Lisbeth Gruwez talks Dylan, how to experience contemporary dance ahead of Fluid Fest show

Taking the stage this week in the final leg of Springboard Performance’s 2018 Fluid Movement Arts Festival (Fluid Fest) is Belgian dancer and choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez of Voetvolk.

Lisbeth Gruwez Dances Bob Dylan promises to be a feast for the eyes, ears and soul, as Gruwez offers her interpretation of Dylan’s iconic music.

Immediately prior to her arrival in Calgary, Lisbeth and co. were on location in Singapore, where she made time to answer a few brief questions via email about her piece, and where she offered up probably the best advice I have ever heard about experiencing contemporary dance.

Q: Can you tell me a little more about your piece? Why Bob Dylan specifically?

A: Dylan’s music is almost undanceable and we did not really plan to choreograph to his songs, it just happened. Maarten Van Cauwenberghe, my partner-in-art, had a Dylan revelation period and he kept playing Dylan’s songs on the tour bus while I was preparing to dance It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend, back in 2012Eventually, I started to warm up to the music and ended up with Dances Bob Dylan.

In the end, this performance is an ode to the forgotten ritual of playing a song for someone specifically, physically, on vinyl.

Q: Is this the first time you’ve taken part in Fluid Fest here in Calgary?

A: We played It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend, in Calgary in 2016. A wonderful experience! I specifically remember the workshop I gave here and the way people interacted with it. I hope I’ll meet some of them again!

Q: What is the one thing you would like audience members – who are new to contemporary dance – to know about the art form?

A: There’s nothing to understand, only to feel. A good and clear performance can draw everyone in. Just have an open heart and get out of your head!

(Photo of Lisbeth Gruwez Dances Bob Dylan courtesy Luc Depreitere.)

Lisbeth Gruwez Dances Bob Dylan by Lisbeth Gruwez (Belgium) takes place Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 3 at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, 111 12 Ave. S.E.. Both shows at 7 p.m.