Ballet of the Dolls does disco

Ballet of the Dolls
Courtesy of Ballet of the Dolls


If memory serves, most shows by Ballet of the Dolls have a disco finish. The entire troupe cuts loose – and that’s saying a lot, as their cabaret-style shows already play fast and loose with gender, sexual preference and erotic expression.

So it’s no surprise that artistic director and choreographer Myron Johnson would devote an entire evening to exploring life and lust on the disco dance floor. “Born to Be Alive” is set in a nightclub. Think the polyester 1970s, Studio 54 and John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” by way of Johnson’s singular penchant for gestural storytelling through song lyrics, compiled into an eclectic score.

For a music sample, check out the Dolls’ MySpace page.

Expect high-kicking, bump-and-grind vignettes to a throbbing beat as couples, ménages à trois and larger groups vie for attention, solace or a quick caress. Since 1986, the Dolls, under Johnson’s unique artist leadership, have been creating ballet-inflected cabaret entertainment that aims for the shocking, the transgressive – and often succeed.

It’s a niche the Dolls occupy with unapologetic aplomb, even when they take the higher road of more sedate, family-friendly entertainments. Their work is also accessible and theatrical, which makes it an entry point for some novice dancegoers looking for a dance concert that’ll show them a good time.

When: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Ritz Theater, 345 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis
Tickets: $24-$26, Ritz Theater box office
Phone: 612-436-1129

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