Most people are familiar with Johann Sebastian Bach on some level. Even people who know almost nothing about classical music generally know names like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Bach was a German composer who lived from 1685 to 1750. Even if you don’t think you know any of Bach’s music, there’s a good chance you’d recognize some of it from other cultural references. For example, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor was part of Disney’s 1940 classic Fantasia.
I’m no expert on Bach, but I can say with absolute certainty that break dancing does not come to mind when I think of Bach. I also think it’s safe to say that Bach didn’t anticipate the concept of hip hop when he wrote his masterpieces. Conversely, when I think of break dancing I reminisce about the days of parachute pants and back spins on a sheet of cardboard in the parking lot, or think about Turbo’s epic solo to Kraftwerk’s Tour de France in the movie Breakin’. Johann Sebastian Bach isn’t on my break dancing radar.
That didn’t stop the Red Bull and The Flying Steps from combining the two. The Red Bull Flying Bach website describes the unique experience:
Bach and breakdance don’t go together? The four-time World Breakdance Champion Flying Steps and renowned opera director Christoph Hagel prove otherwise with their fascinating performance Red Bull Flying Bach. This one of a kind, innovative adaptation of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier breaks down the barrier between high society and urban culture note for note, step for step, with piano, cembalo, and electronic beats. With head spins, power moves, freezes, and awe-inspiring visuals.I had an opportunity to witness Red Bull Flying Bach for myself at the Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater in Houston. In a word, it was amazing! The break dancing skills of The Flying Steps are off the charts. The helicopters, head spins, and hand stands are mind blowing.
Aside from the insane abilities of the dancers, there are two other things that make this performance phenomenal. First, there are two pianists who accompany the show with the music of Bach. Despite the apparent clash of cultures between classical Bach and the world of hip hop and break dancing, Red Bull Flying Bach somehow merges the two seamlessly so you’d never know the music wasn’t written specifically for these dancers.
The second element that makes this a must-see show is the story line. The Red Bull Flying Bach performance isn’t just a random collection of dances performed to the music of Bach. I won’t give away the story line, but suffice it to say that there is a thread that weaves the whole show together and makes it more engaging for the audience.
It also didn’t hurt that the complete selection of Red Bull was available and we received tokens good for free cans of the energy drink. There was also a selection of Red Bull-themed adult beverages that you could purchase to mix your free Red Bull with. Original Red Bull and Grey Goose is my go-to drink when I’m out, but I opted for something they called the “OG”, which was original Red Bull mixed with Deep Eddy sweet tea vodka.
I’m a huge fan and loyal customer of Red Bull. As far as I’m concerned, the other energy drinks aren’t even on the same playing field. Even if you take the beverage out of the equation, though, I’m still a fan of Red Bull the brand and the way Red Bull pushes the envelope—whether its sponsoring a guy skydiving from the edge of outer space, or sponsoring a band of break dancers to tour the world dancing to the classical masterpieces of Bach.
If you have a chance to see Red Bull Flying Bach, I highly suggest you do so.