Christian ‘Bounce’ Alozie
London born choreographer and dancer Christian ‘Bounce’ Alozie has worked with an impressive list of A list celebrities including Beyoncé and Rihanna. His hard work has paid off as he’s also performed for HM The Queen and the late Michael Jackson.
Christian, a member of one of the UK’s leading street dance companies, Flawless talks to Afridiziak Theatre News about their collaboration with the English National Ballet on the production, ‘Against Time’ which is currently on tour.
It was great to hear that Flawless were collaborating with the English National Ballet. You must be excited about this partnership.
Definitely. It’s the first of its kind on a commercial scale, we’re all ecstatic as much as the hard work we’re all excited. It’s been intense because we’re not doing what we do usually do and have had to learn to adapt to a certain style, which involves a lot of lifting and partner work which is not alien but different. Male ballet dancers train for years and we’ve literally done a crash course in just eight weeks. It was about finding the time when both companies are as busy as each other.
So why is the show called Against Time?
It’s because of the professor storyline, played by yours truly, who is a control freak, and very manipulative, he just wants order. He thinks there’s too much chaos going on so he’s set out to restore order. There are five main characters, and four students set out to stop the professor, and furor his plans. It’s been challenging because there’s a lot more acting involved than I’m used to. I play a bad guy and it’s been gratifying to be able to do something that’s out of my comfort zone.
Some of the guys are injured but we can’t replace any of the guys, because as a brand we have to make sure every one of us is there. Our fans come to the show for Flawless and if one of us is missing people will ask questions.
So this is your acting debut. Are you nervous?
A little. There’s always a sense of nerves and just before opening night you realise the pressure.
What challenges have been involved with incorporating ballet into your normal street dance routine?
It’s a total fusion of both styles as we didn’t want to focus on one more than the other so there had to be a balance and we have guys doing ballet, girls doing hip hop, so we’ve thrown in something different but maintained what we do.
Christian ‘Bounce’ Alozie in rehearsals for Against Time [image by Amber Hunt]
What do you think you will take away from this experience?
I have a bigger respect for ballet dancers, any dance form or style is hard and you respect that but it’s not until you get to grips with it that you really understand. The injuries they face where they are out for months… I have upmost respect for ballet dancers. As well as the experience of working with the English National Ballet because the creative side has been fun. We’ve had moments of madness but it’s been a real journey.
There are 10 members of Flawless. Is there much competitiveness within the group?
There’s always rivalry but we thrive on it. In our spare time we just put some music on and battle each other. It’s a way to train ourselves, we feed off each other - it’s good rivalry. Street dance is stepping up and we have young kids half our age doing what we were doing, so we’ve had to step up our game as they look up to us.
How have you personally contributed to this production?
There are four creative, Marlon Wallen [Flawless] and Jenna Lee [English National Ballet] are the directors. Nathan Gordon and I are the co-choreographers and assistant directors. It takes up quite a lot of our time - not just in rehearsals. There’s been a lot of late nights. After rehearsals we go home and Skype and feedback on the day – there’s been no spare time.
Male ballet dancers train for years and we’ve literally done a crash course in just eight weeks.
What’s it like working with an institution such as the English National Ballet?
One of the English National Ballet girls had to be replaced because of injury – she’s devastated. You have to be strong mentally and the endurance for this kind of show is pretty high. If you’re not fit you will suffer. We have to rest, eat right. Some of the guys are injured but we can’t replace any of the guys, because as a brand we have to make sure every one of us is there. Our fans come to the show for Flawless and if one of us is missing people will ask questions.
What’s next for Flawless?
We have a few projects happening soon which are even bigger than this.
Flawless and English National Ballet’s Against Time is on tour until July 8, 2012
Afridiziak Theatre News review: Flawless and English National Ballet