Hip-Hop With a Waltz Rhythm. “Riga Magic Dance” in the Making

Hip-Hop With a Waltz Rhythm. “Riga Magic Dance” in the Making
Kaspars Garda, Riga 2014
Dance, sport and emotions will reign supreme in the Ķīpsala exhibition hall on the 10th and 11th of May. Here, the extreme dance show “Riga Magic Dance” will be performed on a six-level dance floor approximately 50 metres wide. Stage director Edīte Ābeltiņa, the show’s Artistic Director, the godfather of Latvian hip-hop Edmunds Veizāns, and Executive Producer Uģis Ozoliņš tell us what the audiences should expect from the performance.

Uģis Ozoliņš, “Riga Magic Dance” Executive Producer and Head of “BT 1 Music” Cultural Project Group, says that the performance is a combination of the hobbies and things that are interesting to each individual performer: “We wanted to put it all together into one stage performance, one vision. It was an incredible challenge to me as well as to the team – people who work with the artists every day. Of the performance, I’d like to say: a Latvian can be – individually – an international genius, which is why we have brought these ingenious Latvians together. There’s dance, there’s sport, which will all become one major artistic performance that combines extreme sports and dance.”

“I’m very happy that such a performance is being created. It will be a very emotional story. I’d like to emphasise the word “emotional”, because emotions is what we will speak about in our story – the emotions that each of us go through as we live our lives,” says “Riga Magic Dance” director Edīte Ābeltiņa, stressing that she believes these emotions will not leave a single person in the audience indifferent.

“As we’re being addressed, we realise that we like things that we have experienced, that we have empathised with. To go through this story that we are creating, people must definitely come and see the performance.”

The Director says that the performance will present the public with truly good and intriguing artists who are unmatched in their skill. “Our task – mine and Guntis’ as the choreographer – is to showcase the boundaries of these various genres. You’ll be surprised to see what parkour may be like, the emotions that a trigger can cause you to experience; you’ll be astonished to see that a Frisbee may cause very unusual emotions,” says Edīte Ābeltiņa, revealing that the performance is based on a guitarist’s story – the hardships and the moments of happiness in his life from the moment he, young and crazy, meets his girlfriend at a car park with a rose in his hand, how they meet, what happens at that particular moment and later when he is rejected, a story about the need to take risks, to have the courage to live through the entire rainbow of emotions that life brings us. “I hope very much that the audiences will be amazed. We all have certain canons and perceptions about how things should be. I definitely guarantee that you’re in for a lot of surprises if you come to the performance. You’ll see hip-hop, breakdance and sport – both as you’re used to see them and in very unexpected ways. I don’t want to spoil it by revealing all the secrets, but there will also be the classical waltz and other music genres uncharacteristic of this dance style.

The main thing that we wanted to show is the skills and expertise of the dancers and athletes.

So far they have been on the side-lines, kind of, but the work that has gone into this performance will show that what they can do is not a one-day achievement. It is a lengthy process, and the people who will be performing on the stage will have been dancing or doing sports for a long time, it is not a passing fancy. These people have devoted their entire lives to it, and therefore I’m happy that they will be able to show all this on stage, although the emotions are very different. I believe that you will recognise yourself, too, in this show.”

“Choreographer Guntis Spridzāns, who has to be present at the rehearsals, has said that the show is an urban mini-opera as it will represent the most of urban culture, besides, there are more than ten choreographers working on the show in addition to Guntis,” notes “Riga Magic Dance” Artistic Director Edmunds Veizāns, who is often called the godfather of Latvian hip-hop. He goes on to say that emotions have been high throughout the work on the performance, for several months now.

“I hope that work on this show will mean more experience for me, that I’ll be able to draw from in creating even crazier projects,” Edmunds Veizāns says laughingly, adding that, in his opinion, “Riga Magic Dance” will be one of the most beautiful moments of hip-hop performed to the music of waltz.

“There’ll be not just hip-hop, but also some very feminine dance and something that I cannot even reveal yet. The show is based on helping everyone find him or herself, prompt the spectators and the producers alike to think, and the show will be a challenge to everybody, whereas the spectators will have to overcome a lot of stereotypes.”

The “Riga Magic Dance” stage will be grand and complex in order to combine various sports and also leave some room for the dancers. The show will include ramps, obstacle courses, elevations and a special surfacing for the extreme sport athletes to express themselves. There will also be the largest trampoline in Latvia, created by “Monsterparks”.

Tickets to the 10th and 11th of May shows are available from “Biļešu paradīze” outlets and online shop.


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