Dancers fight for independence and survival

Dancers from Rubberbandance Group perform Gravity of Center at the Port Theatre Saturday (Feb. 9) at 7:30 p.m.  - Photo Contributed
Dancers from Rubberbandance Group perform Gravity of Center at the Port Theatre Saturday (Feb. 9) at 7:30 p.m.
— image credit: Photo Contributed


Five dancers interweave.

They are members of a nomadic tribe. They are family. They are an entire people at the centre of the world.

These five fight to live. Each desires individuality and independence but need to remain as a group to ensure survival.

Resources are scarce and the world is plagued by famine, the aftershocks of war and natural disasters. These five dance across a landscape of lights – shades of oranges, greens and blues inspired by the surreal paintings of Salvador Dali.

The piece, Gravity of Center, was created by Victor Quijada, of Rubberbandance Group, and comes to the Port Theatre Saturday (Feb. 9). The idea started in 2006 when Quijada was inspired by the idea of the herd mentality and began looking at the behaviours shared by both humans and animals.

It started with looking at how people react when resources are at an all-time low. He researched the life of refugees and other people who migrate from place to place. The choreographer also made it his personal challenge to create a linear narrative, breaking from the normal dance structure of small vignettes and non-linear storytelling.

“Each character will have an arc to their personal journey,” said Quijada, adding he created the story from a filmmaker’s or novelist’s approach rather than an abstract choreographed approach.

The performance is demanding both technically and physically.

“It is very exciting and at times compelling in a non-firework kind of way. And in a different way it’s not about the acrobatics or technique’s complexity, but about using movement to create a sense of honesty about these people and the situations,” said Quijada.

At the core of his work is the psychology and power dynamics behind relationships.

Quijada said the lighting effects created by Yan Lee Chan and music created by Jasper Gahunia “subtly and gently support the narrative.”

“I hope the audience will be swept away …  and forget about the outside world and be entranced in the landscape,” said Quijada.

Gravity of Center starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40/$35 members and groups/$15 students and are available by calling 250-754-8550, at the box office, located at 125 Front St., or online at www.porttheatre.com.

For more on the group please go to http://rubberbandance.com.


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