“Flying Steps” prepare for “Red Bull Flying Bach” with press event


Santiago Covarrubias

Uwe Donaubauer aka “BBoy Real” led the breakdancing workshop Thursday, September 24th.

By Arts & Culture Reporter

To prepare for the group’s three-show run this weekend, The Flying Steps, the group behind “Red Bull Flying Bach,” held a Sept. 24 press event.

The event featured a beginner’s workshop, led by dancer Uwe Donaubauer, where the Flying Steps ensemble member taught attendees moves such as the “six-step” and “corkscrew,” which are moves regularly integrated into breakdancing routines.

Following the workshop, The Chronicle spoke with Timothee Andriamanantena, a member of the Flying Steps, and a b-boy from France. Andriamanantena said as a dancer and drummer, choreographing and dancing to Bach’s music was extremely challenging.

“It’s a new work … because the music is not the same structure. There is no drumming in classical music, and the count is different,” he said. “Still you have to try to find some moves that fit within the melody. It’s not easy.”

Andriamanantena also spoke about his favorite aspect of the show: a duet he does with choreographer and contemporary dancer Yui Kawaguchi.

“I do a duo with Yui. I’m reading a letter and I play with her and it’s a pretty funny [part of the show], ” he said.

As an ensemble member at the show last year, Andriamanantena commended the Chicago crowd for their energy and response to the cast.

“I like the atmosphere of this city…. I remember the crowd was really nice, and I’m really excited,” Andriamanantena said.

Victoria Street, student brand manager for Red Bull and a senior journalism major, participated in the beginner’s workshop, and said the moves that will be on stage at Flying Bach this weekend are much harder than they look. 

“You have to be strong and I didn’t really know that. I knew it took something to be able to stand or balance on your shoulder. I did learn something today, and I always try to make things a learning experience,” Street said.

Street has been involved with “Flying Bach” for a few months, and said she has had significant involvement with the production including speaking to Mark Kelly, vice president of Student Success, about the show, and other students as well.

“I had to find student artists to paint a baby grand piano that we put in the Elephant Gallery. I was excited that I could make other students excited and involved with this by using talents they already have,” Street said.

The piano, painted by students Damaly Keo, Megan Makyiwei, Silvia Tangaro, will be on display at “Flying Bach” this weekend.

Street also said that beyond “Flying Bach,” she has selected students to go on a tour with “Red Bull Sound Select,” where the students took photos as they traveled the country with artist SZA.

The photographers who worked on this project, Jameel Bridgewater and Bryce Thompson, are displaying their work at The Elephant Gallery, 704 S. Wabash Ave., on Sept. 30.

As the ambassador to Red Bull for Columbia, Street said using Columbia’s diverse and talented student pool has led to a great working relationship between the college and Red Bull.

“Red Bull is a cultural brand … we’re trying to use Columbia for what it is already,” Street said. “Students should apply for this brand [because] they have a place for everybody.”

Red Bull Flying Bach runs Sept. 25–27 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.