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BWW Interview: All About EVER SO SLIGHTLY with Victor Quijada of RUBBERBAND

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Playing from October 21st to 23rd at the Vancouver Playhouse!

BWW Interview: All About EVER SO SLIGHTLY with Victor Quijada of RUBBERBAND

From October 21st to 23rd at the Vancouver Playhouse, DanceHouse will present Rubberband's EVER SO SLIGHTLY. Rubberband is a Montreal-based dance company and this is their first major work to feature their entire 10-artist lineup. This high intensity hip-hop work highlights the beauty of human body movements reflecting on how we move in response to resistance and aggression. Rubberband's founder, artistic director, and choreographer Victor Quijada choreographed the work with original music accompaniment from composer/DJ Jasper Gahunia and award-winning violinist William Lamoreux. EVER SO SLIGHLY originally premiered at the Théâtre Maisonneuve in Montreal and was a finalist at the Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal in 2019. This transformative work is a must-see this season with its dynamic choreography and brilliant electronic music atmosphere. I had the amazing opportunity to interview the choreographer of the show, Victor Quijada, about his experiences, inspiration, and creative process. Read the full interview below!

What should people expect to see and look forward to when they attend EVER SO SLIGHTLY?

Victor: For me, EVER SO SLIGHTLY is a 70-minute roller coaster ride. At times the 10 dancers push their physicality and endurance to the breaking point; and at other moments they move quietly in a state of vulnerability. The original score is played live by two talented multi-instrumentalists and stretches from explosive rock and hip hop drums, to introspective acoustic guitar & violin. In EVER SO SLIGHLY, there is struggle; there is resolution; there is desperation; and there is hope.

As the show features an original soundtrack that was composed by Gahunia, how was the process of combining both the dance and music? What was created first: the music or choreography?

Victor: Before the creating started, Jasper Gahunia and I spoke at lengths about the new directions we would explore with this piece; him with the composition and me with the choreography. For several weeks we worked on our separate ends: I was exploring movement in Montreal with my dancers and Jasper was researching and creating from his home base in Toronto. Finally we connected and Jasper played me a 10-minute demo of what he imagined the show would sound and feel like. My mind was blown which injected a huge boost of inspiration for my dancers and I ... and we were off!

Midway through the process, Jasper invited William Lamoureaux to collaborate and complete the score. We mainly worked through emails and WeTransfer. Jasper would send me music and the dancers and I would create. Furthermore, I would send him videos of us dancing to that music and he would use those videos to create new music. As we got closer to our premiere date, we began having more studio sessions where Jasper and William would be in our Montreal studio and we would create all together.

Growing up performing in hip-hop clubs in Los Angeles as well as being a part of many dance companies throughout your career, how have your past experiences prepared you for creating EVER SO SLIGHTLY?

Victor: The experiences that I had in the clubs and underground hip hop events in Los Angeles in the early 90's are one of the main reasons I make the work that I make today. Those parties were wild in nature. Pushing your way into the cyphers to battle could prove dangerous. The cyphers sometimes felt more like a punk rock mosh pit rather than a hip hop freestyle circle! A lot of those memories made its way into this piece, however; the concert dance influence is also present. The organization of bodies, shaping of images, regulation of flow, and pacing of movement and energy was influenced by my experiences working with choreographers like Twyla Tharp, Eliot Feld, James Kudelka, Crystal Pite, and others.

To add onto the previous question, what was your inspiration for the choreography for the show?

Victor: A lot of it was personal. Back in 2015, I was thinking a lot about change: how does change happen in my life and society? How do I deal with change? How do we deal with change as a society? I had celebrated 10 years of the company and had become a father. I had accomplished many of my personal and professional goals that I had set out to accomplish. I was also at a bit of a crossroads and afraid to move forward. I had broken my leg and needed surgery and it was coming out of that long recovery that I resolved to create this new show. EVER SO SLIGHTLY would be the end of a big chapter and the beginning of something new.

What makes EVER SO SLIGHTLY different from the other projects you have worked on?

Victor: Before EVER SO SLIGHTLY, I had been making more "intimate work for smaller venues." RUBBERBAND had always fluctuated at about 7 dancers or less. I had envisioned EVER SO SLIGHTLY as a production to play in larger venues, and from the beginning I aimed to create a more spectacular show. EVER SO SLIGHTLY became my biggest project for RUBBERBAND and it was our first touring production with live music and so many performers.

Photo credit: Isabel Rancier

How To Get Tickets

EVER SO SLIGHTLY will play at the Vancouver Playhouse form October 21st to 23rd at 8pm. Tickets start at $35 and area available for purchase at dancehouse.ca or by calling the box office at 604-801-6225.


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