From London's West End comes Blaze, the Streetdance Sensation. It puts streetdancing centre stage in a high-tech, high-energy dance spectacular
With the word “dance” tattooed on her ring finger, there’s no denying choreographer Kendra J Horsburgh’s love and commitment to the art of movement.
After moving from Luxembourg to study traditional dance in London when she was 18, Horsburgh was introduced to street dance by some friends (and now fellow colleagues). With the discovery of the hip-hop scene of London, she was absolutely sold on it. Taking classes on top of college, and going to clubs where the battles were, cemented her direction in the dance world.
“I like very explosive, very physical, even contact work,” she says.
Horsburgh is quick to point out the difference between the commercial world of hip-hop and the street dance she does. “Street dance is still what looks good, and what’s funky. Commercial comes from a more jazzy background. Like glitz and glamour.”
In the street dance world, Horsburgh is making an impact. She now leads two dance companies, and is an integral part of the Blaze dance company as well, having worked her way up to dance captain and choreographer.
It hasn’t been a journey without its knockbacks though. After graduating from college, she auditioned “everywhere and for anything”. She is quite philosophical about the process. “A lot of the time it’s not about how good you are, it’s about whether you fit the part.”
Horsburgh has found herself on the other side of the audition process of late, coming to Melbourne to find a local to be part of the Melbourne leg of the Blaze 2013 tour. Being on the other side mean she has to stop putting herself in the auditioning dancer’s shoes.
“There’s just certain things you have to set aside, and really focus on what the show needs rather than who you personally like, dance-wise,” she says.
Having a bigger role in her various companies, by being a choreographer, an auditioner, and also teacher does not mean that Kendra is looking to stop performing anytime soon. “I love teaching, and I do it a lot, but I still wanna be on stage. I still wanna be performing.”
Blaze also features choreography from Anthony van Laast, Lyle Beniga, Mike Song, Chris Baldock and Kenny Wormald. The extravagant set is by Es Devlin (Kanye West, Lady Gaga, London Olympics Closing Ceremony).