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Rasta Thomas Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (2)

Born
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Rasta Thomas was born in San Francisco, California, and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was evident from the beginning that he was a prodigy with a flair for the stage. He studied at the world-renowned Kirov Academy in Washington, DC. As a teenager he made dance competition history with honors including the Special Jury Prize from the 1994 Paris International Dance Competition, the Gold Medal in the Junior Men's Division of the 1996 Varna International Ballet Competition, and the Gold Medal in the Senior Men's Division of the Jackson, MS USA-IBC.

In 1995 he became a member of Le Jeune Ballet de France and in 1997 was invited to be a Principal Dancer with the Hartford Ballet. His guest credits include the Russian Imperial Ballet, National Ballet of China, Victor Ullate Ballet of Spain, Inoue Ballet of Japan, Ochi Ballet, Universal Ballet of Korea, Joffrey Ballet, Washington Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, CityDance and Philadanco. He has been a featured soloist at many galas, including Le Gala Des Etoiles. In 2001 he was the first American to become a member of the Kirov Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2003 he joined Dance Theatre of Harlem as its youngest principal dancer.

Thomas has danced diverse roles including "Albrecht" in "Giselle", "Basilio" in "Don Quixote", "Ali" in "Le Corsaire" and "Death" in "Debbie Allen's Soul Possessed". Television credits include a Bravo documentary in 1997, CBS' Breakfast with the Arts (1991), Sesame Street (1969), a featured solo during the 1999 Academy Awards and the Spring 2000 international ad campaign for The GAP.

He appears as "Timmy Chambers" in One Last Dance (2003), starring Patrick Swayze. Thomas has starred in Twyla Tharp's Broadway hit "Movin' Out." Critics have described Rasta's dance style as a mix of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson, "a force of nature". A truly multi-talented artist, Rasta spends most of his free time writing songs and scripts.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: chakaal@tanstaafl.com

Family (1)

Spouse Adrienne Canterna (31 March 2007 - present)

Personal Quotes (4)

The challenge in reaching the iPad generation is just getting them in the door. Once [they are] we do our job. They're loving life and tweeting about us. It's about getting them to take a chance. You can't get them to see 'Swan Lake' if they don't know about dance, and how exciting it can be.
[on performing with the 'Bad Boys of Dance' company, which he founded] We want to make dance popular and exciting for the Facebook generation, the iPad generation. Sex sells. I'm not going to lie. I see us as a dancer version of so many boy bands. If it worked for the 'Rolling Stones' why not for the ballet?
[on his ballet training] Dance was punishment for being rude and disrespectful in martial-arts class. For a little boy of seven, that's a fearful thought. But my first teacher offered me a full scholarship. I'm not sure my dad thought it would be a profession, but once I started to get job offers, he was supportive.
It used to be that you were either a contemporary dancer or a ballet dancer, but now to have a career you have to do both. Even the Kirov Ballet is doing [Jiri] Kylian and [William] Forsythe. Most purist companies are now doing contemporary work. I dreamed of touring early one, and so I choose music that the whole world knows. It's not necessarily my favorite music, but it's what you hear at Starbucks or on the radio. In our next show we're thinking of using 'Gangnam Style' as a comedy number.

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