Red Bull Flying Bach is the breakdancing-to-Bach live sensation that’s taken Europe by storm. As the tour arrives in Istanbul, the gateway to Asia, we talk to the crew's classically trained ballet dancer Sylvania.
We know what’s cool about breakdancing – what’s cool about Bach?
Bach is one of the greatest composers of all time. His music is so rich, harmonic and full of emotions, and it has so much depth. I can listen to it over and over again, and every time I get touched.
What part did classical music play in your life before working on RBFB?
I grew up with classical music. I started to play the piano when I was five, and when I was six I started to dance classical ballet. I’ve always loved listening to classical music, or going to concerts. Every day you can find me behind the piano, mostly playing Beethoven and Chopin.
The show involves two worlds and two creative languages colliding. What challenge did this pose for you personally?
Well, it’s funny because throughout my artistic career I have always tried to find new ways of combining different artistic fields. And every time I combine what I think are two extremes, in the end it turns out that they aren’t actually so different from each other. They can match perfectly if it’s done in a clever way. It underlines my theory that one style supports the other, and the other way around, which you could also carry in to the way we interact with people. We are all unique individuals yet we all have the same hopes, fears, dreams and needs, so we are somehow not so different from each other. Once you realise this, you are ready to learn.
What’s the best audience comment you’ve overheard about Red Bull Flying Bach?
Which stop on the tour are you most looking forward to and why?
Turkey, because I’ve never been there.
Bach wrote part of The Well-Tempered Clavier from prison (after getting on the wrong side of the Duke of Weimar). Where and when are you at your most creative?
I get my best ideas at night... and when I am cycling.
Bach once threw his wig at an organist’s head for being mediocre. What makes you angry as an artist?
When artists don’t get paid and are expected to work and dance for no or little money all the time. Most people think that we don’t need a salary because we are passionate about our job. It’s especially sad when you know that the organisation that hires you has the money.