Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend. Today’s post isn’t much of a discussion; it’s more of an “update on my life” sort of post, I guess; or a review of a artsy thing post…I dunno.
One of my plans for this year is to do things that I’m interested in and I did so this weekend. I took myself to a dance performance called Red Bull Flying Bach, which was pretty awesome. The performance combines break dancing with classical music for a spectacular show that was entertaining.
I love break dancing and I sometimes like classical music, but I’d never think the two could work together. I was stunned not only by the show’s success, but also how diverse the audience was in race and age as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m glad it was so good because I hiked to get there in cold-ass weather! (An exaggeration, but for real though, last night in D.C. was fucking cold!)
Vartan Bassil, a German break dancer who co-founded the b-boy crew Flying Steps, teamed up with energy-drink company Red Bull to create Red Bull Flying Bach. He got the idea for the performance when he attended a classical dance concert. “I thought, when the ballet dancers turn on the feet, maybe we are turning on the head,” Bassil says. “And I think, maybe we can find more similar moves.” (Quotes are from this Washington Post article.)
According to the article, the show features break dancing to “Johannes Sebastian Bach’s ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier’ to tell the story of a dance class preparing for an upcoming recital.” The show is composed of nine performers, including members of Flying Steps and a classically trainer dancer doing traditional ballet.
I think Bassil did a great job. If I could include photos and videos, I would; but we were told not to tape the show so I didn’t. The show was entertaining, especially when they mixed in some acting to make the performance humorous. However, to me there’s something missing between the break dancing and Bach’s music, which I later realized was the bass. I preferred the moments when the performers danced to classical music mixed with some thrumming bass. When one of the guys coin dropped on a deep beat, it had a greater impact on me.
I also enjoyed watching the ballet dancer. She is so talented (all of the are!) and I loved the very end when she came out and did a little break dancing with the guys. Though I absolutely loved the entire show, my favorite part was a video they showed of some performers break dancing in slow motion to classical music. I think the two — break dancing and classical music — worked best in that way because the quick movements of break dancing are slowed to make them more graceful and more in harmony with the music. I think it made viewers pay closer attention to the movements and appreciate them more.
I also enjoyed watching the slowed break dancing because it was a nice study of the human body as it twists through the air or hits the ground. I liked seeing the ripples along the dancer’s body as the impact from hitting the ground reverberates through them. It was really cool.
Anyway, I loved the performance. The dancers were awesome and they had some sick moves (those head spins and windmills, yo! The guys were awesome) and the pianists were great too. I hope Flying Steps will do another tour based on another creative idea. I’d love to attend another show.
For more info on the performance:
What I’m reading this weekend:
These are the books I’m actively reading at the moment.
The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff is a nonfiction book about the Salem witch trials. It’s interesting and I like that Schiff writes it to seem like a novel, but I keep falling asleep whenever I read it, though the subject is interesting. Also, because of how it’s written, I keep wondering what’s fact and what’s fiction. It’s too easy for me to think of this book as a novel.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on love and life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed. I guess this is self-help. I didn’t know what to read so since both this and The Witches were available for download from my library, I got them. Strayed’s book is good so far. I like how she wrote her advice columns but the more I read them, the more I want to learn about her life. She’s a very interesting person. My first introduction to her was through this podcast on Longform. I just really like her outlook on things. I think it was after listening to that podcast that I added her memoir Wild to my TBR and later purchased it. I might read it after Tiny Beautiful Things. I have a strong feeling that I might have to get my own copy of Tiny Beautiful Things so I can highlight…things.