Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: (Vancouver / Dance) Music Creates Opportunity

Here to Stay
by Jay Catterson, Editor, Dance

Bboyizm, the jubilant urban dance ensemble led by Yvon Soglo aka Crazy Smooth, exuded joy and enough swagger to delight the Cultch Vancouver audience this past Tuesday evening with the opening of Music Creates Opportunity. The immensely acrobatic moves by the lithe cast were not only executed with precision, but oftentimes impressively within confined spaces defined via panels of light or between the dancers themselves. Explosive hip-hop movement would finish with control and restraint in bold bboy stances, and later morph into other synchronized movement propelled from one breaker to another. 

At one point in the show, Crazy Smooth boldly addressed the audience that music (whether it be the hip-hop score by Sajjad Musa and Nicolas Nocchi aka Niko Noki or via bongos or the simple sound of their own voices) provides the impetus for urban movement, and although impressive, the essence of bboy culture is not just about backflips, headspins and other crowd-pleasing tricks. (But don't get me wrong; those moves were darned spectacular!). Antagonism was shown not to be born out of violence, but as a means for skill improvement, collaboration and camaraderie. This visual expression of hip-hop culture was about inspiration, creativity and community, not ego, hate or destruction.

Through its slick choreography and brilliant staging, Bboyizm's Music Creates Opportunity proudly declares that urban dance is a legitimate contemporary dance form, born out of preexisting dance styles from the streets and deeply rooted in history, and that it is here to stay. 

October 21 - 26

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