by Nicole Harris
I am really excited to introduce you to Noa Barankin from DrumatiX! They will be performing as part of the OnStage Summer Series this weekend. Monkeyhouse will be on hand to lead the talk back after the show!
OnStage Dance Company,
665 Salem St, Malden, MA
Saturday, August 18th @ 4:30pm
Use VIP Code Drum10 to get a special ticket price here!
Noa Barankin: The theme of the show is "Rhythm Re-imagined" (which is also the title). In my work, the audience will be able to see new uses of props and technology, for the purpose of making rhythms and integrating them with dance and movement. In particular, the cast is made of all tap dancers. However, we are also drumming (on and with various objects), and doing body percussion. There is some integration of modern dance, as well as tap dance classics. I also like to call what I do - "visual rhythm", because it is rhythm that you can see. Most of our pieces are stand-alone, meaning that you can take them out of the context of the full show and they can be performed on their own. A lot of thought was put into making these pieces come to life, and the details are noticeable - from the choice of the prop to the way we use it and integrate it with the sounds of tap dance or percussion.
N: Drumatix sounds exciting! I can’t wait to see your work! Can you talk a bit about who the company is and where it came from?
NB: The company is me, and a few selected colleagues with whom I've danced before. It came from the urge of creating more performance opportunities to the Boston area tappers, as well as bringing together my music and dance knowledge.
N: As a tap dancer myself I am always excited to see more percussive dance out there in the world! What made you want to combine so many different styles of dance? What are the challenges you’ve come across in creating your particular blend of techniques?
NB: I wanted to combine tap with percussion because I love and make both dance and music, so why not make them at the same time? The challenges are mainly innovation, because I'm crossing the line into the "Stomp" and "Blue man group" realm, but I am not that, nor am I just a tap company. So it's the standing out portion that is hard, to earn a place in the percussive dance/rhythm shows world with a unique voice and identity.
NB: Ummmmm all of them? I love all artists and learn from what I see. I absorb. Possibly Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire for their lack of fear in tap, and the endless incorporation of props and special effects in their dances. I'm ALL about props (as you shall see in the show!!)
N: Monkeyhouse believes in the importance of both giving back and paying forward. Who are some of your mentors? How are you paying forward what was given to you?
NB: My main mentor is Yuval Beck, my tap teacher from Israel. He is the first one who gave me performing, producing and teaching opportunities. I'm giving back intelligent dance, as he would create his pieces on my group at his studio. Yuval is a super open minded artist, a risk taker, who always explored more possibilities, and I like to take from that from him and give it back (or - pay it forward).
The third one is Sean Fielder, through which I encountered most of my cast, and who gave me the opportunity to join the Boston Tap Company - my introductory dance path as a newbie in Boston. There is also Pam Caira, director of Step by Step dance studio, which is where we rehearse, and I cannot omit her name from this list by any means because she's a source of inspiration and a real supporter of DrumatiX. It's through her help and support that I am now able to bring drumming classes to the studio, for young dancers to get a taste of DrumatiX and explore a whole new world of rhythm making.