The art of dance experienced a renaissance over the past decade.
Shows such as Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) and performers such as Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and the late Michael Jackson have inspired many dancers from both the Millennial and Digital generations to learn Ballroom, Hip-hop, Contemporary and Jazz.
One dance company that continues to be a part of the front line of this rebirth is the Los Angeles-based Shaping Sound Dance Company.
Lead by co-founders Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson, the company’s passion for excellence has lead to appearances on Dancing with the Stars, a massive world tour and were subjects of the Oxygen Network’s docu-series: All the Right Moves.
It is a true pleasure to welcome back one of Shaping Sound’s co-founders, Kyle Robinson, to Jake’s Take!
Before he joined the Shaping Sound Dance Company, Kyle graduated his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Julliard School, performed on Glee, X Factor and the 2013 Emmy Awards and is mentored by dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov.
He talked about Shaping Sound’s upcoming projects (which include a second national tour and a film) and how the company continues to play an important role in the dance industry’s future.
Jacob Elyachar: How have you, Travis, Nick and Teddy grown as artists and choreographers since we last spoke? Kyle Robinson: We have become more confident in our abilities and ideas. We bounce ideas around until we find one we like and it sticks. Then, it is back to generating a new movement or idea.
JE: This past summer, Shaping Sound performed at both Dancerpalooza and Festival International Danse Encore. How did performing at both events energize the group with preparations for the 2014-15 Tour? KR: We had a blast in Quebec for Danse Encore! It was basically a boy’s trip because we were presenting our “Bohemian Rhapsody” routine, we danced, laughed, and we got great feedback from the presenters and rave reviews from the local papers. We also sold out both shows we presented at Dancerpalooza. There was not an empty seat in the house! We have kept the parts of our show that are crowd pleasers and reinvigorated other parts with new music and a couple fresh faces. This show is going to be better and more developed than any we have done in the past. We have some new props and new pieces that will amaze!
JE: Shaping Sound Dance Company has inspired numerous dancers to enter the dance industry. If you were casting for dancers to join the company, what attributes would you look for in dancers during the audition process? KR: I look for performance and quality of movement. I do not really care if you can hold your leg by your head or if you have a “fierce tilt,” because in all honesty once you graduate high school your tilts and your trophies do not matter anymore. I look for the artists in the room and the people who can communicate through dance and move me emotionally. Pointed feet do not necessarily stir the soul. Focus and Intention are the most important.
JE: In addition to your upcoming tour, Shaping Sound will be releasing “Shaping Sound On Film” by CLI Films. What drew you to this project? What were some of the challenges that the group faced throughout this project? How did you overcome those obstacles? KR: The opportunity to make a little piece of what we do everyday available to people everywhere. We do not have the time or the resources yet to bring our show to everyone so we went with film because it has a wider reach. People in London can view our video and we never have to leave the States. Although, we do hope to have an international tour soon!
JE: As the group approaches its second anniversary, where do you see the dance company going? How important of a roll will Shaping Sound play in the dance industry’s future? KR: We were able to pay over $100,000 to dancers last year. If everything plays out correctly, Shaping Sound will be employing dancers for years to come. Giving jobs to dancers that previously had none. We also want to continue to develop the Contemporary Jazz style, which was made so popular by SYTYCD. Shaping Sound has the potential to change the game for dance companies and bring them back out of the dark ages.
Shaping Sound will be performing at the Shubert Theatre on November 15th.
For tickets: www.shubert.com
To learn more about the Shaping Sound Dance Company and their upcoming nationwide tour, visit their website: http://www.shapingsoundco.com/
Interview by: Jacob Elyachar, Kansas City Reality TV Examiner
Examiner.com September 18, 2014