Red Bull Flying Bach breaks tradition with their unique blend of old and new.
The show’s unconventional mix of classical music and urban hip hop was not something that came naturally to the performers of Red Bull Flying Bach.
Choreographer Vartan Bassil says the biggest challenge was understanding the convoluted score.
“In ‘normal’ music – contemporary hip hop music – there is clear structure,” he says. “We had to change our thinking on how to choreograph. We could choreograph hip hop music in twenty minutes but we needed a whole week for some classical pieces.”
Bassil says working with artistic director Christoph Hagel was integral in making the project work.
“We said ‘Christoph, listen – we need something really, really special’, and he came up with the idea to dance to Johann Sebastian Bach. There are different voices in the music – so we thought it would be possible for each dancer to take on the different voices.”
There are a range of dance styles in the performance, from popping and locking to classical dance, which Bassil says is all part of breaking down the boundaries between high art and street culture.
“When you dance with somebody from another dance genre you start to respect what they do, because what they do is not that easy. You come together and find some language to understand each other.”
The show will tour Australia for the first time in September and October and appeals to audiences both young and old.
“For us it was very important to get high culture to respect our dance as art, but also to get young people to see that classical music can be cool. Now we have both young and old that come to the show — it’s so cool.”
Red Bull Flying Bach performs at QPAC, 24 to 26 September. For more info, head to our Event Guide.