This spring, the Michael Schimmel Center has been engaging audiences with a string of dance companies and artists that all have one thing in common. They all challenge the way we view dance. Brian Sanders’ JUNK taught us that we can find dance just about anywhere, even in every day disposed objects. Israel Galvan showed us that flamenco does not have to be performed against a backdrop of classical guitar. Flamenco can find joy in the startling contrasts between silence and reverberation. Now a group from Montreal promises to challenge the way we look at both hip-hop and classical dance. With his own unique form of dance expression, choreographer Victor Quijada reconciles the spontaneous, gutsy dance form of hip-hop with the articulate maturity of ballet. Pace Presents is excited to welcome RUBBERBANDance Group to the Schimmel stage.
Victor Quijada found dance in the form of hip-hop, growing up in Los Angeles in the 1980’s. Due to his incredible dexterity as a dancer, his contemporaries dubbed him with the moniker, “Rubberband.” He immersed himself in a wide variety of dance forms and went on to perform with such celebrated companies as THARP!, Ballet Tech, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Quijada was left with an extensive physical vocabulary that transcended several genres of dance. At the turn of the millennium, Quijada was living in New York and was feeling quite fed up with it. “(New York) has too much happening and not enough happening at the same time; too much because everyone is here. Not enough because there aren’t enough resources in one city for everyone.” He envisioned a dance company where he could create works with a new “language of movement,” one that was uniquely his own. He realized quickly that New York wasn’t the place to do that.
In 2002, Qujjada found himself in Montreal, Quebec on the brink of a new artistic horizon. “Montreal, as a city, is the perfect balance. Art is happening all over in their culture and they have an audience for it. The fact that they speak their own language, French, says that they have a culture that they own and that they acknowledge is different from the rest of Canada.” The dancer known to so many as “Rubberband,” would start his own “RUBBERBANDance” company. The group not only takes its name from Quijada’s nick name, it also makes reference to the qualities of a rubber band. “A rubber band not only stretches, it binds things together.” Quijada’s choreography stretches the boundaries of hip-hop and classical dance as well as it binds the two genres together. But don’t walk into his show expecting to see clearly defined ballet and hip hop moves. He would refer to his dance as “gene splitting.” The genes of the two parent dances are, in actuality, giving birth to a completely new kind of dance form.
This is the dance that was “born of (Quijada’s) vessle.” Although this new dance technique is unique to his expression, Quijada doesn’t expect his dancers to be his “clone.” All of his dancers come from different experiences and disciplines. Some of his dancers were trained at Julliard while others learned their trade on the road with the circus. They do all have one thing in common according to Quijada, “they are all dope!” All of them had to be retrained in his unique, “RUBBERBAND Method,” a method born of his unique dance experience. “I realized that Break was this bizzaro-world counterpart to ballet. Everything that was upright in ballet was inverted. Everything that was a straight line in ballet was a broken line in break.” The new method teaches dancers to be both upright like ballerinas and horizontal and inverted like b-boys.
On March 20 through the 22nd, RUBBERBANDance Group will perform “Empirical Quotient.” “Empirical Quotient,” is a brand new seventy minute piece that is very theatrical in nature. Six gifted dancers attempt to explore an array of human relationships while touching on themes of “dependence, rejection, empathy and acceptance.” Quijada is very proud of this piece and goes as far as to dub it his, “coming of age,” piece. “This work is what I have been working towards my entire career,” he said. Join us at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts as Victor Quijada shares with us his very own personal masterpiece and dare to stretch your own ideas of what dance can be.
See you at the Schimmel!
Pace Presents Blogger
March 20th, 7:30pm | March 21st, 7:30pm | March 22nd, 7:30pm
NEW YORK DEBUT
$40 | $35 | $25
Montréal-based RUBBERBANDance Group, is recognized internationally for its unique ability to fuse breakdancing, ballet and modern dance into a spectacular showcase. Founder, Victor Quijada reconciles his opposing dance worlds and their aesthetics: the spontaneity, fearlessness and risk-taking of his younger years in hip-hop culture and the refinement and choreographic maturity of the ballet and contemporary works heimmersed himself in as a professional dancer. Beating with the fresh pulse of street attitude and an acute understanding of theatrical staging, his work explores human relationships by harnessing the ardour of obsession, the shock of violence, and the delicate nature of tenderness, comedy, and tragedy with a great deal of honesty and courage. Don’t miss this incredible group!
“Forever young in body and mind, RUBBERBANDance brings exploration and community to the forefront in this spellbinding new work.” – Bachtrack
To Purchase tickets, visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111
Artist Website: http://rubberbandance.com/