Freestyle Classics is a unique performance that mixes the classical music universe with street dance, thanks to the unexpected meeting of two groups of established artists: the Freestyle Lab collective and the Akhtamar String Quartet.
The union of classical musicians and Freestyle dancers is unusual, perhaps exceptional. By fusing the two genres, we have created a performance which eliminates sociocultural differences and prioritises aesthetic diversity while proposing a fresh take on established art forms, bringing a sense of discovery to our audiences.
This exchange between freestyle and classical music breaks traditional codes and gathers people from different walks of life (varied age groups, backgrounds, and linguistic communities) to the same event.
For the Akhtamar quartet, this collaboration is a logical step in their artistic journey. They have always engaged in social projects and have several shows whose purpose is to bring classical music to everyone, everywhere.
The ‘Freestyle Classics’ artists aim to bring classical music to the streets and urban culture to classical concert halls. The show allows for the real-time exchange between artists, and everyone involved can express themselves through movement and music. The performances, adaptable to various interior and exterior spaces, will propose a wholly new artistic form: a mix of improvisation and choreography adapted to the needs of both dancers and musicians.
The dancers’ strength lies in their mastering of the respective dance styles, and their collective talent for freestyle: the art of improvising while building a creation, in connection with music, oneself and the outside environment. Thus, each performance is unique, as the dance solos are improvised and represent the environment in the moment. The choreographed parts and musical interpretation define precise movements, leaving space for the improvised approach.
In Freestyle Classics, each dancer relates to the music in their own way and uses their own dancing skills, which might belong to the school of hip-hop, popping, house dance, breakdance or another dance form. The aim is to explore the diverse energies and rhythms of classical music; at times, the physical movements respect the musical ones, and at other times they oppose them. Different connections are forged during the performance: at times, musician-dancer or dancer-dancer duos emerge, as well as solos and other combinations.
A range of styles and aesthetics are presented through the music in the show: Beethoven’s quartet op.59 n.3, and op.18 n.1, Haydn’s “The Frog”, Dvorak’s quartet op.106, Debussy’s string quartet, Janacek’s first quartet, and others.
On this path of discovery through classical repertory, the audience is transported to different eras in a range of countries.
From classicism to romanticism, touching on impressionism and the modern era, numerous pieces and musical structures make up the Freestyle Classics repertory.
The many ideas that come from both the dancers' and musicians’ sides are sorted and understood through dialogue. A line is drawn between each proposed dance gesture and musical idea, so the potential of each blend can be discussed, as well as the freedoms and rigour each blend offers. The musical repertory can always be modified according to the inspiration given to the musicians by the dancers, which in turn mirrors the inherent freestyle nature of the project as a whole.