Crazy Smooth, recipient of the 2020 Clifford E. Lee Award

Aug 12 2020

Becki Peckham photo

The Centre de Création O Vertigo (CCOV) is proud to announce that Crazy Smooth, its 2019-2021 long-term artist in residence, is the recipient of the 2020 Clifford E. Lee Award from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. 

As the recipient of this award, Crazy Smooth will receive the sum of CA $14,000 as well as two residencies at the Banff Centre (when sanitary conditions related to COVID-19 allow) to develop IN MY BODY, the work that Crazy Smooth is developing as a long-term resident at CCOV.

For Crazy Smooth, IN MY BODY, of which the CCOV is executive producer, starts from an observation: “They say that the most courageous thing a dancer can do is to grow older – for a b-boy / b-girl, experience approaches heroism.” 

This next large-scale piece will therefore be an opportunity for the choreographer to tackle the subjects of confidence and invincibility which the b-boys / b-girls demonstrate on stage versus the vulnerability to the passage of time and aging of the body, their main tool and vector of expression.

“We are proud to recognize the work of Crazy Smooth with the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award,” said Janice Price, President and CEO of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. “This is a strong statement of support for hip-hop within the community of contemporary dance in Canada. With his current project, IN MY BODY, Banff Centre also has the potential to support and celebrate the artistry of his intergenerational cast of dancers. We are looking forward to having this visionary dance company on our campus as health and gathering restrictions allow.” 

"Upon receiving the exciting news that I was chosen as the 2020 recipient of the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award, I was transported back to the days that I would attend contemporary dance programs at the NAC and think “street dance has a place on this stage," said Crazy Smooth.

"What I believed then, I know now. The recognition that comes with this honour is as much humbling as it is gratifying, for both myself and my community. With the additional support from this award, I will be able to expand my creative team and my creative process to more fully realize the best version of my vision for In My Body. 

I look forward to sharing it with audiences in Banff and beyond. A heartfelt thank you to the jury for entrusting me with this role. Dance to express, not to impress!"

This prestigious scholarship was awarded by a jury made up of Alejandro Ronceria – founding director of the Aboriginal Dance program at the Banff Centre and director of the Intercultural Indigenous Choreographers Creation Lab, Andrea Pena – recipient of the Clifford E. Lee Award, Ilter Ibrahimoff – Artistic Director of Fall for Dance North and Nathan Medd, Executive Director of Performing Arts at Banff Centre.

In addition to this great recognition and award from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, IN MY BODY has already attracted significant interest across the country, in particular through the support of the CanDance network Creation Fund, which includes Canadian Stage and dance Immersion (Toronto), the Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse), the Banff Centre for the Arts and Brian Webb Dance Company (Edmonton). 

With a premiere scheduled for winter 2022, the rehearsals of IN MY BODY should be back in the CCOV studio this fall, after a necessary break due to compliance with the sanitary conditions imposed by the government.