Hello folks. This post is special because it’s our first RUDE BOY since I began this blog. This week I have a special two part interview with the creators behind a new production called Dancehall Theater Blood Sweat and Tears. What’s that? Well this event is taken place on October 28th and 29th, and will be showcasing authentic dancehall movements and take you through the journey of where it all began. I got the chance to Interview Rude Boy Mikhail Morris aka Venom about his journey and what we can expect from the show.
1.First who is Mikhail Morris? Background? Values? What is it exactly that you do?
Mikhail is a strong, hardworking individual who willing to inspire people no matter the cost. I was born in Kingston Jamaica, also a Cultural Ambassador for his country (Dancer, Director, Music Composer and a Leader).
2.Dancehall has really grown over the years and some dancehall dancers feel like a lot of people are exploiting Jamaican culture and not giving back to where the art form comes from. You being a Jamaican yourself what are your personal point of view on that subject.
My personal views on people exploiting Jamaican culture and not given back. I always say anyone can be inspire by someone's culture and they can create their own artistic development from it. My issue will always be if someone is going to do that show the reference/credit that my Jamaican people deserve because my culture was develop out of a painful place as the history speaks for itself I will be disappointed to know if people keep doing that.
3. So, you’re one of the creators behind Dancehall Theatre: Blood Sweat and Tears, what has the process been like thus far?
Dancehall Theatre (Blood, Sweat, and Tears) the process thus far is going really well and inspiring especially the diverse casts of the show. They really putting in the hard work and I’m proud of everyone who is on broad.
4. Is this a production you want to tour or just solely something for Vancouver to find out all about Dancehall?
Well this was always one of my goals to tour my future productions not just in Canada but worldwide. I have a story that I want everyone to hear and see. Vancouver is the base and I’m proud to start it here.
5. I'm assuming there has definitely been some difficulty during the process of creating. You being a dancer for a long period of time how was the creative process? Going into the production did you already have everything set out in a plan?
Firstly we are all human beings so nothing we do can be perfect so yes the creative process has its moments especially when the dancers have to find the emotion that is affecting humanity. There will be ups and downs especially creating a production that builds around POVERTY IN THE INNER CITY OF JAMAICA. Well, it’s funny you asked that question. Firstly I know I wanted to put on a theater production and in the process, the plan started to fall into place. I've worked with a lot of different dance theater companies so base on the experiences over the years by watching them things started to flow naturally.
6. Being that you came to Vancouver from Toronto I know for sure there is a difference between the Dancehall scenes here compared to that of Toronto. Was it a Shock for you or was it something that you expected. Were you surprised that so many people were interested in the Style?
Neither was I shock/surprised because Jamaica really impacts or impacted a lot of other countries with its music, dance, and culture. I was happy and feel inspired that people here in Vancouver really respects and enjoy reggae/dancehall music.
7. Let’s talk Dancehall donz. When was this group created and how has it been for you guys coming up in the Toronto scene.
Well, Dancehall Donz/Diva it’s not a group/crew so anyone can be a part of it was founded 2 years ago. Dancehall donz is a movement to bring authenticity and culture awareness...to educate youths of society and others who will help to fight for a cause.
8. Expanding on the question of Donz I noticed there are only 2 males in the production. Being that I'm from Vancouver I know it’s hard to find Male Dancehall dancers, but I do find a lot of Men interested in the dance form and willing to take classes or add dancehall steps into their choreography. Was it hard finding men to take part in the production?
In this process, it wasn't challenging to find Males for this production because I already knew who I wanted to use base on the students who keep coming to my classes since I start teaching here in Vancouver.
8. Where do you see the company going in five years? Both Ketch Di Vybz and Dancehall Donz?
In the next 5 years for Dancehall Donz since it’s a movement, it will continue to serve its purpose to help inspire the youths of the community bring culture awareness to others and keep fighting for a cause.
Check out this behind the scenes video.
Hope you guys enjoyed part 1. This show is able to take place thanks to donations and money raised from various events. If you would like to Donate or purchase a ticket to the event be sure to visit www.ketchdivybz.com for more detail. Be sure to check back for part two with co-founder and producer of Dancehall Theater and Ketch Di Vybz, Judy Madarasz.
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