Register Thursday | June 20 | 2019

Embodying a Solid State

Friday night, my journalistic credentials(?!) got me into Solid State’s sold out performance. This latest instalment from the female break-dance collective was in a word, refreshing. Why? Because:

1.The collective stands as an antithesis to the hip hop realm of male bravado. Rather than pandering to the familiar sexploitation, it is cool to see some funky, sexy, silly women creating their own vehicle for wicked movement.

2.The work was the creation of a group of people mature enough to work together as equals. This contrasts the contemporary dance scenario where we go to see `` so and so`s work``, and said choreographer is credited for what is usually a collaboration between dance, music and lighting artists.

3.The music was actually good, thanks to the musical choices and mixing of Kamilya ``BlackiePowa`` Copney.

4.The dancers managed to get down, have fun, raise the energy in the room and make an artistic statement.

5.The show was framed and illuminated by the talented Ame Henderson (whose work I get to be a part of later in the year, yeeeha!).

6.No one was taking it too seriously (except maybe during the post talk when the discussion of URBAN DANCE got underway).

7.We were not left wondering what was the quickest way to lose our own body fat or pondering what it all meant.

8.Not boring.

O.k. Point made. This week at Tangente upcoming choreographers Andrew Tay and Sacha Kleinplatz will be presenting their latest creation. The soundscape will be from a personal fav, Vitamins for You. It should be worthwhile. Unfortunately, I will be missing it in favour of checking out my brother’s latest exploit as a part of a show at The Distillery in Toronto. I am a little frightened as it is advertised as a Jazz Circus. Two words that in my opinion, should never be put together. But my little/big bro swinging around is bringing my family together, so it is good enough for me.

Yes, my brother is a dancer too. No, neither of my parents dance, although my Dad climbed mountains and my grandparents were supposed to be amazing swing dancers. Back in the early eighties he and I used to break-dance, then it all went down hill when we moved to attend the professional division of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

I have to say having a brother in dance can be a little frustrating at times. Not dancing with him, I had a lot of fun working with him during our brief stint together with Ruth Cansfield. It is just that there is a shortage of men in dance and as a result they have it a little easier. In terms of the ballet world men do not have to come up with the same level of anorexia or dance on their toes, and generally they are just more in demand. Therefore I have to admit to being a little jealous when he got to dance with the R.W.B., attend the Banff Centre of the Arts(which although a national facility is only accessible to ballet dancers), dance with Alberta Ballet and Ballet B.C.

But even for men, the ballet world can be a narrow existence. Two years ago he left to embark on a riskier form of dance with Julia Barik-Taffe, where the dancers are suspended from tall buildings or mountains. Apparently it is the closest thing to flying he has felt. Beautiful and scary I say. Anyway at present he is doing this show and then leaving for a tour of Holland with the Caravan Theatre. This is an originally Canadian company now based in Florida/ New Orleans that lives and performs on a giant barge. So adventurous and nomadic would sum him up these days. It’s funny how the same path can split into vastly different directions. Guess it is actually kind of exciting.

That is all for now,