A large crowd formed outside of the Buell Theatre in Denver on Saturday for the second of three shows. The Red Bull Flying Bach dance and musical performance was unmistakably “Red Bull,” down to the “Flying Buell” cocktails made from limited edition flavors of the company’s famed energy drink. As the audience gathered in the theater, excitement in the atmosphere was palpable. As the curtain opened and the performance commenced, it became clear the pre-show energy wouldn’t leave quickly.
A piano and harpsichord flanked the stage, playing traditional and contemporary renditions of famous Bach pieces. The hyper-athletic dancers that make up the Flying Bach cast performed jaw-dropping stunts and breakdancing moves.
Flying Bach also made use of high-quality multimedia content, with videos and unique graphic designs projected to the back of the stage throughout the duration of the performance. Dancers shuffled on and off the stage during the video presentations, and each presentation helped to set the tone for the piece ahead. For more up-tempo pieces, abstract graphics were projected, for more traditional pieces, athletic bodies were displayed above the torso.
Throughout the evening the audience remained both engaged and vocal, with many audience members unable to contain their astonishment during the standout breakdancing performances. The event closed with Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, synthesized with medium and up-tempo electronic beats. The dance group exited the stage to universal ovation from the audience, and returned for a quick encore and individual displays of their athletic prowess.
One of the most notable aspects of the Flying Bach performance was the composition of the audience, made up of young and old alike. While there has been publicized concern regarding younger generations’ lack of interest in classical music, events like Flying Bach can help to inject new life into classical masterpieces, and cultivate a new generation of classical musical fans who can both appreciate the music and reframe it into a more modern setting.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Gavin Daugherty at Gavin.Daugherty@colorado.edu.