We have a rather eclectic taste in music. Classic rap and R&B, trap and electronica, folk, indie, acoustic, classical, experimental - you name it we probably listen to it, or have had to dance or choreograph to it! It was a happy coincidence the day that we got an email from an old friend wanting to put us in contact with some artists who needed choreography for the 2015 Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA's). We were completely green to the world of country music, albeit Bree's Calgarian roots, and were excited to jump in with both feet. After our initial phone meeting with the label reps and management for Mackenzie Porter and Kira Isabella; two talented and emerging artists, we realized we were in deep already.
Not only did they want choreography for their performance, they wanted us to creatively direct the entire thing. This year the CCMA's would be in Halifax, a city with a small pool of entertainment industry resources. We were tasked with finding dancers who were ACTRA members (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) in Halifax, that we felt would bring the level of skill and performance that we have become accustomed to in Toronto, as well as finding rehearsal space and creating the desired look for the dancers by sourcing wardrobe.
We also were responsible for Kira and Mackenzie’s movement tracks. Two wonderful singers who were not dancers but needed something creative and exciting to do throughout their performance that also integrated them with the dancers! We were lucky to have our request for a pyro wall granted by management which is always a bonus. Along with the bedazzled fiddle solo by Mackenzie we were able to add some spice to their first performance together as fellow developing artists.
Although we have been involved with creative direction for artists and projects in the past, this was the first time we felt we had such a finality in our word - an exciting feeling for a choreographer! We did all our prep and our first two rehearsals with the girls in Toronto then Bree flew out to Halifax to work with the dancers and manage the show day.
As per usual in show biz, there are always last minute things that put you on the spot, and this show was no exception. The producer’s enlisted Bree’s expertise to help with host Jesse Cruickshank’s entrance and some movement for the choir behind another artist.
All in all this was a wonderful experience, involving a great team, and a comprehensive look into the world of country music!