They’re street-savvy, with urban energy and elegance to spare, and they’ve exploded onto the international dance scene in recent years with a unique movement vocabulary that fuses elements of hip-hop, ballet and modern dance.
Members of the Montreal-based RUBBERBANDance Group (RBDG) come to campus this month for a dance residency that includes a master class and open rehearsal and culminates in a performance at The Egg, Center for the Performing Arts in Albany.
The master class for advanced students will be held Wednesday, Oct. 21, with a free open rehearsal Thursday, Oct. 22. Both will take place in the dance studio in the Visual Arts Building from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
On Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. at the Egg, the troupe will present “Loan Sharking,” a collection of works through commissions by hip-hop and contemporary dance festivals in Canada, Europe and the United States.
Sponsored by the Theater and Dance Department, the residency is made possible by a gift from Sue and Gus Davis ’59 in memory of their daughter, Stephanie C. Davis, a modern dancer.
Founded in 2002, RBDG is a collective of dancers with ballet or street dance backgrounds, known for including theatrical interpretation, improvisation and film projections in their work. It is directed by Los Angeles native Victor Quijada, who earned the name “Rubberband” from his elastic hip-hop body. Before starting his own troupe, Quijada danced for such notables as Twyla Tharp, Eliot Feld and the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal.
The Los Angeles Times has called Quijada “an authentic, serious new voice in dance,” who has “taken the energy and virtuosity of street dancing and married it to the formal structures of concert dance… with a probing sense of musicality, a respect for the individuality of his dancers and an ability to evoke meaningful character interaction.”
The Boston Globe has remarked on the dancers’ “dazzling combination of controlled athleticism, power, and grace.”
Union students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the Egg performance free of charge.
Beginning Oct. 12, a limited numbers of tickets will be available on first-come, first-serve basis with a Union ID. They may be picked up at the Yulman Theater Box Office weekdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. and at the Visual Arts Building Office, 2:30-4 p.m.
Free round-trip transportation will be provided, with buses leaving for the Empire State Plaza in Albany from the Nott/Seward parking lot at 7 p.m.