A great dance performance is hard to find.
Particularly one that stretches beyond eye-candy and top 40 tunes blasting from deafening mile-high speakers.
Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company, a young Montreal company, prides itself on the ability to use dance for more than just entertainment. But rather, they strive to raise awareness, educate and connect with the community.
With their upcoming show only days away, we caught up with the company’s founder, Sonia Balazovjech, and the ladies of SBDC to learn about what goes into creating a production and how they choose dance as their tool to send a positive message.
What defines SBDC and makes it different from anything else we have seen?
Although we're dancers, we’re also full-time professionals, students and moms who take time from our busy schedules to indulge in our passion for dance while creating professional productions that benefit others. Also, rather than creating to explore ourselves or emit our own personal message, we create in order to give others a voice through partnerships with various organizations, who then benefit from the proceeds of our productions.
What should your audience expect from SBDC’s upcoming show, Addicted to LOVE?
We’ve partnered with the non-profit organization, Leave Out Violence (LOVE), a youth organization that seeks to instill social change and provide hope and opportunity to young minds by championing the platform of non-violence. Through the use of journal writings done by LOVE’s youth, we’ve been able to translate their words into dance, and create a production that will hit a very emotional chord.
We’ve all gone through the growing up process – we can relate to the trials and tribulations of youth. By targeting some of the more difficult issues with this performance, we hope the audience can walk away with a better understanding of what troubled youth are going through, and what LOVE offers our communities. All profits from this production will go to benefit the LOVE organization.
What is the road like leading up to the big show?
CRAZY, INSANE, but so much fun! SBDC is not a one-person production; every person brings their talents to the table and maximizes them to 150%. We’re very dedicated and passionate – that’s why our productions end up exceeding even our own expectations. We’re all choreographers and dancers, all the time. But, in order to get the production off the ground, during crunch time, it really just comes down to teamwork, meetings, communication and building on each other’s ideas.
Tell us about the Addicted to LOVE Tour.
This was such a great concept that one of the girls proposed. In order to target the dance community, we communicated with as many studios as possible in Montreal and set out to spread our message of LOVE. We created one main choreography titled “When You Know,” and visited each studio to not only teach, but to sit down with the dancers to educate and encourage them to reflect on why they love to dance. It’s been such an amazing experience, and more than anything, we feel so privileged that we’ve been able to do this with so many other dancers who share our same passion.
What does it mean to be an SBDC dancer?
We are real people. We do this part-time, but also share a collective passion for both the company and the art. However, more than dancers, we’re athletes, and we tailor our training and diet to suit the needs of an athlete. That isn’t to say that we don’t love gummies and always have a lunchbox filled with snacks with us at all our shows.
We’re goofballs who genuinely enjoy each other’s company. We pray to the dance gods before a big show, we warm-up on stage as a means of connecting with our audience, we gossip, we cheer and ultimately, we always make sure everyone is wearing their shorts under their costumes before taking to the stage (a lesson some of us learnt the hard way).
Addicted to LOVE hits the stage February 7 & 8, 2014 at Espace Reunion in Outremount, QC, and from past experience, we can safely say this is sure to be a must-see performance. For ticket information, check out SBDC Montreal and take a sneak peek at their passion and talents by heading over to their YouTube channel.