Never Heard of Turf Dancing? Now You Have.

March 10, 2016

Here at DS, we love a good style mashup. When someone with a vision sees the similarities between two distinct styles of dance, the result is usually stunning. (I’m looking at you, JR.)

Mud Water Theatre is no different. The Oakland, CA, company bridges the gap between street dancers and ballet dancers in a new way, by featuring a unique, Oakland-based style called turfing.

According to MWT, turfing is characterized by fluidity, an attention to making shapes and using pantomime to tell a story…just like ballet! In a documentary by KQED, we also spotted some bone-breaking and tutting when MWT turfers were dancing. Similarly, the ballet dancers utilize their contemporary training when they perform. Members of the company are drawing from their individual technique toolbox to find common ground with each other. We love that MWT aims to merge the two dance forms, rather than merely juxtapose them.

Check out the company grooving together, here:

How Turfers and Ballet Dancers Found their Groove Together
Grit and Grace: What happens when Oakland turf dance and classic ballet collide?

Posted by KQED Arts on Saturday, March 5, 2016


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