- Bad Boys of Dance
The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts; Nov. 3
Rasta Thomas gained renown as the winner of dance competitions as a teenager. He went on to dance leading roles as a guest artist in ballet companies worldwide. With the founding of Bad Boys of Dance in 2007 Thomas created a program emphasizing individual versatility within a corps setting, with the intention of inviting audience members to interact with the attitudes on stage. This distinctive dance language moves you to move to the moves on the stage -- in your seat, unless you happen to be in a box where you are free to shake it, writhe, jump and bounce, as was the case for some audience members at The Palladium on Nov. 3.
The cast of two female dancers (who appear courtesy of "Pretty Girls of Dance") and six males (sans Mr. Thomas himself) gave 110% during two diverse story lines with choreography attributed to Adrienne Canterna-Thomas and Rasta Thomas. "Act I: Beautiful Day" weaves in and out of the relationship between the lead dancers -- Adrienne Canterna-Thomas cunningly on toe and a barefoot fire-breathing Shane Ohmer, with engrossing subtext and supple vigor supplied by James Boyd, Ryan Carlson Lee Gumbs, Brandt Martinez and Tim Olson, who are in non-stop, don't-know-what-they-can-do-to-top-that movement and combinations.
The sound track included songs by U2, Black Eyed Peas, Lenny Kravitz, Dave Matthews Band, Journey and Jacques Brel. The segment set to Maria Callas' singing from Carmen was a showstopper with its sensual innuendo. Michael Jackson, Prince and Queen drove the action for "Act II: Rock You," a slice-of-life glimpse of people on the run featured Alicia Whitehead-Canterna. The performance lived up to the hype. Yes, they're "sexy, athletic, entertaining and fun."