Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty “Really gently” account ten performers and two musicians. We see a part here, in rehearsal, during the passage of the “Duty” this week.
We met the director of Rubberbandance, Victor Quijada, while he is putting the finishing touches to his latest creation, Really slowly. After empirical values (2013), a show on the changing nature of our identities, and then Vic’s Mix (2016), an anthology of the best pieces from the repertoire of the company founded in 2002, the choreographer crystallizes at the moment with ten performers and two musicians, the struggles in which are engaged the inhabitants of the world.
Born in California, parents-mexican, started dancing in the streets of Los Angeles through the hip-hop culture before marrying professionally in classical ballet, including les Grands Ballets canadiens, Victor Quijada’s Montreal-based since 2000. To describe his work, there is always, necessarily, a mixture of classical ballet, urban dance and contemporary dance, labels with which the creator seems a little tired of having to call.
“What are my influences”, he acknowledges. There are in my achievements, the grace of the classic, its delicacy, its subtlety, but it is constantly amalgamated with the energy almost aggressive hip-hop, the spirit of the exceeding of a scene that I have experienced at a time when the “battles” were more spontaneous, not organized as they are today. Anyway, I think that the company has contributed to the dances of street will be regarded as valid within the performing arts. Today, they are even present on television at peak viewing hours. “
Knowing well that people need to define a style, snap tags, the creator refuses to conceive of its parts as assemblies of not or of movements borrowed from here and there : “I would rather say that it is the result of a single consciousness, my own, but influenced, of course, by different cultures and by different styles. If I founded Rubberbandance, it is precisely to break down boundaries, get out of the boxes, exist outside of any classification, so as to be able to choreograph without the fear of exceeding the limits. “
Thus, of all that he has done since he gave birth to his company, which Quijada is the most proud of is being able to systematize what we can now call the method Rubberbandance. “It took me a good ten years before you will be able to define my style, you name it, to encode my technique, but also to determine, beyond steps and movements, what I consider the why and the how. I am now able to convey my vision, my knowledge, my skills through training, which greatly facilitates the integration of a new interpreter to the team, regardless of his baggage initial. “
A theatrical dimension
After having repeatedly invested in the Cinquième Salle of Place des Arts, the group extends its partnership with Dance Dance, but this time in a place more imposing, the theatre Maisonneuve. To create Really slowly, the choreographer, assisted for the first time an advisor of drama, Mathieu Leroux, also uses methods rather theatrical. “We did not use the word, he says, but there is a certain part of the work is akin to that of the actor. One wonders for example what you want to say with a movement. There are questions about the intentions. It even happens that one digs up the origins of a character, his past, what he has gone through to get that far. “
The oppression, the aggression, everything that bombards the human beings in everyday life, the spectacle is opposed by the resilience, solidarity and calmness. “I experienced many culture shocks in my life,” says Quijada. Serious questioning of identity, and existential. Each time, I think it was the choice of how we will react. You can steer, you fight against the change. Or then, open and allow gradual adaptation. There is a lot of it in the show. “
Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
The choreographer Victor Quijada
It is, you will have understood, this explains the title of the piece : Really slowly (Ever So Slightly, in English). “Whether we like it or not, believes Quijada, be they social, ideological, political or cultural change does not happen in a snap. They occur really slowly, according to be a slow process. “For the choreographer, very comfortable in the speed and intensity, this awareness has of course implications formal :” It gets me out of my comfort zone, it makes me particular, to explore the silence and stillness, which is a very good thing. “
Concerned not to reduce the sense that the spectators will be able to lend to the piece, the choreographer refuses to specify what shock it is a question precisely : “I would say that it opens different doors in order to observe a range of realities. “Quijada discusses the treatment by the United States to the caravan of migrants, but also the 43 students who went missing in Mexico in 2014, after terrible clashes with the police. “We are concerned by the violence of the powerful against the weak,” he says, by the genocides that are happening in the moment, without that we raise the little finger. “
This time, with the experience he has accumulated, and the assistance of an advisor to the drama, Victor Quijada considers that it is able to target his remarks as ever. “I feel able to go further, and even to move forward in these areas in part unknown, the territories that formerly, that is to say, before being father, before you do more dancing and to be fully a choreographer, I probably would have fled. “
Choreography : Victor Quijada in collaboration with the dancers : Amara Barner, John Bui, Daniela Jezerinac, Sydney McManus, Dana Pajarillaga, Brontë Perry-Prest, Jerimy Rivera, Zack Tang, Ryan Taylor, Paco Ziel. Music : Jasper Gahunia and William Lamoureux. A production of Rubberbandance. A presentation of dance Dance. At the théâtre Maisonneuve, from 5 to 8 December.
Alan Carter has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh Post, Alan Carter worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella.