Described as ‘a commercial ballet show with attitude’, Raise the Barre presented by Masters of Choreography lifts the roof with its perfect theatrical fusion of classical and commercial dance styles.
The Cube at Frankston Arts Centre is a humble space. The ‘dance academy’ is easily defined by a simple wooden stage holding a drum set, ballet barre and noticeboard. But, in typical Masters Of Choreography-style, expectations are immediately flipped when the ‘students’ appear to the epic sound of Guns n Roses’ Paradise City.
This sets the precedent for a non-stop playlist which contrasts the classical score with an upbeat pop and rock medley of well-known songs.
On-stage, the mixed dance class begins with performers dressed in basic warm-up attire. Costume changes are fast and furious throughout the production, cleverly conducted in this small theatre setting.
This superstar cast of 12 dancers is committed to the awe-inspiring choreography. Coming from various backgrounds of dance training, all performers demonstrate exceptional skills, high-energy and creativity. Chief ballet and jazz choreographer Emma Vaiano and three performer / choreographers Taylor Diamond Lord, Phoenix Chung and Jamane Virdo produce the dazzling choreography which truly defines their production name, Masters of Choreography.
Writer, Producer and Director Jennifer Masters creates a comedic storyline that allows the imagination of the viewers to run wild. A unique quirk of this masterpiece is the secondary component regarding the concept of gender. The ‘Cheeky Boys’, a comic relief trio, offers a jaw-dropping performance of ‘Single Ladies’ as well as an improvised costume / dress-up number where the boys show off their truly ‘fabulous’ attitude. Jamane Virdo is a total showstopper with unbelievable stage presence and exceptional breakdance skills that hold the audience enthralled. The constant battle between girls and boys, ballet and street dance, constantly keeps the audience on their toes, wondering who is going to finish on top.
Raise the Barre is the sister show of Masters’ well-known production, Beats on Pointe. Another successful choreographic fusion of ballet, hip hop, jazz, breaking, street and commercial dance styles, this is definitely a production not to be missed.
Touring February through May in Victorian venues, Raise the Barre is looking forward to taking the show overseas to London for an exciting 10 days in June 2020. For tickets click here.
Jennifer Masters – Writer, Producer, Director
Milo Masters – Producer, Director
Emma Vaiano – Chief Ballet and Jazz Choreographer
Taylor Diamond Lord – Hip Hop Choreographer
Phoenix Chung – Hip Hop Choreographer
Jamane Virdo – Hip Hop Choreographer
Taylor Diamond Lord