by maeshelle west-davies
This wasn’t my first Sebastian Weber experience, but it was by far my most emotional. Seeing The Legend of Syd O’Noo stirred a rare feeling of being homesick. I found myself crying, just like I did when I walked from room to room in the New York MoMA. I knew the creating of this piece had taken Sebastian on a journey to the roots of his passion for tap dancing…much like that of Slow Foot Holland, the character he plays. The Legend of Syd O’Noo weaves real people and their stories to form a base for a fictitious story. A director (STÉPHANE BITTOUN) becomes passionate about tap dance through a dancer in Barcelona and wants to make a documentary about him. Unfortunately he has stopped dancing, so Stephane focuses on Slow Foot Holland instead. During this process Slow Foot loses his will to dance. In an effort to help him regain it, Stephane takes Slow Foot to the States to see his mentor.
The piece is part theatre and part dance. It is a fine balance of video, text and music. With great respect and reverence for its heritage, The Legend of Syd O’Noo brings tap dance into today by creating a dialog between the percussive nature of Sebastian’s footwork and the experimental jazz of Tobias Christl while using interactive video. Soft shoe has a whole new meaning with Susanne Strach and Stehane tapping in trainers. The piece addresses relevance on every scale and exposes the sacrifice artists make for their work, from the pursuits of funding a documentary to learning to ignore the racism facing African Americans in the 40s.
Excellent performances all around and there’s one last performance at the Lofft tonight at 6. GO!