Red Bull has made the promotional move of contracting the four-time world breakdancing champions, the Flying Steps. We can’t recommend Red Bull as a wise choice for a drink, as it has proven to do more harm than good, health-wise, but I certainly can vouch for all the positive benefits of movement. Dancing provides physical longevity, acute body awareness, an outlet through which to release tension, and much more. The Red Bull deal has transformed the hip-hop dance group into the Red Bull Flying Bach, as its signature attribute is choreography set to Johann Sebastian Bach’s music.
Think hip-hip and break dance can’t be combined with classical music? Think again! The fusion is genius. High society is not too “elite” for hip-hip, nor is hip-hip too “urban” for high society. A clash of cultures can sometimes be refreshing.
In a choreography class once, I watched a fellow dance student move in a balletic manner to a hard-hitting dubstep song. The Red Bull Flying Bach just reverses this phenomenon.
On September 28 and 29, the crew will be coming to Dubai’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah to perform. The market will be one stop of many on the Red Bull Flying Bach’s 2012 World Tour, which followed the highly successful 2011 European Tour.
It’ll be a nice show of diversity on all levels: amidst the Arabic sounds and smells of the souk, a group of German dancers will break it down to the work of an 18th century composer – his “Well-Tempered Clavier” to be exact, with some electronic beats added.
The choreographic process of the Red Bull Flying Bach – with the help of conductor and opera director, Christoph Hagel – is quite academic. In deciding on music, Bach was the composer of choice due to his complex musical patterns. The instrumentation of the music is translated through the bodies – the human instruments – of the crew’s eight dynamic movers, all male except for one.
To visualize movement from sound is to be inspired by music. As a dancer, I experience it all the time; in fact, I literally cannot listen to songs on my iPod without envisioning the dancing that I believe would accompany and enhance it. One of my choreography professors said that music, costumes, and props are partners of dancers: They are not selected blindly or without careful thought, and working well with them, to show off their most important attributes, is the key to a cohesive performance.
Red Bull Flying Bach delivers a high-energy, 70-minute show that acutely reflects the drink it works to promote. It will bring some of that caffeinated performance art to the United Arab Emirates soon, so if you’re in Dubai, resist the tiring effects of the heat and make your way to Souk Jumeirah to see these guys go!