Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
The choreographer Alexandra “Spicey” Landé combines a commitment to artistic, educational and political.
In-Ward, the fifth piece of the choreographer Alexandra “Spicey” Landé, is presented at the Agora de la danse after having been created at the MAI (Montréal Arts interculturels) there is a little over a year and after having obtained the Discovery award at the 9th Prix de la danse de Montréal.
More than 10 years elapsed between his first play, Retrospek, and his first prize, an opportunity to return to his work of creation and his journey.
At the time, where the choreographer creates Retrospek, the festival Bust a Move, a major event of the dance of the street in Canada that is required in particular for six years at the Tohu, which she founded, had already existed for a few years. In what concern the community, she had the taste to put different dancers and styles of dance on stage, to share his speech, which was just beginning to develop.
“I was doing the art direction, but in terms of choreography, I have collaborated with other choreographers. It was very theatrical, it felt like a story, a line from the beginning to the end. It was very basic in presentation, with a lot of things, full of images, full of dances, really trimmed. But when I look In-Ward and Retrospek, I have almost the same feeling. In spite of the intermediate parts I did not re-lived the experience of energy in my gut. It is very visceral, I still have tears in my eyes when I look In-Ward. I think that with Retrospek, I cried every time. There is something that is triggered for many of us who have seen this first piece, this desire to say things that are authentic. With these two parts, it is as if I had looped the loop, not in regards to my writing, but in regard to the feeling of saying things that come from the guts. “
Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
In rehearsal at the Agora de la danse, Montreal
Over the years, Alexandra “Spicey” Landé perceives a lot more clarity in his vision, in what it wants to say. And this goes for the choice of the language of dance hip-hop its raw material. When she speaks of the dance hip-hop, it does not speak of the term eye-catching or suitcase, such as ” urban dance “, because, she said, ” we can put it all in there “. She speaks of this form of dance-inspired party dances, dances, social of the 1970s, which is danced to the music of the same name, or even generates it.
It is a technique very particular, with a vocabulary, as are, for example, the popping, the locking, in the waacking, krumping, where each style has its music and its culture. “The fact that music influences a lot the shape and the hip-hop music is still relevant and continues to evolve, there is not really a framework. The music changes, the dance changes, the vocabulary changes and adds to what is already there for 40 years. “
Often, there is a lot of research in the movement, in its finish, but not always in content, what one wants to say, or in the aspects of production, creation of sound and light. I wanted to give the opportunity to the eight street dancers in the middle for the last 10 or 15 years, and who do not necessarily have the opportunity to present their work, to experiment in a way fully open.
— Alexandra “Spicey” Landé
For well over 40 years, all these dances street come from poor neighborhoods, and contexts of gangs, and save, by practice, a lot of young African-Americans. These are forms of dance that are fighting for justice, against racism, against sexism.
“There are a lot of struggles through hip-hop. I have a platform where I can really express myself, and this is not the case for everyone, or those who, like me, are Afro-descendants and come from Haiti. “
This fight-there, Alexandra “Spicey” Landé continues in the question of the professionalization of the dancer which goes with the fact that hip-hop has found its place little by little in the show rooms. If the choreographer is well aware that some “purists” may see in this development or stage presence the possibility and the fear of a “deauthenticate” the dances, she sees it, a responsibility to be taken up body and an opportunity to get up to speed and to professionalize, since ” own the stage, that requires getting strong and empowered “, she says.
“One of the virtuoso dancers, who are really pushing their limits in their style, their technique, but who have not necessarily had a lot of opportunities to be on stage. They are, therefore, not well, or not enough, the work of the scene. This is another reality than the one of the dancers in contemporary dance. “
In this perspective, she has created with her company the event B-side, a creative laboratory for dancers in the street. “Often, we did a lot of research in the movement, in its finish, but not always in content, what one wants to say, or in the aspects of production, creation of sound and light. I wanted to give the opportunity to the eight street dancers in the middle for the last 10 or 15 years, and who do not necessarily have the opportunity to present their work, to experiment in a way fully open. We cried, it was really intense and beautiful to see. It was able to do so thanks to a residency at the CCOV. The next year, we will reiterate to the Agora de la danse. “
In the meantime, go to the Agora for In-Ward.
Choreography : Alexandra “Spicey” Landé. Performers : Ja James “Jigsaw” Britton Johnson, Christina “Hurricane Tina” Paquette, Nindy “Banks” Pierre-Louis, Elie-Anne Rawss “Ross, Mukoma-K “JStyle” Nshinga, Jaleesa “Tealeaf” Coligny. Sound design : Richard “Shash’U” St-Aubin. At the Agora de la Danse, from 11 to 13 march.