Dance Review: Rock the Ballet
Rock the Ballet. Picture: Supplied.

Rock the Ballet

Regal Theatre

When the shirts came off and the mostly female audience squealed, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stepped into a male strip club.

The second encore of Rock the Ballet involved a super-ripped sextet thrusting their hips and gyrating to I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred like a troupe of male strippers who could dance really well.

But back to the dancing . . .

The choreography combines almost every mode of movement - ballet, contemporary, breakdancing, ballroom, musical theatre, jazz, Latin, contemporary and gymnastics, with some disco, tribal, pantomime, martial arts and even some chicken dancing. This is performed to hits by U2, Black Eyed Peas, Lenny Kravitz, Coldplay and more.

Act one tells a simple love story as six male dancers compete for the "Pretty Girl" (Jordan Lombardi) who settles on principal male dancer Shane Ohmer.

The most interesting moments come during the ensemble pieces when the choreography gets really whimsical. The audience chuckled as the men performed a cheeky dance with blow-up sex dolls to the Habanera from the opera Carmen. Other fanciful moves include the seemingly video game-inspired synchronised circular crab shuffle and a primate-like sideways crawl.

The second act is a pastiche that enters Collar and Cuffs territory set to songs by Michael Jackson, Prince and Queen. You could almost smell the testosterone as the male dancers showed off their athleticism.

But proceedings start to get choppy as portions of each song clunkily segue into the next. Low production values detract from the performances. The tacky animated video backdrop and outdated costumes resemble a production that may have been cutting-edge 10 to 15 years ago.

Yet the true joy comes from seeing so many different dance styles creatively melded together in a celebration of movement with some funny dramatics and loads of sex appeal. It's all a bit of fun, really. And, judging by the audience reaction, Rasta Thomas and the Bad Boys of Ballet are doing something right.

Rock the Ballet runs until July 22.

The West Australian

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