As Ballet Revolución at the Peacock Theatre amply demonstrates, celebrated danseur noble Carlos Acosta is not only the only talented Cuban in a codpiece.
All the way from the world capital of rum, cigars and absurd assassination attempts comes a supertroupe of dancers, many with international pedigrees that would put half of Crufts to shame.
Ballet Revolución has beaten Guy Fawkes’ Night to the punch this year with this unashamedly feelgood display of physical fireworks, which rarely lets up either in terms of pace or quality. Choreographers Aaron Cash and Roclan Gonzalez Chavez have devised a diverse cabaret of routines with more styles than London Fashion Week. As well as the eponymous art form, the performers explore (among others) mambo, salsa and freestyle. An all-male tango routine is a cheeky nod back to its monosexual origins and acrobatic flips, jumps and hand-balancing are chucked in for good measure too.
This is a big show in every way. Eighteen dancers make an appearance at one point or another, backed by a seven-piece live band, over the course of a two hour production. The all-company ensemble pieces are storming affairs, filling the stage with juvenile jivers collaborating to create a vibrant tableau vivant.
The smaller numbers are no less entertaining, especially as the lighting design does a fantastic job of focusing on the action at hand. The Peacock’s theatre stage is not small yet the precise and creative way that the performers are lit up engenders a definite sense of intimacy and emotional connection.
This is a lively, engaging show with mass appeal and no sharp edges. There are a few adult elements but they are playful and short. The standing ovations at the final dance-off say it all: from Havana to Holborn, dance is the international language that we can all shout about.
Ballet Revolución continues at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre until 25 October. Tickets cost £15-£45 and are available from the Sadler’s Wells box office.