Ballet with attitude

The Bad Boys of Dance will be performing in Israel for the second time presenting ‘Rock the Ballet 2.’

The Bad Boys of Dance (photo credit: Courtesy)
The Bad Boys of Dance
(photo credit: Courtesy)
If the word “ballet” leads you to thoughts of starched white tutus and tight buns, then Rock the Ballet 2 is here to disabuse you of that notion. The Bad Boys of Dance are returning to Israel in February and swapping tights and Tchaikovsky for snug black trousers and an unashamed pop-rock soundtrack. Hailing from New York, Rock The Ballet 2 is a fusion of classical ballet, modern dance and athletics, all set to the sounds of some of the biggest names in music today, including Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Coldplay, the rappers Redfoo and Sky Blue and many others.
The company was founded in 2007 by Rasta Thomas and made its debut at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in that year. Thomas’ unlikely career in ballet started when his father sent him to lessons as punishment for bad behavior in martial arts class.
Inspired by dancing greats Michael Jackson and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Thomas felt a need to keep challenging himself with groundbreaking dance routines and to connect with a younger audience, and so the idea for Bad Boys of Dance was born.
“This is show business, first and foremost,” said Thomas in an interview with The Jerusalem Post in 2012. “I’m an artist. I was trained in Vaganova ballet my whole life.
But ballet is a dying art form, and something has to change.”
Rock the Ballet 2 is directed by Thomas and choreographed by Adrienne Canterna, his partner on and off-stage.

Rock the Ballet 2 will run at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (www.israel-opera.co.il) on February 4 through 7; the Jerusalem Theater on February 9 and in Haifa on February 10. For tickets, visit www.bimot.co.il.