DanceWorks, Toronto’s longest-running contemporary dance series presents Ottawa urban dance sensation Bboyizm in its Toronto debut with two shows: IZM on Friday April 13 and Saturday April 14 at 8pm, and a matinee performance of the family-friendly show, EVOLUTION OF B-BOYING, Saturday, April 14 at 1pm, both at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre.
Choreographer/dancer and Bboyizm founder Yvon Soglo (b-boy Crazy Smooth) explores street dance tradition in a modern performance setting, exuding an authenticity and understanding of his medium coupled with a daring, imaginative approach. Instead of juxtaposing old and new or traditional and modern, Smooth seeks to push creative boundaries while preserving the essential nature of pure street dance.
IZM transcends age, race and gender, reaching below the surface where emotions live. The show is an experience, challenging pre-conceived notions of b-boying. For IZM, Smooth draws on his background in two early hip-hop dance styles (rocking and b-boying) to create a technically challenging piece for 10 talented dancers that explores the very nature of artistic expression.
"When IZM premiered at the Canada Dance Festival, the sold out audience went wild! And, they had good reason to… Crazy Smooth and his dancers hold nothing back, they dance full out and they give every audience member an authentic high!" said Brian Webb, Artistic Director of the Canada Dance Festival.
While IZM is acutely aware of its space and setting on stage, the vocabulary of movement is improvised. It is restricted neither by the choreography nor by the stage, but expresses the intricacy and passion of street dancers. The work develops an interplay between the artist’s intentions (which influence the viewer), and the viewer’s desires (which influence the artist). This dialogue touches on the subtle aspects of dance, expressing the intricacy and passion of street dancers.
EVOLUTION OF B-BOYING is an interactive show that takes the audience from the 70’s through the 80’s and into the 90’s with dramatic costume and music changes, building up to the dance form as it is practiced today.
Crazy Smooth has been dancing for over ten years during which he has come to be one of Canada’s top street dancers. He was also was the first b-boy to receive a grant from the Canada Council to study b-boying and other forms of street dance in New York and Philadelphia. He was selected by the Canadian Dance Assembly to author the International Dance Day message to all Canadians this past January stating: "Dance speaks to the mind, body and soul in a way that goes beyond the power of words and its social impact and its capacity to engage should be celebrated. As an art form dance can be impressive but expression is its fundamental nature."
Like many of the world’s street dancers "Smooth" is an autodidact, although his passion and respect for the history of the art form has led him to study with some of New York’s top street dancers including Ken Swift, Brian Green, Shannon (WhichWay Sha), Mr. Wiggles and Breaks kru to name a few. His professional experience ranges from working as an instructor for acrobats from Cirque du Soleil (La Nouba and Totem) to performing at the Nancy Jazz Festival in France, and winning the Most Valuable B-boy Award at the annual Kings of N.Y. Competition in 2006. Smooth has also been a main participant in BluePrint For Life’s "Connecting with Inuit Youth through HipHop."
Bboyizm, founded in 2005, is dedicated to promoting and preserving the foundation, authenticity and true essence of street dance. The artistic philosophy of the company is based on the idea that a dancer’s self expression is paramount; its motto being "Dance to express! Not to Impress."
Currently on a Canadian tour, Bboyizm will be in Kingston, Ontario (April 11), prior to Toronto for DanceWorks April 13-14 and then off to Vancouver (April 24-29 at the CULTCH) and a few cities around B.C. before heading back east. http://www.bboyizm.ca