The story of Flying Bach is the story of a "what if? What if we replaced a ballerina's pirouettes with a hip-hop dancer's head turns? What if we took classical music out of its box and into the heart of the street? Where rhythms become jerky, where movements become explosive, where everything is seen upside down?
The answer comes from Vartan Bassil, in a crazy gamble. Combine the insolent technique of the Flying Steps, four-time world breakdance champions, of which he is artistic director, with the passion for classical music of conductor Christoph Hagel. The mix is explosive and would certainly make Johann Sebastian Bach turn over in his grave, but in a good way.
On stage, the dancers' energy is matched only by their absolute technical mastery: they embody the music in all its subtleties and literally fly through space. The group works, and so do the individuals. But to the thundering sound of the piano, it's the dualities that really stand out. Encounters in the form of battles between man and woman, tradition and the contemporary, desire and rejection that suddenly seem to subside when arrogance gives way to curiosity.
The stage becomes the stage for a miracle of symbiosis and alchemy between timeless and contemporary cultures. The hyphen between two universes that makes us say without hesitation that classical dance is definitely alive and well, and that breakdance is indeed an art that sublimates it.
The meeting between the Flying Steps, who have nothing left to prove in the world of breakdance, and Christoph Hagel, an accomplished conductor, came to fruition in 2010. The first Flying Bach show took place at Berlin's Neue National Galerie, in a city always at the cutting edge of artistic audacity. Programmers the world over instantly saw that a miracle almost unthinkable just a few years earlier had just occurred. And for the next decade, the band played to capacity audiences all over the world.
Over 35 countries later, the show is finally back in Paris, for a one-off date at the Folies Bergère. On stage, as usual, the show kicks ass and shatters any remaining prejudices about breakdance. Fast-track training and a forced conversion to street art, classical music or both for the privileged few who attended this French premiere.
It's a show that will appeal to all dance fans. A delicious blend of B-boying, classical and contemporary dance, set to the music of the timeless Johann Sebastian Bach. By the end of the show, you're asking for more, and I can't wait for them to perform again in Paris!
A must-see, this show is a minor revolution in the world of dance. For an hour and a half, one technical feat follows another, and genres mingle to the frenetic rhythms of Bach. The experience leaves you transcended, with a desire both to rediscover classical music and to learn more about urban culture and hip-hop!
Musically, hip-hop can integrate and digest all styles, particularly via samples. Breakdance is no exception: hip-hop dancers, known as B-Boys and B-Girls, also know how to adapt to any musical form: the proof is in Flying Bach, a show that deftly acclimatizes breakdance to the well-tempered keyboard of Jean-Sébastien Bach.