BREAKDANCING BACH

The Red Bull Flying Bach

Sunday, 25 February at 8:30pm

In a perfect match of different cultures, the four-time Breakdance World Champions Flying Steps turn the classical music world upside down. This one of a kind innovative adaptation of JS Bach's "well-tempered clavier", breaks down the barrier between high and urban culture. Step by step, with piano, harpsichord, electronic beats, head spins, power moves and a love story of its own, Flying steps breaks the law of gravity and overcomes the borders of imagination.

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Bach and breakdance don’t go well together? The four-time breakdance world champion Flying Steps and renowned opera director Christoph Hagel prove that breakdancing and classical music are the perfect match – with their fascinating musical performance, Red Bull Flying Bach.
This one of a kind, innovative adaptation of Johannes Sebastian Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” breaks down the barriers between high and urban culture. Note by note. Step by step. With piano, harpsichord and electronic beats. With head spins, power moves and freezes. And with a love story of its own. In 70 minutes.


The Idea

In 2010, with the sizzling premier of their feature length Red Bull Flying Bach show in Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie the Flying Steps proved that breakdance is an excellent medium to interpret the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The inspiration for the show came to Flying Steps founder and artistic director Vartan Bassil after a visit to a classical concert. “I liked the idea of replacing a ballerina doing pirouettes on tiptoes with a breakdancer doing head spins,” he explains.
At the time, many others thought this concept could never work. But that didn’t stop Vartan from pursuing his goal. “My dream was to create a feature length breakdance show to classical music”, he says. The idea to use Johann Sebastian Bach’s „Well- Tempered Clavier” came from opera conductor Christoph Hagel, who works together with Bassil as an artistic director. Together they aspired to create a show that was more than breakdancing to a classical soundtrack. They wanted the dancers to embody the music and use it to convey a story to the audience.
“For the Flying Steps the Red Bull Flying Bach national tour is an opportunity to demonstrate that our members are not just breakdancers they are artists,” says Bassil. “Combining urban culture with classical influences is an incredible way to create street art and we are excited to share it with everyone, who is interested.”


The Show

The story follows seven dancers and one teacher, rehearsing for their big day. Arguments, fights, disappointments and delights – just like the highs and lows of the notes, the moods and steps of the dancers change constantly. But their teacher is pushing them, pushing the boundaries to make it work. As a mysterious woman enters the rehearsal room, the conflicts climax: contemporary dance meets breakdance, man meets woman, desire meets refusal, and arrogance meets curiosity.
The elegant music of Bach interpreted through breakdance with explosive moves creates an amazing and entertaining show for people of all ages and demographics.


The Well-Tempered Clavier
“Let the Well-Tempered Clavier be your daily bread”, famous German composer Robert Schumann suggested in his work ‘Musikalische Haus- und Lebensregeln’ in 1850, calling Johann Sebastian Bach’s ground-breaking collection of solo keyboard music “the work of all works”. For many exceptional musicians the Well-Tempered Clavier has since offered the nourishment they require. It is widely regarded as one of the most important works in the history of classical music and the most influential
polyphonic composition.


The Flying Steps from Berlin

Germany’s Flying Steps are a four-time breakdance world champion and award winning dance team, which was founded in 1993 by Vartan Bassil & Kadir „Amigo“ Memis. As of today more than 40 professional dancers are part of the Flying Steps company. But they do not only create and produce international dance shows. In 2007 they also founded the Flying Steps Academy. With its 35 teachers and over 1.200 students it is now the biggest urban dance school in Germany. Red Bull Flying Bach Takes On the World
To this day, the Red Bull Flying Bach show has toured 35 countries – from USA to Kasachstan, from Australia over Japan to Finland – and fascinated more than 500.000 people. Red Bull Flying Bach is the first breakdance show to have won an ECHO Klassik special award, Germany´s most important award in the music industry.

 

 

VARTAN BASSIL 

Artistic Director, Choreographer and founder of the Flying Steps.
Without the Lebanon-born Vartan Bassil the history of b-boys in Germany would be a short one. The self-taught dancer founded the Flying Steps in 1993 alongside fellow b-boy Amigo.
Bassil’s talent for exciting stage shows and choreography led to four world champion titles for the Flying Steps, including the Red Bull Beat Battle in 2005 and 2007. It’s thanks to his creativity that Red Bull Flying Bach came to fruition. He was inspired after a visit to a classical concert. Today Vartan is more than just the artistic director for both Red Bull Flying Bach and Red Bull Flying Illusion. He’s also the managing director of the entire Flying Steps Entertainment Corporation.


CHRISTOPH HAGEL

Artistic Director, Pianist
Hagel was raised in the German state of Baden-Württemberg and obtained his music education in Vienna, Munich and Berlin as well as New York, where he studied under Leonard Bernstein and Sergiu Celibidache. Next to his commitments in and around Berlin, Hagel spent many years working all over Latin America, where he has conducted orchestras in places like Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, and Peru. He became especially known for his
modern adaptations of classic operas in unusual Berlin venues, such as productions of Don Giovanni in an old power plant or The Magic Flute in a subway station.


MICHAEL ROSEMANN aka “MIKEL”

Artistic Management & Choreographer
The career of native Berliner Michael Rosemann (alias Mikel), which began in 1991 with a youth center dance workshop, demonstrates the importance of passing the torch in the world of breakdance. He’s won four world championships with the Flying Steps, including the Red Bull Beat Battle in 2005 and 2007, and remains dedicated to teaching the next generation of
b-boys. On the Red Bull Flying Bach world tour, Mikel teaches local workshops during stops.
His artistic range reaches from b-boying and popping to locking and house. When the twotime father isn’t on tour, he co-manages the Flying Steps Academy in Berlin.


YUI KAWAGUCHIChoreographer (Contemporary Dance)

Yui Kawaguchi discovered her passion for dance at the young age of six. She studied professional dance, acting, and singing in Tokyo. Among her most important achievements are choreographing the opening ceremony of the 2001 East Asian Olympic Games as well as performances at the Ars Electronica in Linz and the Seoul International Dance Festival.
Kawaguchi lives and works in Berlin since 2005.


KETAN and VIVAN BHATTI – music 

Although they were born on different continents brothers Ketan (born in New Delhi) and
Vivan (born in Germany) Bhatti share the same passion for music. After completing their
studies the brothers toured the world with diverse Jazz and Hip Hop acts and composed
scores for countless film and theater productions. Ketan and Vivan did not only compose the
modern, electronic music in Red Bull Flying Bach, but are responsible for the sounds of Red
Bull Flying Illusion as well.


MARCO MOOLive Visuals

There aren’t many people in the world, who can tout such a versatile portfolio as VJ, Art Director, Producer and Set Designer Marco Moo. Born in Austria he began his carrier with producing and promoting videos for the windsurfing industry. These days he mostly creates live visuals for fashion shows (for companies such as Levi’s and Diesel, just to name a few)
or VJs for legendary DJ Sven Väth or even at the MTV European Music Awards.


PFADFINDEREI

Berlin-based artists Pfadfinderei (German for ‘pathfinders’) are at home on the world’s biggest stages. Not as featured performers, but as visual effects conductors for such acts as Boys Noize, Moderat, and Paul Kalkbrenner. Their job is to create an unforgettable visual experience for the audience – something they do for both Red Bull Flying Bach and Red Bull Flying Illusion.

“Those who still can´t manage to snag a ticket to see this show should hope for Red Bull Flying Bach to hit the road.” THE NEW YORK TIMES


“A daring experiment with phenomenal success”
SPIEGEL ONLINE, Germany


“A one-of-a-kind performance. Head spins lasting several minutes, precise group performances, spectacular jumps – also feasible with classic music.”
ARD – German broadcaster