classical dance company, nor modern, nor folk. It is all those things, and every dance is an exciting and innovative fusion of all these forms. Modern dance—whatever that means—can sometimes seem unsatisfying and on the verge of something special but never quite get there. This company always get there and the result is both athletic and delicate, controlled and explosive, and always entertaining. In fact to say it is entertaining is to sell it short. It is compelling and totally involving. Just watch the heads and bodies of the entire audience – young and old – moving and swaying and grinding (!) in their seats in sympathy with the spectacle on stage.
The show has no real narrative. It is not like a classical ballet where the dance and the music combine to tell a story. This show is almost a cultural travelogue of life in Cuba. There are snapshots of people falling in and out of love, flirting, fighting, going about their daily lives, growing up, partying, and just being. I found this completely refreshing and totally enjoyed the experience of being immersed in an eclectic but dazzling mix of dance, song and music, ranging from Beyonce to Ricky Martin, without having to ponder whether it was deep and meaningful!
The eight-piece band was an exceptional combination of percussion, guitar, keyboard/synthesiser, trumpet and voice. They were mostly hidden from view behind a Monet-inspired screen (yes, lilies – almost – but in rich primary colours that saturated your senses) but the band was illuminated at key moments as part of the show’s stunning and dramatic lighting design. Luis Palacios Galvez gave an impassioned, extended congo drum solo at break neck speed that had the audience on the edge of their seats.
For me the highlight of the show was an interesting twist on a pas de quatre entitled ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’. (after the composition for classical guitar and orchestra by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo, although its well-known theme was not used). One couple danced a classical inspired routine that represented the blossoming of a relationship, while the other pair danced a more contemporary routine that portrayed them breaking-up. The music was dominated by guitar and trumpet and, curiously, the choreography for one couple beautifully suited the music intended for the other.
Another highlight was a dazzling solo by Moisés León Noriega, whose lithe and muscular body had everyone lusting after or envying it …or both. And the curtain call was a ‘revolution’ of individuality, with everyone doing their own thing in a controlled and totally thrilling way. After it was over and the curtain gracefully descended for the last time, the audience left exhausted but exhilarated.
This show is only her for 6 performances. Do NOT miss it!
Reviewed by Kym Clayton
Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre, 58 Grote Street, Adelaide
Season: 23-28 July 2013
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Tickets: From $79
Bookings: 131 246 or www.bass.net.au