Orchestral dance music?
Feb 9, 2010 – Although a one-night show doesn’t usually earn the term “festival,” Hard Rubber’s Drum and Light Festival undoubtedly deserves the moniker.
For its upcoming February 11 show as part of CODE Live Night Life, the 14-piece funk-jazz-new music orchestra will invite electronic DJs, contemporary dancers, frenetic drummers and colourful visual artists onstage for this one-night-only super performance.
“It’s just kind of a crazy atmosphere,” says Hard Rubber Orchestra’s founding artistic director John Korsrud.
“It’s an all-star ensemble of the best funk and groove musicians in one room. Then compile that with great visual artists, projection artists and great dancers and it makes a really unique event.”
While Hard Rubber’s musicians create eclectic, high-energy music, artists will project visuals on a screen behind the orchestra and Vancouver-based modern dance crew the Tomorrow Collective will show off their contemporary choreography.
“I have a hard time thinking small, so I get a little carried away. I’m not very good at understatement,” says Korsrud.
In addition to his work on the Drum and Light project, Korsrud is also preparing a skating-themed variety show on ice (featuring champion figure skater Emanuel Sandhu) for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and a commissioned orchestra piece for Carnegie Hall, which he says is the “biggest feather in the career cap.”
The inspiration to mix orchestral music with electronic sounds came to him after attending several large-scale dance events that featured DJs and visual art.
“I’ve always been interested in DJs and electronic music and thought, ‘Why not get a huge band of all-star musicians and see if we can get a high-energy two-hour dance set?’” he says from Vancouver, where most of the performers are currently based.
Although it would be fun to take his Hard Rubber “festival” on the road, Korsud says that, logistically, it would be too hard to tour with such a big group. But despite the obvious challenges that arise when coordinating such a massive event, he says the performers make his job pretty easy.
“When you just get a bunch of talented people all in one room together, it just takes care of itself. I try to create the atmosphere where people have a lot of freedom and can do whatever they want to do. I just try to make sure all the elephants are running in the same direction.”
“Hard Rubber: Drum and Light Festival” is February 11 at 10:00pm at CODE Live 1; Great Northern Way Campus, 577 Great Northern Way, Vancouver. Tickets $20.