DanceWorks’ season opener Ever So Slightly by RUBBERBANDance Group runs October 11-12, 2018 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Directed by choreographer Victor Quijada, whose mastery combines delicacy and finesse with high-voltage movement, Ever So Slightly explores change, the many elements that lead to it, and the breaking point.
Here we talk to Victor about the work and learn more about the cast of performers trained in the RUBBERBANDance Method.
DANCEWORKS: Can you tell us about the title Ever So Slightly?
VICTOR QUIJADA: How does change happen? Does it happen all at once with a huge shift? Or does change happen imperceptibly? These are the questions behind Ever So Slightly.
I feel like big monumental shifts happen as a result of small incremental adjustments in attitude, both in society and in my company. How one idea can circulate and slowly affect and contaminate people until it hits a critical mass, and then society can shift into a new paradigm. Ever So Slightly is this idea that going from one point to a drastic opposite point doesn’t necessarily happen in one big stroke, but softly, sometimes imperceptibly, with small actions becoming the catalyst for greater and more obvious changes.
DANCEWORKS: The description of the work refers to a quest for tranquility within chaos, but at a cost. What brought you to explore these themes?
VICTOR QUIJADA: I think that when things are static, there is no fear. Fear comes from instability. So when there are transformations happening, it brings panic, sometimes chaos.
When I created Quotient Empirique, there was a conscious effort to push the RUBBERBAND Method and my research with Anne Plamondon to the limit. There was a lot of concrete experience to rest on. My goal with Ever So Slightly is to go beyond any of that, to create in a way that I never have before. During the last fifteen years, I tried to dictate movement and steps to dancers. Now that I am working with dancers that have an understanding of the vocabulary through their training in the RUBBERBAND Method, I feel like they are familiar with my way of creating, even down to my intuitive decision-making. It’s taken me fifteen years to get to a place where I go beyond dictating every single movement and dramatic beat, to having dancers that can become creators.
DANCEWORKS: Can you tell us more about RUBBERBANDance Method?
VICTOR QUIJADA: Dancing with RUBBERBANDance Group requires a certain knowledge that comes from contemporary, classical, and acrobatic or athletic movements like capoeira and b-boying. Because there is not a specific technique that prepares a dancer for a skill set that covers those three fields of study, the RUBBERBAND Method was created to fill the gap. However, there is also a dramaturgical, theatrical, emotional, improvisational, and philosophical part to the work. You cannot approach the work that I’ve created with the philosophy of ballet, or only contemporary or street dance. The Method is about the way we interact with the environment, those in the environment, and our own body. Company members master these skills, and some have been training with me for five years, others for only a year, but they have performed my repertory works and been able to test and use the RUBBERBAND Method in performance. This is why I am able to create Ever So Slightly in a more collaborative way.
DANCEWORKS: Thank you, Victor.