I was invited to see the recent performance of the “Bad Boys of Dance” company in Geneva showcasing their performance, ROCK THE BALLET. The actual name does not provide an accurate account of what to expect at the show, and a more appropriate title would have been to call the spectacle “Pop the Gymnastics”, though I suppose that would not serve as much justice in trying to sell the show.
The dancers were good, especially the six males. They performed bare foot and non-stop, executing extremely fast steps, almost to the point where one could not sync with them and spurring a somewhat stressed feeling. They were completely isolated alone on stage with zero scenery to further enhance the overall vibe; not a single detail of decoration and they sported the most basic street clothes –essentially jeans and t-shirts. It looked like some people from the bus had just stepped onto a stage by mistake. Truly, big thanks should be owed to their technical skills as dancers for the event to not have been an utter disaster. I felt sorry for them, it is nice to transform oneself on a stage and transport the audience into some sort of parallel world, not the case, save the “herd” effect of the audience’s call to clap alongside the dancers to psychologically make them feel as if they were “getting into” the performance more. Furthermore, it was apparent that little effort had gone into interpreting the actual meaning of some of the songs the group danced to, notably due to the odd moments where the dancers’ were intent on better entertaining the crowd with smiles, points in some songs’ arrangements that would have been hardly reminiscent of feelings worth smiling about, according to the musical artists’ use of lyrical text depiction during their original writing of many of their works.
The choreography, created by the main female dancer, Adrienne Canterna, was poor, except for the first minutes in the second half after intermission. There was no plot nor backstory, making the show somewhat dull and boring, particularly due to the rapid steps and foot work occurring, leading to too much repetition and serving the dancers to have to show off more than feel the music they were performing. Gymnastics was mixed with classical and contemporary dance in an uncut way. There was little sensibility and the sensation was in great part, stressful and aggressive. Dancers were crossing the stage continuously, jumping, turning for no reason, without a destination. I felt anxious as it was well-performed in terms of posture, but badly choreographed.
On another note, a big bravo should be given to the lighting engineers and designers which was indeed fantastic and ultimately saved the show. It was definitely one of the elements I personally appreciated the most.