Founded in 2002 by Victor Quijada, RUBBERBANDance Group (RBDG) immediately established itself as an explosive one-of-a-kind troupe. Audiences in Halifax are in for a treat this weekend, as the company brings its latest production - Vic’s Mix - to the city for two shows at the Sir James Dunn Theatre. Recently we spoke with Quijada about the new work.
When and why did you first become interested in dance?
As a young boy in the early eighties - I saw breakin’ and popping in films, videos and in the neighborhood and fell in love with Hip Hop Culture: the music, graffiti, and especially the dancing. It felt amazing to do, and I would get a lot of attention through dancing...it made me feel alive!
Are they the same reasons that you continue to be involved today?
My relationship with dance has been many things; it has changed and grown over the years to include many facets and roles besides performer: choreographer, director, teacher, coach, adjudicator. Life is movement. Movement is life.
What are the challenges of the vocation?
This has also changed over time. Years ago, the main challenge used to be the intense demands on the body. Now it has more to do with balancing my family life & being a father, with my professional life which requires me to travel quite a bit.
What are the rewards?
The rewards are collaborating with amazing artists, creating work that is challenging and inspiring to me, pushing my colleagues to discover more of themselves, and leaving an impact on an audience.
Is your creative process more 'inspirational' or 'perspirational’?
What inspired Vic’s Mix?
A retrospective on the first 15 years of the company, allows me to revisit the ideas and experiments that were the foundation for so much fantastic work.
How has the production evolved since being initiated?
With this “greatest hits” show, the pieces are modular. I have tweaked the set list several times (adding or removing sections) and reworked the order into a chronological run down of how the pieces were made. The show is super tight since it opened over 2 years ago.
What can audiences in Halifax expect to experience?
Whether you have or haven’t seen the company, this program is a wild ride that is unexpected and inspiring. I think it demystifies the marginal (sometimes heady) and conceptual contemporary dance forms but goes way beyond the first layer mainstream of popular dance. Vic’s Mix is a collection of meaningful works that drip with athleticism and artistry.
What's next on your creative agenda?
Besides Vic’s Mix performances, next season we'll begin touring our new production throughout Canada, the U.S., and in Europe. Ever So Slightly premiered in December 2018 and was nominated for the Grand Prix du Conseil des Arts de Montreal. The 70-minute work features incredible performances by 10 dancers and 2 multi-instrumental musicians. I am very proud of this work and looking forward to sharing it with audiences.
April 26 & 27, 8pm
Sir James Dunn Theatre, Halifax