Ballet Revolucion's musical fusion makes show 'slicker'
CUBANS are born with rhythm.
They can make even a seasoned, professional dancer like Aaron Cash feel like he has two left feet.
The Brisbane-born choreographer, who was an original Tap Dog and was Cher's lead dancer for a decade, remembers the first time he went to the Caribbean island nation.
"They don't dance with the music; they dance in the music," he said.
"Music is such a huge part of who they are. They do salsa before they can walk. They hear music slightly differently - they hear more.
"I thought I was pretty sophisticated when it came to rhythms but then I go there....and I did feel like a guy with two left feet. I get there and they go 'What are you hearing? No'. Then they take your hand and walk you through it like an eight-year-old."
Cash is one of two choreographers for the dance company Ballet Revolucion, which mixes traditional dances like ballet, samba and mambo to pop songs by Beyonce, J-Lo and Ricky Martin.
"I love fusion," he said.
"If I was going to be a chef then I'd want Asian with French cuisine with Indian."
Ballet Revolucion makes its triumphant return to Brisbane two years after its debut, with rave reviews and sold out shows in Europe to its name.
"The show's a lot slicker," he said.
"It has evolved and we've refined a lot of the choreography. The costumes are different. It's a lot more polished than what it was."
Australia is the last stop on the company's world tour, and the last chance for fans to see the current incarnation of the show.
"We go back to Cuba and we have four months off before we go back to Europe," Cash said.
"We're going to change the bulk of the show. That's the great thing about using pop music, it's like bubble-gum music."
Ballet Revolucion came at just the right time for Cash. After the career heights of being hand-picked by Twyla Tharp to be her Pas de Deux partner and touring with Cher, Cash had to have a hip replacement.
"I was sitting on my bum doing nothing, an old chewed-out, spat-up dancer," he said.
"Then my best friend called me and said 'Do you want to come to Cuba and audition dancers?' That was the genesis of it two and a half years ago."
Cash and the Ballet Revolucion Company made such a splash on the international dance scene they were invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall last year.
"That was kind of surreal," he said.
"It all happened so fast."
The show's pace is just as fast as its rising popularity, with its technically trained dancers delivering passionate performances to a sizzling soundtrack provided by a live, eight-piece band.
Ballet Revolucion plays a strictly limited season at QPAC's Lyric Theatre from June 19 to 22.
Tickets start from $92.10 plus booking fee. For more information go to www.qpac.com.au.