Monday, May 20, 2013

INTERVIEW WITH: Shaping Sound Dance Co.'s Joey Arrigo

If you love to see passion come to life on stage and a cast of incredibly talented dancers, a national tour that hit the road this weekend is the perfect show for you. Shaping Sound Dance Company is traveling across North America with a production that brings the “wow” factor. Founded by Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson, following their stint as a reality TV show (All The Right Moves), Shaping Sound has become something so much more. 

The theatre show kicked off in LA on May 18th and already I’ve come across tons of great reviews online.  I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to see them live when they hit NYC. Here are the rest of the tour dates:

Amongst the cast members, there is even a bit of Canadian pride. 21-year-old Joey Arrigo found his way from Toronto to Los Angeles and I got to chat with him about his experience in the cast, what it’s like living in LA and what he’s most looking forward to. (You may recognize him from So You Think You Can Dance Canada.)

Christina Dun: How are rehearsals going?

Joey Arrigo: Rehearsals are absolutely amazing. This is my first project working with this company and from the work that I’ve done before, it differs so much because working with these guys is such an experience. Working with such talented artists fuels you every day. Everyday is a good experience and I’m always happy to be in the room. So rehearsals have been going amazing.

CD: How did you get involved with the company?

JA: I met all four boys working on conventions and going to conventions. I assisted for JUMP Convention, where Teddy and Nick are teachers and just from assisting their classes and working with them a lot, they asked me from there if I was interested in being part of the company.

CD: What are you most excited for?

JA: First off, I’ve never been on a full tour of the United States before, even working with conventions I go to these cities to work the conventions but I don’t leave the hotel for the entire weekend so it’s like I haven’t even been to the city. So it’s nice that I‘m going to get to go on a tour of the United States and see all these cities and be able to actually see parts of the city and perform in them and get to experience them. And also, since these four guys have such a high-profile name in the country and are confident, it’s going to be great to share the stage with them and I’m really excited to have my name associated with the company.

CD: What’s it like working with everyone?

JA: The group dynamic is absolutely amazing. I feel that everywhere I’ve worked, there’s always been somebody I butt heads with and I feel that there’s always somebody I have to really work through to get along in the process of creation in the show or whatever. But here, I just feel like everybody’s here for the same reason and I feel like everybody’s here because they want to dance. They want to do dance and it means something to them. And they want to create a good show so everybody’s on the same page and there’s nobody I feel is holding back or anything like that. I feel like we’re a good group and we’re working well together, so I’m really excited about that.

CD: How would you describe the show? What makes it unique?

JA: It’s very story-driven. We all play characters in the show and it’s cool to experience that side of a show when you can really explore the movement and improve yourself as a dancer while trying to play a character. So I think that really sets apart the show from other dance shows; it’s more than just dance, it’s a full production. So I’m really excited about that.

CD: What character do you play?

JA: The character the boys have given me is that they’ve titled me “The Antagonist.” So that’s someone who is the troublemaker in the show, the one who causes problems. So I like that, just to add some shading to the show.

CD: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve come across so far?

JA: I guess the biggest challenge is that all the dancers in the show are actually based here in LA, and I am not. I’ve lived in Toronto my whole life and I went on a world tour with a company previous to this, so I didn’t have an address and I was living out of a suitcase. And once again, right now I’m just staying with one of the other company members, in their apartment. So basically, I feel like I’m not at home, not at my home base working at this. Also being in LA, I don’t have a car and it’s hard to access things. But I mean, I’m saying that’s the hardest thing, and it’s not even that hard because I’m here and I’m doing what I love. I’m here because this job is fulfilling and I wouldn’t say there’s anything hard about this because I’m enjoying it so much.

CD: How does the Toronto dance scene compare to the LA dance scene?

JA: I would kind of say that it doesn’t. The Toronto dance scene is, well I mean, I grew up there and I absolutely love Toronto, it’s such a great city. I love the people there and everything and every time I go home I miss them so much and I just miss the energy of Canadians. But the dance industry there, there’s just not as much work there for a dancer. So everybody who is really serious about making a dance career that have come from Toronto does whatever they can to get their work visa to move to Los Angeles so they can have a successful career.

CD: What pushes you to continue dancing?

JA: Definitely I would say the aspect of getting better as a dancer and improving as a dancer and not being the same dancer you were the day before. I know a lot of dancers that get comfortable and then they realize they don’t like dancing anymore because it gets boring to them and it becomes all the same. I feel like the dancers who really try to push themselves really look at themselves and try to be better than they were the day before, those are the dancers who stay motivated and keep striving for passion.

CD: What advice do you have for other aspiring dancers?

JA: There’s really two things that fuel me as I was growing up, even now as a professional and someone who keeps working in the dance industry. Definitely number one is training and class and technique and knowing about your body and knowing what your body can and can’t do. And trying to figure out ways to improve and strengthen and make your body stronger so that you can dance the way that you want to. So I would say training is number one. Number two is just remembering why you love dance because the dance industry all over the world, small and big, is full of so many things that can twist your brain and make you question. It is an artsy industry so there are lots of things that twist your brain. I would say that the number one thing is remembering why you love dance and remembering that dancing is for you and not for anybody else. Keeping your sanity is definitely important.


Be sure to stay updated with Shaping Sound on Facebook & Twitter. You can buy tickets to the show at:

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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