On April 3rd, 2015 I was granted the glorious experience of attending Black Liquid Ink Presents: RAW. Oh boy, writing about this night has been a little hard since I was rendered speechless. Nonetheless the professional in me had to take over and I am ready for a full recap of the evening. Represented by MOI, Black Liquid Ink is a collective of male dancers that are seasoned pros – these guys have immeasurable talents and credentials to boot. So being asked to cover this event was a no brainer to me, each and every single one of the dancers is well known and versed in a variety of disciplines with one initiative in mind – pure entertainment. I can definitely say I was most definitely entertained, with two set performances for the evening and the unveiling of Black Liquid Ink’s demo reel it was definitely shaping up to be a memorable evening.
The venue of choice was Ballet, which is known for its female burlesque dancers, great bartenders and music that gets anyone dancing. I had been to Ballet before on a “regular” night, so when I was invited to cover this special event I was more than excited to see what was in store. I was advised prior to arrival that it would be a male group performing for this event, so I decided to bring along a couple girlfriends – of course I had to share the experience and it was definitely a great girls night out. I was not disappointed in the least – the music was a solid 10 that evening playing a great mix of hip hop, reggae, and top 40 songs from the Y2K era. The evening commenced with Black Liquid Ink’s presenting their demo reel, which by the way I keep playing on repeat. It literally was that good. What I thoroughly enjoyed about the demo was that these dancers finely execute complex moves and incorporate a sense of sexuality that showcases “the male dancer” giving us an alternative look at dancing.
Shortly after the demo reel was presented and we were all hot and bothered we were pleasantly surprised with the first performance of the night. The first performance showcased mostly hip-hop dancing, which was on point and I literally couldn’t take my eyes away. In between this performance and the next the DJ kept us occupied with great music that not even I could be torn off the dance floor. Oh wait I lied, I got off the dance floor the minute I knew the next performance was starting. The second set was very different from the first and literally had me drooling. This set was filled with sensuality and literally raw sex that was meant to get us rowdy and it worked for sure. Let’s just say they ditched their shirts from the first act and it was definitely a nice touch.
Now I know what your thinking – where can I see these guys? Well they are planning on making this a recurring event and you can follow the choreographer to get updates. Lucky me I got to have a quick conversation after the final performance with the lead dancer who also happens to be the choreographer, Shavar Blackwood. Yes, I was drooling and yes, I was in awe. However I got it together enough to get some details for you guys. I also got a copy of the demo reel. You are oh so very welcome.
Who is the choreographer behind tonight?
I am the choreographer, my name is Shavar Blackwood – if you guys are looking for anything that is intimate and sexy but still classy I am the one you have to find.
What can we expect from Black Liquid Ink : RAW?
What your going to expect is lots of creativity lots of artistry and really trying to bring male dance and empower men with my movement giving them a place to showcase and be artistic. [Let them] present themselves to an audience. There are a lot of female dancers right now in heels – I love that cause I love a woman in heels – but I feel like its time for the dudes to stand up and show the world what’s up.
What was your inspiration to get you motivated for this project specifically?
For this project specifically I have been dancing and choreographing for 8-10 years, I really feel that now is the time that I am ready to showcase myself. I Have grown a lot I am really comfortable and confident with the product that I have developed I really feel that now is the time to show it. It is really a declaration of who I am and what’s to come in the future.
What can we expect in the future now?
What do you want to expect in the future is the real question. What do you want? The thing is I am a people pleaser and the audience the people who come to watch it – it’s all about what you want. I have everything from live games, story telling to scandal, anything you want is willing to be done.
So what your saying is you are capable of putting on private parties?
I do private parties, group parties, what you want let us know and we will make it happen.
What is your favourite hobby aside from dancing?
You got me there – I like to eat and cook. That is my new thing.
Everyone loves a man that can cook! What do you like to cook?
My recipes right now are –chicken parmesan and lasagna. I also like Sheppard’s pie – I make a really good Sheppard’s pie. I like to bake too sometimes, cheesecake or anything with apples and strawberries in it.
How did you prep for tonight? Walk us through your day?
I woke up and it’s a show day so you have be presentable. So I had to go to the barber – Onyx Barbers (Yonge & Dundas) go check out Kirk. If you want a proper line up go hit up Onyx Barbers Shop. I did that then I went to go find something to wear tonight so I walked around Eaton’s Centre. I went home and took a nap because you need to centre yourself for all the happenings. Then I met up with my team at MOI – met up with them and did a rehearsal then had some lunch and did our thing.
How did you curate your team?
I worked with these guys off and on for the last couple of years – they are all awesome dancers. Shane – Top 4 So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Cleon Wong (recently went on a tour with Victoria Duffield) Peter D’Sousa, Armando Cruz– these are guys that have either auditioned for me or worked with me before.
How can we follow you?