Bboyizm brings the streets to the stage
By: Drew Hoshkiw
| Posted: Thursday, Sep 20, 2012 06:00 am
Crazy Smooth, the moniker of Ottawa-based dance professional Yvon Soglo, will bring his troupe to The Banff Centre, Saturday (Sept. 22).
The 10 dancers, half from Ottawa and half from Montreal, will perform various forms of street dance.
“Street dance is the term we use to put all the various street dances together,” said Smooth on Thursday (Sept. 13). “Street dance essentially means something that’s not formal – like all the funk styles that became the popular street dances in the ’70s – you see people do them on Soul Train, but you couldn’t go to a local dance studio and learn how to do them.”
There are many different forms of street dances, all with their own histories, he explained.
“Some of the earliest came out of the West Coast in the funk era, born in the early ’70s,” said Smooth. “They got popular and famous because people saw them on TV. On the East Coast, the hip-hop phenomenon that got popular in the early ’80s developed.
“For the show, I use ‘rocking’ and ‘b-boying’ street dances. B-boying started in the early ’70s and got popular in the ’80s because Hollywood got interested in that movement.”
Formerly known as breakdancing, b-boying (or b-girling), will make up at least 80 per cent of the show, said Smooth.
“It’s probably the most popular, important and influential street dancing,” he said. “When it came out, it had an essence that people were drawn to and ever since it’s been the more popular street dance of them all.”
For the performance, the dancers will attempt to convey the concept of “izm,” said Smooth.
“(The dancers) all have their own personalities and specialties – they carry the emotion and essence of the piece – but it’s not geared to one dancer specifically,” he said. “Because there’s such a large number of people, that’s what creates the expression – the show brings out the concept of izm and what that’s all about.
“It’s that essence that you carry when you let go of everything. It’s not the execution of the move necessarily, it’s more the everything that surrounds it – your qi and aura. It’s more than just spectacular movements, it has more of a substance and is more profound.
“The show is to put that in front of you and is always going through a dialogue between arts and entertainment. When you have ‘izm,’ it’s something a bit more. The arts isn’t just entertainment, it’s meant to say something.”
Following the performance, the audience will have a chance to interact with the dancers.
“Sometimes I go see shows and I have an idea after, but can’t express it, so it’s always interesting to have a talk and listen to the choreographer and the dancers talk about what it represents to them,” said Smooth. “It’s always very good for the audience to ask questions and say what they got out of it.”
While the dancers were in Banff earlier this year for the first time, with this trip they hope to see more of the area.
“We were there earlier this year, but it was a corporate gig at the Banff Springs Hotel,” said Smooth. “We thought Banff was beautiful, though we were there for work, so we didn’t have that much time; but the scenery was pretty cool.”
Taking place in the Margaret Greenham Theatre, the show starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information on Smooth’s dance troupe, visit the website www.bboyizm.ca