Dance to express: Bboyizm

By: Monica Sousa-Assistant Arts & Life Editor

On March 28 and 29, a highly celebrated dance group will be coming to Brock, that the Globe and Mail described as, “carving out a new frontier for urban street dance”.

The dance troupe, Bboyizm is coming to Brock University and they will be highly active in their time here. They are both performing at the Centre for the Arts and holding a personal workshop on “b-boying”.

What is b-boying, you may ask? B-boying, or breaking, is a style of street dance that originated among Puerto Rican youths in New York City during the early 1970s. Due to popularity in the media, the dance spread worldwide, especially in regions such as South Korea, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan and Russia. B-boying is diverse in its dance variation, but essentially consists of four kinds of movement, which are toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes. B-boying is typically danced to hip-hop and funk music, although modern trends permit wider selections of music. A practitioner of b-boying is called a b-boy, b-girl or a breaker.

By combining different powers moves, freezes, and rhythmic steps, Bboyizm has arisen as a passionate and powerful company focused on street culture. They remain comfortable with pushing the boundaries of the genre and going deeper with it. The goal of Bboyizm is to promote and preserve the true authenticity and essence of the individuality of the dancers. The artistic philosophy of Bboyizm is based on the foundation that dancing is for expression rather than to impress people. As their motto states, “dance to express! Not to impress.” Bboyizm always promises to deliver a high energy show that clearly demonstrates how much the dancers love to perform and the inspiring passion that they bring along.

“For b-boying and b-girling, the foundation of the dance is doing “toprock,” which is dancing when you’re standing up, a transition to go down on the floor – some people call it a “go-down,” some people call it a “drop.” Once you’re on the floor you do what we call footwork – shuffles, kick-outs and a bunch of footwork moves,” said Crazy Smooth, artistic director and choreographer in an interview with Arts Mania. “And then there are what we call freezes, which the crowd usually likes, when people stop in a certain position for a second. And then traditionally what we call power moves would be the spinning – so spinning on your head, spinning on your back.”

Yvon Soglo, also known as Crazy Smooth is one of the main talents behind the dance troupe. Smooth is a Benin-born, Ottawa-based dancer who specializes in b-boying, the original form of hip-hop dancing. He is known as one of Canada’s top street dancers and choreographers and has even taught Cirque du Soleil acrobats, performed at the Nancy Jazz Festival in France and received the Most Valuable B-boy award at the annual Kings of NY Competition.

Bboyizm will be giving a dance workshop on March 28 in the dance studio at 6:00 p.m. This workshop will offer participants an in-depth exploration of the principals of street dance. It will include a warm up, technical training, exploration of movement, choreography and a short discussion with the participants. This workshop is dedicated to scaffolding students with existing dance experience, in an attempt to bring them to the next level of creativity and energy in all of their performances.

Whether you’re being taught one-one-one or in an audience of hundreds, it is sure to be a night that stays in your memory.

On March 29 at 7:30 p.m in the David S. Howes Theatre, Bboyizm will be giving their performance. Student tickets are $20 and on sale now. Tickets can be bought by phoning the Box Office at 905.688.5550 x 3257.

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