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Ballet Revolucion, Sydney, May 11-12 2018

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I had never heard of Ballet Revolucion before I stumbled across an advertisement a couple of months ago. So I checked it out on Google, as you do (😊), and found, as I had suspected, that it was a Cuban group, formed in 2011 by an Australian entrepreneur. However, Cuban dancers are renowned for their balletic skills and huge jumps, as their presence in ballet companies around the world attests. Carlos Acosta is the most obvious example, but closer to home, Queensland Ballet's principals Victor Estevez, Camilo Ramos and Yanela Pinera (sorry, my tablet doesn't allow me to do diacritics) are all Cuban trained. So I bought a ticket. The next thing was whether or not I would write about the performance for Balletcoforum.Then I read that Ballet Revolucion had performed for the Queen - the Queen, no less - in 2012, so what's good enough for the Queen is good enough for the forum. Not too long after that, the Sydney Morning Herald did a feature which suggested that the main issue with the group was whether they were sexy or sensual. This I can clear up immediately. They were neither. High energy, yes; enormously athletic, yes; passionate in their dancing, yes; sexy or sensual, no. They were most impressive in the numbers which involved most of the group on stage, featuring big leaps, fast turns and maximal use of space. What let this group of 20 passionate dancers down was the choreography. It was repetitive, banal, utterly uninspiring. There was no program or cast list (grrrrr), so I can't say who was responsible, but given that the group debued in 2011 to critical aclaim, it is possible that the original choreographers, Aaron Cash, an Australian, and Roclan Gonzalez Chavez, a Cuban, were not reponsible. The lack of a cast list also means that the one young man who was outstanding remains nameless. Unforgivable. 

So, to go or not to go?  If you're a ballet tragic, probably give it a miss, but if your tastes are rather more catholic, and especially if you have non-ballet-watching family or friends, and you want to get them involved, then this is the show for you (or them). In a word, (don't be literal😊) Bollywood on steroids, with a Cuban flavour. 




Edited by jmb
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