VIP – Judith Jamison

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Dancer VIP: Judith Jamison – Alvin Ailey former Artistic Director

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Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance Rock the TV | Interview

Submitted by on 10 Jul 2009 – 6:59 PM Comments

Rasta Thomas

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO – Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance (BBoD) rocked the ballet on Prime Time TV in Switzerland this Spring. Movmnt is thrilled to showcase exclusively the video of the performance that succeeds to bring together pop music, ballet technique, and live entertainment directly targeting a mainstream audience.

Although still a very young company, BBOD, has already received positive feedback from hard core critics like the New York Times and had been acclaimed by the public.  After their European tour this summer, with performances in Greece, Germany, Finland, Spain, and Switzerland, BBOD will perform their New York Debut at the Joyce Theater in December.

INTERVIEW – Movmnt Magazine’s Editor in Chief David Benaym talks to Rasta Thomas about BBoD’s recent european TV appearance, his thoughts about dance in the commercial industry, and the futur of the Bad Boys.

David Benaym [Movmnt Magazine] - Dance has seemed to take a huge turn to becoming an art form open to a wider audience.  As Artistic Director of BBoD, and as a performer do you see this as a rehablitation or a polarization?  Or is there more than one side ?

Rasta Thomas [Bad Boys of Dance] – Dance, without a doubt, has become more popular because of it’s recent success on TV and in films. However, I am not convinced these viewers have converted into dance theater ticket buyers. So, on one hand I say Bravo! to Hollywood for being able to capitalize on sub par dancing with flashy camera angles, smoke and strings… and on another hand I say, “America, get your butts up and come see us do the real thing!” Sadly, on a large scale, the stereotype  “dance is boring”, still exists. As a director and performer I feel it is my duty to break down this stereotype. Bad Boys of Dance strives and prides themselves on their ability to bridge the gap between dance culture and the 21st century.

David Benaym [Movmnt Magazine] – In this exclusive excerpt of the show you presented all over Europe this year you utilize multimedia, pop music, and technical ballet. If you could avoid all the classical PR sentences that could be related to this question, what can you confess or be excited about from the public reaction to the show?  And how do you feel about the journey you started two years ago at when BBoD premiered at Jacob’s Pillow?

Rasta Thomas [Bad Boys of Dance] - I am ecstatic that I can make a living doing what I do.  To support my family and employ people that have similar passions, is a dream. But underneath that, the truth is, I wasn’t happy with our first show in front of about 200 people 2 years ago… or the show we just did for over 2,000 people last week. Like the Rolling Stones, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”  Even though I ‘m living a dream and the company is getting positive reactions from audiences all over the world… I want more. This is the underlying force that keeps me. I think when I’m in this state of discontent, I’m most productive. I have learned to enjoy the journey more, but fear I will never be content with my career as a performer or  director. I’ve had 150 shows since I first started Bad Boys, and can tell you that this company is destined for greatness. I don’t know what most companies were doing 2 years after they started but what these boys do is extraordinary. They are born entertainers and are hungry to take on the world. As a director, I am very proud and inspired by my dancers for embarking on something new and different and for the hours of labor they invest into this company and their career everyday. I am most happy when my company members are happy, but when I am left alone I revert back to wanting more, and so the cycle continues.

David Benaym [Movmnt Magazine] - You’re going back on the road this summer, but the next big step is the New York debut of the BBoD this December at the Joyce. Where do you want to bring the Boys and the sister company, Pretty Girls of Dance, in the next few years?

Rasta Thomas [Bad Boys of Dance] - When we get back from our Summer/Fall tour in  Germany, Finland, Spain and Switzerland, New York will be our next milestone. If we have the results I am hoping for in New York, I will have a smile on my face for a minute. In the next few years, Adrienne (Canterna)  & I hope to brand the Bad Boys and Pretty Girls as cutting edge, first rate dance companies that thrill the world. We want each company to be entities known outside of the dance world. In 2010 alone, we have over 200 performances scheduled on at least 4 continents… America, Europe, Asia, Australia. We’ll be busy boys & girls!
Interview by David Benaym, Editor in Chief, Movmnt Magazine

“ROCK the Ballet” ft. Bad Boys of Dance upcoming Tour Dates

Bad Boys Rock the TV

  • JULY 27-AUGUST 15 - Hamburg, Germany – Thalia Theater
  • AUGUST 17-22 - Helsinki, Finland - Savoy Theater
  • AUGUST 28th – SEPTEMBER 6th - Basel, Switzerland
  • SEPTEMBER 7-27 - Barcelona, Spain - Teatre Victoria
  • SEPTEMBER 28th – OCTOBER 11th - Zurich, Switzerland - Maag EventHall
  • DECEMBER 15th – JANUARY 3rd - New York City - Joyce Theatre

More info: Twitter: badboysofdance