Break dancers who honed their craft at parties and on the street are branching out to perform at elite venues -- while trying to stay true to their roots.
The hip-hop dance style has come a long way since first emerging in the 1980s, and its practitioners want the form to be taken more seriously as a form of contemporary dance.
Dancer, choreographer and Bboyizm founder Yvon Soglo, who performs as Crazy Smooth, says he feels a responsibility to his culture, his people, and to staying authentic. (Bboyizm) "The word contemporary means today, and there is nothing more today than street dance," said dancer, choreographer and Bboyizm founder Yvon Soglo, who performs as Crazy Smooth.
His Ottawa troupe is on a mission to introduce their dance form to new audience, and they are breaking new ground in venues like Toronto's Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
"The philosophy behind it is to bring the street dance from where we perform usually, which would be in a party or a jam, and to create a piece that will bring that to the stage," he said.
At the same time, the dancers want to preserve the spontaneity of the form, which typically feeds off the enthusiasm and proximity of the crowd.
"I don't want to change the aesthetic of my dance just because I am presenting it on a stage, but at the same time I want to be aware that I am on a stage," Soglo told CBC News.
"Coming into the theater, I won't lie, there is a lot of challenges, People do look at us very, very funny sometimes."
But his company is not alone in blazing the trail.
Montreal's Rubberband Dance Company is performing in Fort Wayne Indiana. Its founder, Victor Quijada, shed his former life as a soloist in Les Grands Ballets Canadiens to form the troupe.
"I remember being shocked that what was happening in those circles, was more exciting, more risky than anything i had seen on stage," said Quijada.
Read: Breaking new ground with street dance onstage
What do you think of break dancing as an art form? Do you think it maintains the street authenticity when on the stage? Will the form be embraced and respected in contemporary dance venues, do you think?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' replies)
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