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Friday, Nov. 9, 2012

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Breaking Bach: Streetdancing, mostly associated with hip-hop, is performed with classical music in the production Flying Bach.


Streetdancing goes classical

Staff writer

Who would have thought that mixing streetdancing with classical music would produce such a satisfying spectacle? And who would have thought that if anyone was to attempt such a thing, they'd be Japanese? Or, at least, one of them would be.

Flying Bach is the product of a 2010 collaboration between the German conductor and opera director Christoph Hagel and the streetdance troupe Flying Steps, one of whose members is 37-year-old Japanese dancer Yui Kawaguchi.

Following on the heels of a successful European tour last year, the group has spent much of 2012 on a worldwide jaunt that will see it stop in Tokyo and Osaka this month.

Conductor Hagel brings to the mix Johan Sebastian Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier," a piece music for solo piano. And the members of Flying Bach add the flying, literally. They have come up with a 70-minute sequence of hand-spins, head-spins, leaps and slides that keep in time with Bach's complex score.

Kawaguchi joined the group after being invited by Hagel; she originally specialized in contemporary dance.

"I wonder if our show will be a bit too progressive for the Japanese audience," she says in an interview on the group's website. "But I hope they enjoy it."

Red Bull Flying Bach will be held at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, on Nov. 9 (8 p.m. start); and at Central Public Hall in Kita-ku, Osaka, on Nov. 15, 16 (7:30 p.m. start) and 17 (1 p.m. start). For more information, visit www.redbullflyingbach.jp .

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