Wednesday night saw the official opening of Beats on Pointe at the Gasworks theatre in Albert Park, Melbourne.
Curious to see how a fusion of street dance and Ballet would go, I went along. (Mainly because I was impressed that they wanted to try.)
I left the ninety minute show entirely satisfied that Melbourne dance is in great hands and that the $45 ticket price certainly delivered what it had promised – an evening of non-stop entertainment!
Beats on Pointe is the brainchild of Jennifer and Milo Peric, who have enlisted the extensive experience of Melbourne-based choreographers Phill Haddad and Emma Vaiano. Together they have given birth to Melbourne’s newest professional dance company, and the possibilities for expansion and even touring seem likely.
The show itself is an action-packed roller coaster of old and new school street dance, classical and contemporary ballet, physical comedy, beat boxing, and even some singing! To call this a “dance show”, is to sell it short – this piece is a theatrical extravaganza.
A Shakespearean introduction (a nod to Romeo and Juliet) cleverly sets up the conflict, and the audience suddenly engage in the battle that ensues. All too often we see dance-heavy shows without any attempt at a through-line, and while this plot is admittedly light on, the audience is totally on board, almost appreciative at not being required to sit through another performance that leaves them guessing as to the deeper meaning.
The show interweaves the contrasting dance styles with considerable success, and I was impressed at the slickness of the transitions, as I was expecting some technical hiccups being early in the run.
A risk when attempting to combine Hip Hop with Ballet is always going to be finding the right dancers with a technical mastery of both. The cast of Beats on Pointe were hand-selected by the creative team for just that reason.
The performance wouldn’t smash through the fourth wall without their commitment. Possible “cringe” moments are ‘owned’ and enjoyed by the performers, and their fun, light-hearted exteriors mask an impressive motor in overdrive beneath the surface. Technically, some are stronger in ballet, while others flourish in the street styles. This is, for the most part, carefully concealed within the choreography.
The hand-picked Melbourne dance elite includes Maddie Fox, Alarna Curtis, Courtney Lowe, Hannah Macaulay, Hara Papoulias, Indigo Hunt, Sally McRae, Daniel Curtis, Gerard Pigg, Liam Roodhouse, Luke Maggott, Peter Sette and Taylor James Diamond-Lord.
A true ensemble piece, the cast delivers. Each are given moments to shine and there are some genuine laugh-out-loud moments that keep us engaged in the epic ‘Montague and Capulet’ battle between hip hop and ballet.
In its first incarnation, Beats on Pointe is still young, and needs some further dramaturgical development, but the potential for this company of talented performers is exciting, and without question, needs to be supported.
Wednesday 17 February at 8pm
Thursday 18 February at 8pm
Friday 19 February at 8pm
Saturday 20 February at 2pm
Saturday 20 February at 8pm – SOLD OUT!
Wednesday 24 February at 8pm
Thursday 25 February at 8pm
Friday 26 February at 8pm
Saturday 27 February at 2pm
Saturday 27 February at 8pm
90 minutes (no interval)
Group (10+) $35
Child (under 12) $35
Editor’s note: This piece was submitted by the writer after he saw the production last week. It was not on AussieTheatre’s review schedule and hence is not published in our “Review” section. The show made such an impact on the writer, he wanted to submit this piece.