Forget Boheme! Royal Opera showcases breakdancing

Thu Mar 8, 2012 2:07pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - It could have traditionalists gagging on their champagne, but the next production on the Royal Opera House's main stage in the UK capital will feature a troupe of breakdancers spinning and body-popping to the music.

"Miss Fortune", a new work commissioned jointly by Covent Garden and the Bregenz Festival in Austria, is by British composer Judith Weir and transports an old Sicilian folk tale into the present day.

In the updated version, Tina, the Miss Fortune of the title, falls on hard times after she breaks away from her wealthy parents when they lose most of their riches.

She encounters gangs, a kebab van and a sweatshop before love and the lottery offer the possibility of a better life.

But it all depends on Fate, who pulls the strings with the help of a sinister group of young "enforcers" played by the Soul Mavericks dance troupe.

Ajay, one of six members of the award-winning group taking part in the production, called the venture "untouched territory.

"At the end of the day it's art, so everyone is going to have different opinions," the 25-year-old told Reuters in between rehearsals at Covent Garden, the central London home of a Royal Opera House more used to ballet than breakdancing.

"I really loved doing the show. It's something completely different."   Continued...