Hip-Hop's 'Big' Leap Into Ballet
Jarrett Martineau | April 4, 2008 at 08:05 pmby
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Ah well, I'm sure it will still be cool to see Big Boi's "big" collaboration with the Atlanta ballet. It's going to be quite the hybrid. Oh yeah, and the story is about Big Boi as a young man.
The classical art of ballet gets a contemporary makeover on Thursday, when the Atlanta Ballet unveils "big," a collaboration between the ballet and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, half of the hip-hop duo OutKast. With a cast of 80 and live music from Big Boi and other hip-hop artists, the 90-minute story of a young Big Boi's travels juxtaposes classical and modern music. "We're opening with Verdi and then we have a very popular Big Boi song, 'Morris Brown.' Right away, the contrasts will be startling," says Lauri Stallings, the choreographer of "big." Six Atlanta shows of "big" are planned, wrapping up April 13. The ballet is considering taking "big" on a national tour; clips of rehearsals are available at atlantaballet.com. Here's Big Boi on the show.
WSJ: So what is "big?"
Big Boi: It's a play, basically, about a little Big, the young me, with an imaginary friend. It's about innocence. There's a lot of visuals, 25' x 40' screens that tell stories through his travels and stories from around the world. There's the war in Iraq and a lot more. It's narrated by music. It's hard to put into words, but visually it's magical. It's set in a kind of dream world, "Anywhere USA."
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