Bad Boys of Dance set to rock the ballet in India
Shivani Kaul After smoothly swaying their way into the hearts of millions across the globe, international ballet and contemporary dance group Bad Boys of Dance (BBD) is commencing a seven-city tour of India.
Rasta Thomas, founding member and dancing superstar who has performed at the Academy Awards, and appeared in Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze-starrer feature film "One Last Dance" is thrilled to be performing in India for the first time.
"It began with a dream, to make a change, to be different. It's been a wonderful experience. But it's been a struggle. I wanted to encourage a younger audience, to accept and appreciate dancing.
There's still a stereotype that ballet is boring and that dancing is only for girls. I wanted to educate the younger audience," says Thomas.
Owing his roots to classical ballet, Thomas pointed out that the youth is more interested in hip hop and contemporary dances.
"We try to eliminate the fundamental reason but keep the basis of ballet and dancing and just add some spice to it, says the 31 year old dancer whose troupe is being supported by the American Centre.
Thomas who held a workshop with local dancers seemed to even mull an Indian ballet group. "Indian dancers are very passionate, they know how to tell a story, people are very engaging and kind, all the great qualities that most dancers have," he says.
Commenting upon the famous musicals that Indian film industry has produced, the dancer says, "I need to watch some Bollywood movies, I thoroughly enjoy the cheekiness and flirtatiousness of some of the videos that I have seen.
The production value, the costumes, I would love to train in different styles, I am a big fan of what I have seen." US Embassy's Cultural Affairs officer, Lydia Barraza, says "These cultural programs bring Indians and Americans together, talking about things we have in common, the similarities. So we believe the relationship between US and India isn?t only about politics economics n trade, but about the cultures we share."
Founded in 2007, BBD has given over 150 shows a year and have also perfomed in Broadway musicals, and in international television shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "So you think you can dance".
The group with eight performers including Thomas's wife and associate choreographer Adrienne Canterna, is set to perform the production "Rock the ballet" here tomorrow.
Combining traditional ballet dancing with contemporary dances, hip hop, jazz, music theatre, energetic dancing, the group has performed all over the world including whole of Europe, Russia, Australia, US, New Zealand and Japan.
After having perfomed in Jaipur and Delhi, the band is set to go to Chennai and Kolkata too. PTI