News from Brian at BWDC

Aug 12 2020

With our partners, the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, Canadian Stage and Dance Immersion [Toronto], and the Yukon Arts Centre, the BWDC applied to the CanDance Network Creation Fund to co-produce the next dance by CRAZY SMOOTH [Yvon Soglo] for his company, Bboyizm. And, we are successful! We won the competition! Bboyizm will receive the prize of $40,000 to be put toward Smooth’s new dance. As well, it has just been announced that Smooth has won the Banff Centre’s Clifford E. Lee Award for choreography. He will receive $15,000 plus 2 residencies – one for creation and the other for production – to create his new work of choreography. Smooth and Bboyizm are the artists in residence in Montreal at Le Centre de Creation O Vertigo.

You know, I first met Crazy Smooth over 10 years ago in Ottawa when – as Artistic Director of the Canada Dance Festival – I initiated a four year project called Hip Hop 360. As well as being on the advisory committee, Smooth really grew so much during that period. He went from being an ‘Old School’ zealot of b-boying [break dancing] to becoming an even greater risk taker, pushing his passion for breaking into the theatre. Hip Hop 360 was a huge success. Breakers from across Canada joined together for the first time at the National Arts Centre exploring new ideas surrounding their art form, battling [street dance competitions] and performing in theatres.

Smooth’s imagination was ignited. From that moment he formed Bboyizm, his fantastic ensemble of bboys and bgirls who have excited audiences across Canada, including Edmonton and abroad. He has developed into a fantastically imaginative choreographer who can amalgamate the wild physicality of breaking with contemporary dance concepts. In his dances, he pushes forward his tag line: ‘Dance to Express, not to Impress!’ And his ensemble, his crew of dancers, always impresses with its commitment to express what their choreographer is asking of them.

Did I say that Crazy Smooth is one hell of a BEAUTIFUL DANCER! Experiencing his musicality, his joy of movement and his gentle sense of humour is 100% infectious. He brings this to his dances, and his dancers always let loose with their own sense of being alive right now…in this moment. It’s more than a little magical.

His new creation will be called IN MY BODY. Its themes explore a multi-generational appreciation of b-boying / break dancing which is so rigorous. This form of dance originated in the Bronx way back in the 1970’s and is now danced all over the world where dancers merge it with their own vernacular of dancing. It is a world movement. What started as a street culture of break dancing, graffiti art, d-jaying and rapping, has grown into a movement that influences so much of the contemporary arts. Crazy Smooth is at the forefront of this movement.

There is now more than one generation of artists whose creative practices are entered in what came to be known as urban culture. IN MY BODY explores this multi-generational movement. We all know only too well that as we age our movement changes. I certainly know that I cannot dance as I did when I was 22 or 32 or 42…YIKES!! But art evolves as we mature, and so it is with dance forms. I guarantee you that when IN MY BODY arrives in Edmonton, it will be a major dance moment. I can hardly wait.

The BWDC is about dancing in the moment, the current time. We are dedicated to presenting dance by artists from a diversity of communities. I can’t think of a better way of celebrating our diversity in dance than by participating in the creation of this new dance by Crazy Smooth. And, we will present it to our community as soon as it is ready.
I hope that even in this time of isolation, you are enjoying your summer.

Warmest Regards,


Brian Webb⁠
Artistic Director⁠
Brian Webb Dance Company⁠ ⁠