Bill Shannon [New York]



04.04 – 06.04.2007

The New York crutch-acrobat and hip-hop dancer makes his first appearance in Belgium

Bill Shannon (1970) earned his title of Crutchmaster on the streets of New York and in hip-hop circles. At the age of five he was diagnosed as having a rare form of gout in his hip. Since that time he has found walking and standing very painful. With the help of crutches and the speed of a skateboard he manages to propel himself forward in a way that is graceful though odd. He does this not only in the street, where he attracts attention and provokes reactions from bystanders, but also on stage, where he manages to link helplessness with elegance and physical bravado. This strange spectacle alternates moments of stillness and restraint with splurges of outrageous daring, in which he flirts with balance, gravity and danger.

His bond with street culture is essential for what Shannon does. Breakdance, skateboarding, techno, drum ‘n’ bass and hip-hop are not an obstacle but in fact a breeding ground for his stylised idiom of movement. He does not regard himself as a dancer or choreographer but rather as a performance artist. Music (often live DJs) and the interactive use of video play an essential role in his performances; this is also true of his production Sketchy.

In Sketchy, this multidisciplinary crutch-acrobat joins forces with five other dancers. They show us the risks dancers take when they extend their physical limits. Sketchy swings between a staged performance and a reality show; video is used interactively to analyse the dancers’ performance and to demonstrate the complexity of urban artistic expression.

concept & mise en scène Bill Shannon
chorégraphié en collaboration avec et interprété par Michael ‘Stylez’ Colón, Dave ‘Cyclone’ Fogler, Danny ‘Infamous’ Rodriguez, Erika Sato, Bill Shannon, Manny ‘WildChild’ Vega
musique Andre Owens
musique additionnelle DJ Excess
voix Jason ‘Culture’ Lipsey
ingénieur du son DJ Excess
'turntablism & live mixing' DJ Excess
concept vidéo Bill Shannon
animation vidéo Benjamin ‘Jeff’ Chavez
montage vidéo David Szlasa
costumes Erika Sato
concept éclairage & régie David Szlasa