Last weekend Espace Reunion was host to the Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company (SBDC) for the performance of their latest sold-out production Addicted to Love. Founded in 2010, SBDC is a company of semi-professional dancers; women who spend their days working or studying, and their nights devoted to dance.

“Dance is everything to us,” said Sonia Balazovjech, founder and artistic director of SBDC, “the appeal comes from the fact that we can be real people who indulge in a passion very seriously. We breath and dream dance, and all of us agree that we never wanted to make it our profession… we would never want to make dance something we had to do. It remains something we love to do. ”

Besides being a group of women from diverse backgrounds, SBDC is also a proud benefit production company. The theme and profits from each production go towards a specific Montreal charity. SBDC’s  first show was The Power of Lipstick in benefit of The West-Island Woman’s Shelter .

“The ability to reach so many people at one time and deliver such important information through the art of dance was in fact life changing,” said Balazovjech of the experience, “we realized the power we had to make change and from then on it has been at the core of what we do at SBDC.”

SBDC’s latest production, Addicted to Love, was in benefit of Leave out Violence (L.O.V.E)  which works towards reduce youth violence through leadership and educational programs.

“We gravitate towards charities that aide mainly women and children as well as those that have an educational component to them,” said Balazovjech about their decision to make L.O.V.E the theme of their latest production, “when an organization takes time to use education as part of its process in helping others, we feel that it has a longer lasting impact.”

I was lucky enough to be invited by SBDC to attend a performance of Addicted to Love. As a writer I’m obsessed with language; figuring out the jigsaw puzzle of what words  I need to put together the story I want to tell. So I find it especially infuriating/ moving when someone is able to tell a story better then I could ever write completely through the movement of their body.

“Addicted to Love is a show that will take the audience on a emotional roller coaster ride,” Balazovjech warned me before I attended the performance this past Saturday.

Balazovjech wasn’t exaggerating. The show was a raw, visually stimulating experience that covered some very intense issues such as addiction, physical and verbal abuse and body shaming, as well as love and the power of love. To reflect the tone of each dance number the music ranged from classical to pop to hard rock, and I found Beautiful People to be the most affecting number of the evening. One would never think that a Marilyn Manson song and a group of Montreal dancers could make such a profound statement on dealing with all the rage and pain that comes with being a teenager, and yet they did seamlessly.

In between performances there was readings of poems from teens around Montreal, as well as various live performances. Laura Newman’s cover of Creep was especially moving.

It’s a shame that SBDC does not perform more, but so is the fate of a company where day jobs get in the way. The next time the company does put on a production make sure it’s on your to do list, because not only will you be seeing a powerful show by some very talented ladies but you’ll be making a difference to someone in need around Montreal. And if you ask me that’s a pretty great way to spend a Saturday night.

Photo by Judy Paul.