You should be… referring to the second side of an LP, or the alternative nature of their production, Vivika Ballard, Oliva Aubrecht and Georgia Skinner have come together to bring you a Contemporary Break Dance show; a rarity in Halifax.
It’s fitting that I met Olivia, Vivika and Jake (Their composer) late in the evening over a beer in a quiet corner. The trio, all related by blood sipped their beer and opened up about their first self-produced Contemporary Break Show; cheeks rosy from rehearsal, hard work hanging thick in the air.
Vivika, normally a quiet individual described the show with a fresh spirit of gusto inherent in an inspired artist. A sort of vigour that you see of a generation out to make a strong statement about who they are and where they are headed. Liv following close behind; together they described how the show interacts with concepts of nocturnal creatures, the mysterious, the darker conflict with oneself and cycles of rebirth.
Vivika’s movement itself has gone through many cycles, from a period in her life away at the Royal Winnepeg Ballet to intensive training at Transformation Danse in Montreal, she is now inspired by the physical challenges of being on her hands as much as on her feet; enjoying the new 3 dimensional upside down and right side up sensation. Olivia Aubrecht’s strength and spirituality in movement has blossomed from her training at Ryerson adding to the community an unmatched grounded and calm movement quality, while young and spunky Georgia Skinner has hit the ground running since her graduation from Toronto Dance Theatre, surprising everyone with her versatility.
Don’t let their credentials fool you though, these girls are not to be taken for the elitist fine art type. They’re ready to take on Halifax with a new nitty gritty, bare bones grimy movement that’s bound to connect with the young growing metropolitan community. The more we chat the clearer it becomes how inspired they are to share dance with a new audience. Holding on to a thematic grounder and adding in theatrical moments using props, the show explores a hybrid of styles with the hope that audiences will relate to its’ self reflective nature. The Bus Stop, nestled near Plan B, Company House and Alteregos café provides the perfect venue to bridge communities through dance.
The pair, feeling that break and hip-hop styles have been underrated as dance forms, are looking to create a jaw dropping, eye popping, butt to seat locking performance for everyone to enjoy. The choreographic process has been considerate of the audience and self-aware of the times; repurposing contemporary movement to access new muscle tension, space holds and accessing a new quality by imagining thickness in the air to help create visually arresting performance.
Jake Ballard hangs back listening contentedly to our banter, and when we finally open the forum chimes in about the compilation he’s created for the two girls. A busy guy himself, he’s realized thankfully that though he’s only created two of the pieces of music drawing from his background in Music at McGill he’s been meticulous about responding to the needs of the dancers. With a cooperative attitude, the three have managed to come up with two soundtracks that compliment their deeply personal solos of self reflection.
Along with a solo by Skinner, they’ve invited Alexis Cormier to choreograph a piece. Sensing an unbound respect for The Wood’s Artistic Director (voted Halifax’s Best Choreographer 2016!), I’m pleased when they share Cormier’s direction for the piece. Tying in with the nocturnal theme, Cormier has created an original work that the girls describe as having the qualities of moths. The seemingly randomness of a moth’s flight pattern and its’ fondness for light served as inspiration for the group work.
As we call it a night and they pop out into the cool dark air, I realize their vigour is contagious and I’ve caught it. A fresh young blood is in town offering a show bound to inspire the North End vibe for the weekend, grab a ticket while you can!
8PM /Friday / 2nd / December 2016
2PM & 8PM/Saturday/3rd/December/2016