Saturday, February 24, 2018

New dance performance echoes classic horror movies

March 15, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Broken Rhythms Dance Company’s upcoming dance performance Universal Horrors takes influence from horror movies, incorporating elements from old-school classics like Dracula, Wolfman, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Executive/artistic director Dyana Sonik-Henderson explains that the performance is inspired by old horror films; most of them focused on the music, and what few sounds were used created a chilling and spooky environment that terrified watchers well after the movie had finished.

Universal Horrors combines the unlikely duo of dance performances and old-time horror flicks (photo provided).

“We chose the old-timey horror films from around the ’30s and ’40s because of how theatrical they were and how much the music was a big part of the film,” she says, “especially when there were no sounds and it was all music to silent pictures. You can also look at the other element of the monsters, and I thought it was a really good time to explore that through dance.”

The style of dance used in the show isn’t one most audience members will know of unless they’ve seen one of Broken Rhythms’ other performances. Sonik-Henderson says that the company works with a very unique style, “rhythmical contemporary,” which she developed herself.

“It’s a combination of contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, and animal influences,” she says. “The music is integral as well, so this gives us our own sort of identity.”

Sonik-Henderson says that Universal Horrors is a good introduction for anyone who isn’t familiar with the style that is used in the performance.

“What we tried to do with this performance is make it really accessible, so if someone’s not necessarily into contemporary dance, they can still come in and experience the movement and have a lot of things they can connect to. I think when people leave I want them to leave energized by the performance, but I also want them to leave feeling like they’ve had a great local Victoria dance experience and that these types of productions are out there in Victoria.”

Sonik-Henderson says that although she usually loves to use a lot of props to help support the performance, this particular show doesn’t contain many.

“I love using props; I think it just changes the atmosphere,” she says. “For this show, we have limited props, but we‘ve got a video projector, so that’s been our biggest prop. We don’t want the video to take over, but it definitely helps with the black-light imagery that we want to go with.”

Universal Horrors
Tuesday, March 14
to Sunday, March 19
$13 to $30, The Roxy Theatre

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