not the same…

“not the same…” is a clever, eye catching and entertaining solo that was choreographed by Benoit-Swan Pouffer. It is danced in this video by Bennyroyce Royan for his graduation dance from the prestigious Julliard School in New York. The song is called “Same” by Dani Siciliano and was staged for this presentation by Alexandra Damiani.

Beniot-Swan Pouffer is an internationally renown dancer and choreographer. He was born in France where he received his professional dance training at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et Danse. While studying at the Conservatoire Pouffer danced in works by Angelin Preljocaj, Daniel Larrian and Claude Benetton. He was also introduced to works by Alvin Ailey where his dream to be in the Ailey company was born. Upon graduation he placed first place in a major European dance competition where he won first place and received a scholarship to study at the Ailey School in New York. Following his studies with the Ailey school, Pouffer danced with the American companies, Philodance, Donald Bryd/The Group and Complexions ballet in New York. He eventually joined the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre where he worked for seven years under the artistic direction of Judith Jamison. Pouffer has also participated in outreach programs in South Africa and given Master Classes all over Europe and the United States and been artistic director of the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Company.

While he was studying at the Conservatoire in Paris, Beniot-Swan Pouffer began developing his choreographic style. He has an open attitude toward contemporary dance as he believes in bringing together artistic and technical excellence with the blending of different dance styles and techniques to “breathe new life into the art form”. He has an open style to his choreography in which he likes to include audience participation in different ways.

The solo in this video, not the same….., is fun, quirky and clever! The dancer enters the stage into a fairly small circle of light that is surrounded by shadowed edges and blackness. I like the way this sets up an intimate space in which the dancer is very much “conversing” with the audience. The opening movemens are wonderful and eye catching and keep you riveted to the end! In the middle of the piece the dancer crosses into the audiences’ space when he sits on the edge of the stage taking on an informal conversational attitude with gestures that become extremely minimal and ordinary like when he twiddles his thumbs. The movement combinations throughout the piece are captivating, with unpredictable accents and gestures punctuated with timely pauses. The movement is a strong blend of contemporary and jazz styles with a strong dramatic mime like quality the dancer uses to “converse” with the audience. I really like the way Pouffer uses the shadowed edges that create a sense of mystery around the dancer as he merges in and out of them in the space, and his final exit as he disappears into the blackness at the end.

It is a terrific little piece, highly entertaining and beautifully performed by Bennyroyce Royan. We can see he is a strong and dramatic dancer with a strong stage presence.

Enjoy this fun and quirky solo danced the Julliard Grad, Bennyroyce Royan and SHARE it on!


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