Vancouver’s Shay Kuebler Combines Street, Swing and Contemporary Dance in High-Flying Performance
When the celebrated dance photographer David Cooper conducted a photo session with Shay Kuebler and members of his dance company in 2015, the images of the airborne dancers were enough to make you think perhaps humans really could fly.
Kuebler and his six dancers bring this same soaring power and explosive athleticism to their upcoming Ottawa show Telemetry, a one-hour marvel that combines the fast footwork and partnering of forms like swing, with the full-body movements of b-boy and contemporary dance.
Using interactivity between the lighting, sound and dancers, Telemetry explores how the body transmits information, addressing ideas like memories and how they degrade, and communication in relationships and how they can be blocked or lost.
Featuring Canadian tap virtuoso Danny Nielsen, it highlights Kuebler’s commitment to integrating different dance and physical disciplines. With a foundation in the martial arts, Kuebler’s background includes tap, hip-hop, ballet and contemporary dance, and he brings that breadth to his performances and his choreographies.
As a performer, he’s worked with Vancouver-based choreographer Crystal Pite and her acclaimed company Kidd Pivot, as well as with Vancouver’s Holy Body Tattoo, founded by Dana Gingras and Noam Gagnon, who originally trained and performed with Ottawa’s Le Groupe de la Place Royale. As a choreographer, Kuebler has created dances for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens and London Contemporary Dance School, among others.
Telemetry is Kuebler’s third full-length project and recently toured Germany. It’s been described as a “mindblowing smorgasbord of street, contemporary and martial-arts styles,” “a beautiful choreography” and even “Kuebler’s best work yet.” Kuebler and his career, it seems, are flying high.
Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art performs Telemetry at the National Arts Centre from April 26 – 28. Tickets are $32.50 for general admission. Shay Kuebler leads an intermediate/advanced contemporary masterclass on April 28 at noon at the Rossy Pavilion. Tickets are $25.