German hip-hop dancers break with tradition to prove that Bach is pretty fly for a dead white guy.

You’re sitting prim and proper in a plush, velvet chair in a majestic old theatre, every available surface gilded and resplendent. You’d call it “grandeur”, but given what you’re about to see, “bling” seems more appropriate. The squeaking of sneakers onstage heralds the arrival of a slightly suspicious-looking gang of young men, toned and muscular under those baggy, lowslung jeans. These are the “breakers” of Berlin’s urban dance troupe Flying Steps, who by now have hijacked the stage and are backflipping, somersaulting and headspinning their way around it. And the live soundtrack to their hyperathletic antics? The Well-Tempered Clavier –what else?

This seven-member crew of B-Boys, or breakdancers, has toured the world busting moves to tunes by the most revered B-Boy of all: JS Bach. And their genre-defying mash-up of high art and street culture has proved so popular that it was televised for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf, and is now sponsored rather too conspicuously by a major softdrink company. (Just remember, kids, it’s the immortal music of Herr Bach, and not a guarana...

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