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Hip-hop dancers meet their match in the form of classical music

By Jiang Yuxia (Global Times)

08:35, April 27, 2012

Classical music from the likes Bach, Mozart and Beethoven inspires the imagination and creations of numerous choreographers, particularly in the field of ballet. Having been widely used for scores in dances, films and commercials, it is an experimental and pioneering act for French hip-hop dancer and choreographer Mohamed Rouabah to bust street dance moves to the accompaniment of hip-hop music that's had a classical makeover.

Ballet de Rue, literally "street ballet," is a 50-minute show from France's Metamorphoz Company that combines urban street dance with classical music. It has attracted awe and turned stereotypes on their head since its debut last year. Having already mesmerized audiences around the world, the troupe has cartwheeled into Beijing and will strut their stuff tonight at the World Financial Center, before touring three other Chinese cities.

Clad in sportswear and hiding behind white masks, six classically trained dancers move harmoniously to Bach, Mozart and Beethoven with locking, popping moves that range from strobing to moonwalking, making what Rouabah describes as a "musical and visual journey that takes audiences to an anachronistic world."

The revised hip-hop dance sees the performers from the 2008-formed troupe also pay homage to classical music by imitating movements of a conductor. To accompany Bach, two dancers stand on their heads as their partners "strum" human-like cellos.

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