Fly Dance Company, known as the “gentlemen of hip-hop,” brings a head-spinning (literally) dance performance to the Methow Valley in a show for all ages at the Winthrop Barn on Feb. 9.
The company features male dancers mixing it up with athletic movements, vaudeville and even some comedy influenced by the Marx Brothers.
“You’re going to see some slapstick comedy,” said Jorge Casco, executive director of the company. “And you’ll see one guy spinning on his head for a very long time. We dance to music by Nat King Cole to James Brown to Michael Jackson — a variety of music.”
“This is a wholesome and clean, fun show,” he said. “We try to present our concert in a way that’s acceptable to everybody, from 8 years old to 80.”
The company, whose members are self-taught dancers, describes itself a contemporary dance troupe with hip-hop technique.
Casco sees formal dance training as limiting. “With formal ballet, they are very strict,” Casco said. “We respect that and it’s a very hard discipline. With hip-hop, it’s the opposite of that. It’s sort of what modern is to ballet. With us, it’s all about the feeling and how the music moves you.”
Casco constantly encourages his dancers to find new ways to express themselves. “If they do a move this week, they don’t want to do the same move next week,” he said. “There’s a foundation that everyone builds off of, but then we want to keep evolving the movement. You want to create your own step. Originality is something that our artists really crave because you don’t want to dance like another guy.”
That leads the dancers to always search for an individual style, including bits of acting, personality and other aspects, Casco said.
Casco advises audience members to let go of any preconceived ideas about hip-hop and come with an open mind. “It will be more than they expect to see,” he said. “They might be expecting to see a hip-hop dance company dancing to hip-hop music, but it’s more than that.”
“If you have any stereotypes on what hip hop is, we’re going to shatter all of that. We want to let the audience know that you won’t be offended. You’ll be at the edge of your seat,” Casco said.
Fly Dance Company is presented by Methow Arts, and the company will perform for students at six public schools in Okanogan County before appearing at the Barn.
The show at the Barn is expected to sell out, and Methow Arts encourages people to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets are $25 for reserved seats or $16 general admission for adults and $10 for kids 5-18 years; $19 for adults at the door. Tickets can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com, at the Methow Arts office in Twisp or at Riverside Printing in Winthrop.
Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for ticket holders, and 6:30 p.m. for purchase at the door, if tickets are still available. The show begins at 7 p.m.