Ribbon Rouge Presents: STEP Team Dancers

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Today we are featuring a local troupe of dancers that formed from last year’s Ribbon Rouge Gala!  We have seen them grow and develop over the past year and are so proud to have them back at Ribbon Rouge were it all started.  A sort of homecoming for these amazing local dancers.  Today we sit down and chat with the STEP Dancers!


Ribbon Rouge: Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your history/ what you think is important about who you are?

STEP Dancers: We are a diverse group of individuals that love to perform. Actually, we first came together for the Ribbon Rouge 2014 and we grew from there. We created a Step dance and a mix of Afrobeats in our first performance. Due to our diverse background we learn different styles of dance and incorporate them in our performance. This includes Step dance, Hip Hop, Afrobeats, and even Caribbean. Our taste for music and dance is different such that it encompasses a wide audience. We hope that our upbeat taste entertains both young and old.

RR: What do you stand for?

STEP: We stand for creativity from diversity. The makeup of our group shows our diversity. We find unity through music and dance, and our passion for performance brings us together.

We also incorporate other kinds of creativity. Not only dance, but also through writing and role playing. We give ourselves opportunity to be both creative and expressive.

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Our theme this year is QUEEN! It is an ode to powerful women who have positively influenced us by their lives. Ribbon Rouge: What does this mean to you?

STEP: It is a time to honour women that defy all odds, those that empower us to live differently. This includes TV personalities and individuals we meet on a daily basis. It could be even someone we encounter at the local store. These women’s lives tell a story/stories that motivate us to rethink our lifestyle – to live with purpose.

RR: How do you feel about femininity/ womanhood/ the state of affairs of women’s rights in our country?

STEP: There is tremendous progress in our country; women have many opportunities to be in positions of power and decision making. A great recent illustration is the milestone that half of our Ministers in the Cabinet are female!

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RR: Who is your Queen (inspiration)? Why?

STEP: Our Mothers. They exemplify courage, resilience, and grace.

RR: Tell us about your art?

STEP: It is an eclectic mix of Pan African music and movement

RR: What does it mean to you?

STEP: It is a major part of who we are. Dance is not only just a form of artistic expression but it also stems from the soul.

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RR: Your advice to women?

STEP: Be unique,

Be yourself,

Love and trust in yourself a 100% and go out there and reveal yourself to the world!

RR: What does Ribbon Rouge mean to you?

STEP: It raises awareness about the role that women play in Society and how sometimes we take them for granted. Also it shows how we can work together to help other women across the world and execute change.

RR: Where can we find you/ more of your work?

STEP: We have yet to establish a significant online presence, but we plan to do so in the near future. However we do currently take bookings at 780-668-8592.


The STEP Dancers will once again be on stage rocking their hip style on November 28st, 2015 at Ribbon Rouge in Edmonton!   And don’t forget to buy tickets for Ribbon Rouge 2015!  Tickets can be purchased online here.

Ribbon Rouge #8

When: November 28, 2015 Doors open at 6pm; Show at 7pm

Where: ATB Financial Arts Barns

Ribbon Rouge Presents: Rapid Fire Theater

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With the weeks quickly winding down and Ribbon Rouge 2015 just around the corner we are so excited to be showcasing some of the amazingly talented artists and performers in this city.  Today we highlight Rapid Fire Theater, one of the giants in Edmonton’s comedy and improv scene!

Rapid Fire Theater will bring their laughs, thrills and exciting brand of humour to Edmontonians for over three decades. Tracing its origins all the way back to 1981 RTF has been a staple in the Edmonton theater and comic scene and a major player in showcasing local talent.

RFT currently produces Theathersports an improv show pitting contestants and teams against each other in an epic showdown of wit and will! They also produce a long form improv show called Chimprov. Current members of RTF have been involved in variety and sketch comedy shows including Gorilla Theatre, Catch 23 and The 11:02 Show.

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RTF also hosts the mega event Improvaganza every year here in the city which has morphed into a celebration of improv and theater every summer. This past year was their 15th year holding this showcase that has turned into a must see Edmonton festival. RTF hosts improvisors from across Canada, North America and beyond. For ten days in the end June, Rapid Fire Theatre hosts best comedy acts we can find, plus Theatresports matches, specialty shows, and tons of social events too.

In addition RTF helps local performers as well as casual fans hone their craft and have their amazing line up to national and international talent host public workshops! But that’s not all RTF is, they are also involved in organizing and participating in Prairie Bowl, Wildfire and Bonfire, three more festivals showing off incredible improv as well as their wide range of public workshops RTF is one busy bunch!

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Rapid Fire Theatre has received several awards, including a special Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for excellence in theatre. Rapid Fire Theatre is a company with vision, determination, skill and ambition tirelessly working to enhance the work of improvisation and Edmonton’s vibrant theatre community.

They have outgrown their previous haunt at the Varscona Theater and have moved downtown to the Citadel a few years back. And with an eye towards bringing in the best and brightest as well as showcasing international talents they have begun a capital project to create their own theater!

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Sometimes it’s just nice to kick back and put on a show. And they are always looking for new and unique opportunities to bring the laughs to your event. Which is how Ribbon Rouge has come to know and love them! RTF will be performing at the Ribbon Rouge Gala on November 28th at the ATB Arts Barn. Be sure to catch their side splitting hilarious hijinks and the rest of our amazing line up at Ribbon Rouge 2015.

Don’t forget to buy tickets for Ribbon Rouge 2015!  Tickets can be purchased online here.

Ribbon Rouge #8

When: November 28, 2015 Doors open at 6pm; Show at 7pm

Where: ATB Financial Arts Barns

 

Ribbon Rouge Presents: DJ SQ

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Today we have the pleasure to introduce one of Edmonton’s finest African DJs, a man that has been working both on the dance floor and in the community for over a decade in Edmonton – DJ SQ!  This is a man who is passionate about his community, proud of his heritage and empowered by the youth he mentors.

He is a man on a mission whether it is spinning beats at the turntable or inspiring those around him.  You can see more of him at Ribbon Rouge #8 this November 28th, 2015 at the ATB Arts Barn.  Below is our interview with him where he discusses his profound love of music, the inspiring women around him and his own style as a DJ!


Ribbon Rouge: Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your history/ what you think is important about who you are?

DJ SQ: My name is Siyani Nsaliwa (DJ SQ). I was born and raised in Malawi , Africa, but I have called Edmonton home for over 20 years now. I am a community activist – from my time as a student at the University  where I led a community oriented student group to my current position as president of the Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage (CCACH) I have enjoyed working with people in my community. Even in my work as a DJ it is an opportunity for me to bring together diverse groups of people through my passion for music.

I especially enjoy working with the youth in my community: I tutored every Saturday at CCACH’s tutoring program for about 12 years which was a very rewarding experience; As president of CCACH I also oversee AfroQuiz, which is an annual quiz competition aimed at educating the youth in our community about the history and achievements on people of African and Caribbean descent. I have also worked with a youth leadership academy in the city which used arts to teach the youth about leadership. Currently I am enjoying coaching my daughter’s soccer team – soccer is another one of my passions.

RR: What do you stand for?

DJ SQ: I stand for a lot of things: Respect, Education, Justice and Equality have motivated me to get involved in some of my community work. As a DJ, I will stand/fight for your right to party!  #BeastieBoys.

RR: Our theme this year is QUEEN! It is an ode to powerful women who have positively influenced us by their lives. What does this mean to you?

DJ SQ: It means I get to celebrate a lot of the women who have influenced and continue to influence me in my life. I have thought about how I can play my part (pun intended) as this year’s DJ in celebrating this year’s theme at Ribbon Rouge and I decided that I will dedicate a whole segment of my set to playing music by women who have made a huge impact on society through their music – from Miriam Makeba to Alicia Keys – and I hope people will appreciate it.

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RR: How do you feel about femininity/ womanhood/ the state of affairs of women’s rights in our country?

DJ SQ: I have an 8 year old daughter and although prior to that equality for women was always something I strived for, it has since become a passion for me. I am a feminist and I think we should all be as it was so eloquently put in Chimamanda Ngozi Odichie’s famous YouTube video/essay.

I am glad that our new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is a self-declared feminist and I love the commitment to have a cabinet which will be split equally between the sexes. I think it is important not just as a statement but as a direction that the country should follow. I like being positive and so I think we are making some good  progress to that end; However, just like the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the U.S is bringing a  certain level of consciousness to the state of black lives  in the US – and to some level in Canada #CardingIssue – I think there should also be a #FeminismMatters movement. I think the identity of a feminist has changed over time and the term is often misunderstood – I think that needs to be discussed.

RR: Who is your Queen (inspiration)? Why?

DJ SQ: I am constantly inspired by everyday women: my wife inspires me with her sense of independence; my mother for her community work and spirituality;  my 8 year old  daughter for her quick wit; and plenty of women I encounter as part of my family, friends, co-workers and just in life.

RR: Tell us about your art?

DJ SQ: I have been a DJ since 2010 when I DJ’d at my first club event with my boy, Q (the Q in DJ SQ – quick shout out to LZ Entertainment who gave us our first exposure at that level).  At the time we focused on contemporary “afrocentric” music – which is to say new music originating from Africa, such as Afrobeats and South African House because we felt the music needed to be spotlighted in trendy night clubs of Edmonton in the same way Soca made its way to the spotlight in the 90s with the Baby Blue Sound Crew from Toronto.

Because of my passion for music, I have since diversified my playlist to include different music genres – I customize the music to the preferred taste of the audience at weddings, private parties and corporate events.

RR: What does it mean to you?

DJ SQ: Music, as they say, is a universal language and I feel like I have an ear for it. I had to learn – and still do – how to interpret that language into what will make you want to move on the dance floor. As a DJ, I find that transfer of energy to be almost addictive and I enjoy communicating with the audience in that way.

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RR: Your advice to women?

DJ SQ: This is a very humbling question to me because I don’t feel like I am in any privileged position to give advice to women in general. I am actually picturing giving advice to my mother right now and I am drawing blanks! But I will say that I have a commitment to learning and I will always do my part as a feminist to learn from and teach when individual circumstances call for my advice.

RR: What does Ribbon Rouge mean to you?

DJ SQ: I have always admired what Ribbon Rouge stands – using fashion and the arts to spread a social message – similar to what I aim to do with my DJ “activism”. I also have great respect and admiration for the Founder of Ribbon Rouge and how hard she works for her community; she is definitely one of those everyday women who inspire me.  I am very grateful to Ribbon Rouge for giving me the opportunity to move the crowd at this year’s event.

RR: Where can we find you/ more of your work?

DJ SQ: The last Friday of every month ( October 30 for this month) you can catch me spinning Afrobeats and other contemporary “Afrocentric” music at Cha Island on 10332 81 Ave. I also post mixtapes at www.soundcloud.com/siyani

Otherwise, you can book me for a wedding, private party or corporate event by calling or texting  780 716 3859 or email me at siyani@shaw.ca


DJ SQ will be working the dance floor and spinning his slick beats on Nov. 28th, 2015 at Ribbon Rouge in Edmonton! www.ribbonrouge.com.

And don’t forget to buy tickets for Ribbon Rouge 2015!  Tickets can be purchased online here.

Ribbon Rouge #8

When: November 28, 2015 Doors open at 6pm; Show at 7pm

Where: ATB Financial Arts Barns