Street Dance Culture meets Contemporary

In the weeks before the Festival, we’ve been featuring several GCDF dance artists here on the blog. Our last three posts go up today, tomorrow, and on opening day—Thursday! These amazing pieces give us an intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the artistry, process, and experiences these talented dancers and choreographers from across the country are bringing to this year’s Guelph ContemporaryDance Festival. We encourage you to not just read their amazing stories, but to ask questions or engage in conversation about dance in our comments section below.  Get ready to Power Up!
Ofilio Portillo, co-artistic director of Toronto’s Gadfly dance company and co-choreographer of Klorofyl, speaks to us today about what to expect when Gadfly presents at our On the Stage, Stage A & Gala on Friday, June 1, at 8pm.
Ofilio: How does street dance fit in a contemporary festival? Why only a 25-minute version of the full show? Why would Gadfly dance company travel to a festival in Guelph rather than perform in a bigger city like Toronto? You always come across questions and situations that take you out of your comfort zone. Although you’re never 100% certain of the outcome, one thing is sure if you avoid them: there’s no fun.
Klorofyl by Gadfly. Photo by Erica S. Shea
Coming June 1st you will see the GCDF Remix version of a thrilling, engaging and non-stop mural in motion: Klorofyl. But, if you expect someone spinning on his head, teenagers wearing baggy pants and music by Drake, Jay z or Beyonce, you will be happily disappointed. For a lack of better terms you may call what we do urban contemporary dance. This is where you’ll experience Street Dance culture combined with Contemporary concepts. If you don’t mind seeing rules and stereotypes broken we may get along. If you take pleasure in things that stimulate your imagination and your brain cells then we’ll pass through all of our differences and not even care what label this show fits into, whether contemporary, street, urban, modern, hiphop etc…
The show is based on an obvious enigmatic premise: Thrive or Survive. The challenge that touring this show has set for Gadfly is not easy; you’ll see a shorter version, adapted to a smaller stage and with fewer dancers. That’s what’s fascinating. If we can get you, for a moment, to think about what it is that fuels each of you through your daily mischiefs and adventures then we did ok. Perhaps we might even get you to rethink where our universal denominator lies as humans. You and I only live once, only have one shot at this game called life. Yet, most let the game play them, few decide to play it, and too many wake up too late to realize it.
Klorofyl by Gadfly. Photo by Erica S. Shea
It is particularly exciting for us to come back to the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival. The thrill and the good vibes you gave us last year left us no choice but to come back and share with you more of what we have to give and actually get more intimate. This year’s theme for GCDF “masculine aesthetic” is a particular fit for Gadfly. The show disregards any gender compromise and makes 4 women pour their hearts out on stage as hard as their 2 masculine accomplices. All in the name of passion.
Ofilio “Sinbadinho” Portillo is the artistic director of Gadfly dance company. The name stands for that person that keeps on asking annoying questions in order to challenge the status quo. 

Gadfly is also hosting a Public Workshop on House Dance on Saturday, June 2 from 9:30-10:45am at Dancetheatre David Earle, 42 Quebec Street. All levels welcome!

Twitter: @Sinbadinho

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