Busting a move at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace, Urban Legends brings the best of the best in Waacking, Breaking, Krump, Popping, Locking and House to the Toronto Fringe Festival. Framed more as a showcase or variety show than a narrative dance performance, Breakin’ Ground seeks to deliver both an incredibly talented cast of dancers (all of which are prime fixtures in the Toronto urban dance community), as well some insight on what these dance styles are about and where they came from.
The show begins with a mixed introduction of sorts, with a line up of the dancers performing solos in their respective styles. Consider them the hors d’oeuvres, as the rest of the show unfolds with entrees of choreography that showcase each style on a much deeper and impressive level.
I really loved the energy and whip-fast arm movements in Caddy Superville’s Waacking piece, and it was nice to see the choreography set to some classic disco beats. The two soloists, Caroline “Lady C” Fraser (showcasing Popping) and Anthony “Illz” Put (showcasing Breaking), were other standouts to me. Each approached their chosen style from a totally different perspective; Illz framing his breaking choreography like a contemporary piece, and Lady C playing a jazzy sultry tune through her body’s intricate isolations and muscle contractions.
As MC, Amadeus “Primal” Marquez, one of the choreographers, dancers and a head honcho of the Canadian Krump scene, is full of enthusiastic personality and his passion for the performances and dance styles is infectious. That being said, I’m not entirely sure the show needed an MC throughout. I think it might have run a little smoother without the breaks in between each piece. Either that, or it would’ve been interesting to hear more about the histories of each style, which he did for some pieces, but not for all.
I loved that the show ended with a freestyle Krump session, letting the audience in on a dance style that (from my experience) often gets discounted or overlooked due to its aggressive nature. I think it also shows just how much actual joy these dancers find in movement expression, something that I find gets lost with some of the classical and technical styles of dance.
If you’ve never experienced or seen what any of these urban styles are about, I highly recommend checking Urban Legends out, if only for the caliber of dancing you’ll get to see. As a note to future audience members, don’t be afraid to make some noise while you’re watching this show. A lot of urban dancers pull their energy and motivation from cheers and come-ons from the audience, they’re expecting it, so if you like a move or are impressed by a trick, give out a holler in appreciation. No need to wait until the end to applaud.
- Urban Legends is playing until July 12 at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace (30 Bridgman Avenue)
- Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the performance. Venue sales are cash-only.
- Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.
Photo of Northbuck Crew by CJ. Cromwell.
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July 12 at 07:30 PM