Robert Tanitch reviews Rock the Ballet at Peacock Theatre, London WC2
Audiences are much more likely to want to see a show called Bad Boys of Dance than a show called Rock the Ballet; and even more so since Rasta Thomas’s show is aimed at audiences who do not go to ballet.
The show stars Bad Boys of Dance. The boys are trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip hop styles. The cast is headed, however, by a woman, Adrienne Canterna, who is also artistic director and choreographer. Her leading man is James Boyd.
As a showcase for male dancers, the choreography and the dancers do not even begin to be in the same class as Men in Motion and Kings of the Dance, who are, unwisely, referred to in an essay in the programme.
There is a lot of gymnastic energy, lots of bits and pieces to rock and pop hits; but there is nothing which adds up to a satisfying whole. Rock the Ballet may appeal to those who know nothing about dance and have nothing to judge it by.
The second act is better than the first act. The Bad Boys finally deliver what the large contingent of girls in the audience has come for. The boys take off their shirts! There are shrieks of delight. But, ladies, be warned, it’s just a tease. Despite the song, “I’m sexy and I know it” blaring away, they don’t do the full Monty. They are not Chippendale strippers.