“Dance to express, not impress” seems initially like an odd motto for a b-boy dance company. The first image in the average person’s mind when they think of b-boying is flips, headspins and feats of unbelievable athleticism. Crazy Smooth, BBoyizm’s choreographer, explains that the motto is intended to highlight street dance’s place as an expressive art form. While the Bboyizm dancers are impressive athletes performing amazing feats with their physical instrument, they use their pyrotechnic physical abilities to improvise choreography that is an authentic expression of themselves. Crazy Smooth explains that while the movement is a careful interplay between set choreography and improvisation, the goal is always to present “everything that is natural to us.” The result is humourous, moving and profound.
Bboyizm aims to investigate the questions of what makes performance? Is it the way the art is presented? Does the medium of the performance make the message? And how can we express ourselves authentically on-stage?
In many ways, these are pressing questions for b-boying in Canada. Crazy Smooth’s and Bboyizm’s journey into the world of performing arts represents a new direction for the street dance world. In 2005 Crazy Smooth was the first b-boy to receive a grant from the Canada Arts Council to study b-boying and street dance in New York, expanding the styles of dance recognized by the Canada Arts Council. Bboyizm takes street dance and uses it to start an energetic dialogue with audiences about what makes dance an art form.
Bboyizm is presented by the Arden Theatre and the Brian Webb Dance Company at the Arden Theatre on September 28th and 29th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $35.00, $20.00 for students and are available through the Arden Box Office and Ticketmaster.