US Street Dancer Stars In Opera

When the reviews for one of the year’s most keenly awaited new operas came in last weekend there was one recurring question: who was the dancer stealing the show as the Angel Gabriel? (Video here.) Today it can be revealed that he is Banks-Artiste, 25, a street dancer from Brooklyn who until this month had never left the US, let alone appeared on a major opera stage. Banks, whose real name is James Davis, did not even have a biography in the program for English National Opera’s production of “The Gospel According to the Other Mary.” The work is by John Adams — you know, the guy whose “The Death of Klinghoffer” got so many stuffy patrons of the Met Opera so upset. Banks became a Twitter enigma with audience members tweeting the question, who is he? Banks is a krumper and flex dancer – forms of street dancing – and it is fair to say his CV is relatively short. He has danced for the rapper Lil’ Mama, done a photoshoot for Reebok, and auditioned for the US show “So You Think You Can Dance.”

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