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Hip hop (Corona) won’t stop, Bristol’s vibrant dance scene

A Q&A with the dancers and directors behind FUZE’s sprightly new dance video.

by Anjuli Vadera, Arts Editor

A Q&A with the dancers and directors behind FUZE’s sprightly new dance video.

Lockdown might be an unlikely time for creative outlet, but a group of talented Bristol based dancers have decided to collaborate and create a dynamic, professional digital performance. The Dancers are part of FUZE, Bristol’s independent student-run fashion, music and dance event.

Despite restrictions, creative individuals are ceaselessly finding ways to combat procrastination and invest their energy instead into producing colorful content. It is refreshing to see how despite the creative stagnation induced by COVID-19, performers and organizations like FUZE are expressing and creating.

Epigram sat down with the dancers and directors behind FUZE’s new dance video to find out more about who they are, what ignited their passion, why they’re creating content and how Bristol has influenced them.

Sophie, Creative Director-Graphic Designer-Photographer

What was your vision for the video?

'I wanted to highlight the personal experiences and passions of the dancers, particularly focusing on the barriers and challenges surrounding the accessibility of dance. The narrative I envisioned followed the dancers throughout the city with final scene bringing them home, as a full circle reflection of our FUZE @ HOME campaign. Aesthetically I drew on the Bristol's art and architecture in order to represent the rich diversity of the city.'

Film Crew / @scherryvisuals and @alicesuttonphotography) via FUZE

Styli, Co-Dance Director

“Dance started becoming more of a therapy. If I'm having a bad day at work or whatever, I’ll book a dance class and know it will make me feel better, just something about dance helps me unwind and relieve stress.”

“I have done quite a few gigs as a performer but FUZE was something that I never expected. I joined FUZE back in 2018 and it was literally one of the best experiences I ever had as a dancer and performer. Starting from the people that you meet, to the show itself, it’s just so diverse and everyone involved is so passionate.

I joined FUZE this year as a co-dance director because performing at FUZE was not enough for me, I wanted to do more. I felt like I had the need to further be involved and create my own pieces and watch something that has my signature come alive on stage.”

Styli / @scherryvisuals and @alicesuttonphotography via FUZE

What are your favourite things about living in Bristol?

“Easy. I love going for brunch whether it's bottomless brunch or just coffee. Bristol has so much character as a city that I'm pretty sure it is hard to compare it to any other city that I’ve been to. From the old Victorian houses to all the artsy roads in Stokes Croft.

I actually appreciate Bristol more during lockdown to be honest with all the walking I’ve been doing. Walking around and finding cool places is so refreshing and eye opening. Bristol definitely feels more home than Cyprus hence why I chose to stay here after my studies and pretty much pursue a career here.”

@scherryvisuals and @alicesuttonphotography via FUZE

Louise, Hip- Hop

‘I went into my last year of Uni and I just hadn’t accomplished anything. I wasn’t a part of any societies, I hadn’t done a thing my whole two years, so I thought, what is stopping me? It’s my last year, I have to try something. I’m quite an anxious person but when I’m dancing all of that just goes away. You can’t get me to speak in a room full of people but you can get me to dance and be a bit silly on stage’

Who inspires you to get up and start moving?

Parris Goebel! I absolutely love Royal Family… the whole Savage x Fenty show, everything about them; they’re so clean, they’re so precise, they have so much energy and so much sass. I could never even begin to replicate that. I try but I don’t think I succeed. I love how inclusive they are, what they represent and what they stand for.

@scherryvisuals and @alicesuttonphotography via FUZE 

Thi-An, Contemporary

“Dance is a form of expression. When I think of dancing I relate it to my love of music. When I was younger the music wasn’t that important because it was always the same song for the same exercise, but now I always relate music and dancing together so it’s like letting the music move your body, and being able to put all your energy into it. Its gets my mind off things, so it’s a good way to escape”

Thi-An / @scherryvisuals and @alicesuttonphotography Via FUZE

Nikita, Hip-Hop/Street

What has inspired you to create dance content during lockdown- a time when creativity seems to have come to a grinding halt?

“You're able to express yourself in ways that words can’t quite get over. Like if you're not that great with words, like me sometimes. So there's something about learning a routine in class that gives you a rush that I can’t quite describe. It's the confidence and pride that comes with doing a set of moves and feeling really good about it.  

I guess I also use it as stress relief. I've done my master’s degree and I'm currently getting my PhD,  so I can get very stressed, and it just provides a little escapism. There's so much more to focus on when you’re in a class, so much more to improve on that it takes your mind away from your normal life.”

Nikita dancing / @scherryvisuals and @alicesuttonphotography via FUZE

How has being in Bristol influenced your relationship with dance?

I moved to Bristol for uni just about 8 years ago, so a while ago now, but being here definitely introduced me to more styles. I've lived in London before but I never really took advantage of the amazing dance scene that was there because I was on the outskirts, it felt so much like a trek to get into London sometimes.

I think the slightly smaller feel of Bristol, that it’s easier to get around, gave me more of an opportunity to see what was out there.

Nikita Dancing / @scherryvisuals and @alicesuttonphotography via FUZE

What is it about FUZE that made you want to join?

FUZE and I have a bit of a long standing relationship. I actually auditioned for the dance team 4 times before I finally made the cut, so it was hugely competitive.

So I’ve always wanted to be involved with FUZE, the whole show, fashion, dance and music, and that FUZE supports charity is quite appealing I think the community is great to start with, having a collection of really good dancers; you learn from each other, you learn different style.

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I definitely got drawn into the more technical side, learning about hip hop and street through FUZE. Also it's just really good to be involved in charity. It's just nice to belong to something.

Featured Image: Fuze / scherryvisuals and @alicesuttonphotography

What do you think of the video?