Atlanta Art Reviews by Susan K Asher
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You Know They Can Dance

2010 April 21

Bad Boys of Dance soars with the swagger of Michael Jackson, the finesse of Gene Kelly, the grace of Baryshnikov, the confidence of Patrick Swayze, and the chops of Gregory Hines.

Chosen for their good looks, young taut bodies, and bad-boy attitudes, these umm, umm male hotties are known as some of the top dancers in the nation, says the dance company’s artistic director and founder, Rasta Thomas.

Thomas, 28, is a prodigy who has performed in commercials, at the Academy Awards and with the finest ballet and dance companies throughout the world, including Twyla Tharp, the Joffrey Ballet and the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. He created Bad Boys of Dance to showcase the beauty and excitement of an all-male dance troupe.

“Ballet is boring,” Thomas says, “and even the people doing it often don’t like it.”

Trained in ballet, martial arts and all forms of dance, Thomas has been performing with professional companies since he was 13. Tired of the traditional dance world, Thomas decided to create a dance troupe with the allure of a bad-boy rock band like Aerosmith.  Luckily, his dancers look more like the sexy male equivalent of Liv Tyler than her rocker dad Steven Tyler.

Thomas’s sultry dancers fuse gymnastics with martial arts, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, Broadway and ballroom to attract audiences of all ages from tweens to senior citizens. Thomas’s wife, Adrienne Canterna, serves as resident choreographer for the troupe and sometimes dances with them. In the two years since the company began, Bad Boys of Dance has performed consistently throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Bad Boys of Dance performs at the Ferst Center for the Arts Thursday, April 22 at 8 p.m.

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