Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 5, 2013

Soul Street brings urban dance to Traverse City

BY GRETCHEN MURRAY Special to the Record-Eagle
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Even the best dancers on the floor may want to take in a performance by the Soul Street Dance Company before attempting to ‘bust a move’ with the hot new dance craze, urban street dancing.

The Houston, Texas-based dance troupe brings its high-energy dance concert, "Breakin’ Back to School," to the City Opera House at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Both the performances and the $8 general admission seating are family friendly.

Soul Street has wowed audiences around the country with its athletic, high-energy pop an’ lock, break dancing and hip-hop moves, somersaults and cartwheels set to a wide variety of music from classical Vivaldi and Debussy to Michael Jackson.

“The Opera House’s partnership with Michigan State University’s Wharton Center for the Performing Arts is allowing us to bring a wide variety of cultural events to the community and is consistent with our own mission of offering a variety of cultural experiences every season,” said Debbie Hershey, development director for the Opera House. “This group already has performed down at the Wharton Center and we heard the audiences there were blown away.”

The troupe's self-trained dancers take time during performances to demonstrate different styles and talk about the origins of street dance. The relatively new form of dance evolved outside of regular dance studios and usually is performed in open space areas such as streets, at block parties or in parks, school yards and nightclubs.

The four young men — formerly considered at risk — have inspired young audiences all over the world by sharing their stories of how they found focus through dance and now are working as professional performers. Their performances are aimed at audiences 6 and up and are designed to appeal to all ethnicities and cultures.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing," Hershey said. “The performance brings an urban flavor to Traverse City."

The dance company will close out the 2012-13 Auto Owners Performing Arts Series at the Opera House that includes two family shows each year.

General admission tickets are available at the City Opera House box office, 941-8082, or online at www.cityoperahouse.org.