Founded in Montreal in 2002, RUBBERBAND immediately wowed audiences and critics with three creations presented at Espace Tangente over two seasons, while also performing several smaller-scale works in mixed programs and self-produced evenings throughout the city. Tender Loving Care and ...
Founded in Montreal in 2002, RUBBERBAND immediately wowed audiences and critics with three creations presented at Espace Tangente over two seasons, while also performing several smaller-scale works in mixed programs and self-produced evenings throughout the city. Tender Loving Care and Hasta La Próxima were both included in Le Devoir’s “Top 5 in Dance for 2002”, while Elastic Perspective began a 100-performance run in 2003 after winning the RIDEAU Prize at the Vue sur la relève Festival. During the 2003-2004 season, RUBBERBAND was granted a residency at Usine C to create Slicing Static, which was hailed as Best Dance Production of 2004 by the Hour, Montreal’s cultural weekly newspaper (now Cult MTL).
In 2005, Anne Plamondon joined RUBBERBAND as Artistic Co Director, assisting Victor Quijada with the company’s strategic planning. Another residency at Usine C in 2006 was followed by a four-year stint as artists-in-residence at Place des Arts. During this period, with the support of several partners, four new works were created: Punto Ciego and AV Input/Output in 2008, Loan Sharking in 2009, and Gravity of Center in 2011. In 2013, Quijada created Empirical Quotient for six dancers trained in the RUBBERBAND Method. The company then created Vic’s Mix in 2016, a kind of “Greatest Hits” of Quijada’s work. In 2017, as part of the Celebrations of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary, the members of the company were joined by thirty students from the École supérieure de ballet du Québec and the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal to dance in the multidisciplinary performance City Thread on the Esplanade of the Place des Arts. In 2018, Victor Quijada directed ten dancers on the immense stage of the Maisonneuve Theater in Ever So Slightly. 2020 marked the return of Victor Quijada to the stage as a dancer in Trenzado, a piece that raises the question of what it is to be from everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
The company’s newest creation, Reckless Underdog (2022), propels the company’s achievements of the last twenty years to new heights. In a larger-than-life work, twelve dancers come together in a choreography of three acts. Each part, a piece in itself, draws spectators into a unique, complex world through its distinctive scenography, music, and movement aesthetic.
RUBBERBAND also co-produced six films choreographed by Quijada, four of which are co-directed by him: Ever So Slightly, Gravity of Center, Secret Service and Small Explosions That Are Yours to Keep. Gravity of Center won in 2012 “Les Enfants Terribles” and “Air Canada” awards at the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québécois festival, as well as awards for Best Experimental Short Film and Best Cinematography in a Canadian Short Film at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, among others. Hasta La Próxima, made in 2003, was a finalist in the short film category at the American Choreography Awards. Quijada is also involved in the creation of three music videos for the songs Man I Used to Be by k-os, La Garde by Alexandre Désilets and Blue Wonderful by Elton John.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022, RUBBERBAND has represented Canadian artistic innovation across the United States, and in Europe, Mexico, and Japan. At the forefront of Montreal’s dance community, the company is recognized internationally for its original vision of contemporary dance.
Since 2002, Victor Quijada and RUBBERBAND have not only redefined break dance codes within an institutional context and enlivened the Quebec dance scene, but have opened the way for new creators fascinated by this dance form. Armed with a technique he conceived for dancers, the RUBBERBAND Method – an electrifying vocabulary combining the energy of Hip Hop, the refinement of classical ballet, and the angular quality of contemporary dance – and some 40 creations and collaborations in Canada and abroad behind him, Victor Quijada has always continued to evolve and innovate throughout his prolific career.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, the child of Mexican parents, Victor first danced in the b-boying circles and hip-hop clubs of his native city. He performed with Rudy Perez from 1994 to 1996, then moved to New York City to join THARP! After spending three years with that company and following a stint with Ballets Tech, in 2000 he came to Montreal to join Les Grands Ballets canadiens. In 2002, he founded RUBBERBAND, throwing himself into deconstructing the choreographic principles he had learned by blending them with the raw ideology of his street dance origins. His creations – numerous short works and 14 full-length productions – are distinguished by a powerful theatricality, the energy of improvisation, and certain codes of film language, the whole sculpted with an incomparable precision of movement.
For several years now, Victor has taught the RUBBERBAND Method throughout the world in workshops and internships for many dance companies, dance schools, and universities, as well as on a yearly basis in RBDG’s workshop for professional dancers; at the Académie du Domaine Forget in Charlevoix every summer; and in his classes at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California (USC). As guest choreographer, he has created new works for dance and circus companies; notably in return commissions for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Scottish Dance Theatre.
Besides his stage productions, Victor has been involved in almost a dozen dance films, as director, choreographer, or dramaturge. His short film, Hasta La Próxima, was a finalist at the American Choreography Awards in 2004. He also choreographed the music videos Man I Used to Be by k-os, La garde by Alexandre Désilets, and Elton John’s Blue Wonderful. His Gravity of Center – The Movie won Best Experimental Short at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival of 2012, among other awards, and was shown at several exhibitions and national and international festivals.
In the area of peer recognition, Victor Quijada was artist-in-residence at Usine C (2004 and 2006) and at Place des Arts (2007-2011), and has won many awards, including Britain’s National Dance Award for Outstanding Modern Repertory (2003), the Bonnie Bird North American Award (2003, U.K.), the Peter Darrell Choreography Award (2003, U.K.), the International Touring Award of the Canadian Dance Alliance (2012), and two awards from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA (Choreography Fellowship, 2010; Work in Progress Residency, 2016).
In December 2017, Victor Quijada received the award for cultural diversity at the Prix de la danse de Montréal and was, in 2019, one of the finalists for the 34th Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal as well as among the four finalists for the 2019 Charles-Biddle Prize, instigated by Culture pour tous and the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation and Inclusion (MIFI).
A Boston Globe critic praised RUBBERBANDance Group as having ‘the formal clarity and controlled elegance of ballet (and) the raw, athletic exuberance of street dance.
Quijada’s impressive partnering with Plamondon is all about rigorous structured movement sequences, spontaneous precision, calm beauty and moody urban vision. Both have an incredible stage presence.
Quijada’s choreography blurs the hard edges of breaking with contemporary sensibility, boasting delectably clever partnering and buoyant musicality.