The sublime music of Johann Sebastian Bach meets the gritty grace of breakdance and hip-hop in this remarkable, unlikely marriage of classical and street-bred art, which sparked a deserved standing ovation and screams of enthusiasm at its first performance.
Montreal’s Solid State Breakdance didn’t quite wow us last year with a show that incorporated swing moves. This year, the three-woman, two-man sneaker-clad crew — which includes choreographers JoDee Allen and Helen Simard — delivers jaw-dropping feats, playful wit and true artistry.
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Yuri Hooker, seated onstage, performs movements from Bach’s timeless Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. The suites, as played by Denis Brott, are also remixed to give parts of the show a more urban soundtrack.
Who knew that a lone breakdancer in an undershirt (Gregory "Krypto" Selinger) could give such moving expression to an intimate Bach Sarabande? The beautiful Selinger solo, with its magnificent, effortful striving and its near-collapses of defeat, is nothing less than a poem about what it means to be human.
One could quibble about a few lulls, and the decision not to end with the show’s most sensationally funky unison number. But why quibble, when the audience emerged in such a solid state of joy?
— Alison Mayes
From the official Fringe Festival program:
Inspired by Bach’s "Suites for Unaccompanied Cello", Solid State has created a modern multidisciplinary performance that is linked to the timelessness and universality of classical music.
In Breakdance for Solo Cello, five dancers explore the beauty, complexity and intimacy that is not always seen beneath the explosive and athletic nature of breakdance vocabulary.
RECOMMENDED: General Audience