Although Linda Hayford is best known as an ambassador for popping, her dance practice has evolved through the encounter between genres and moves. Above all a practitioner of upright dance inspired by funk and its diverse aesthetics, she is driven by a desire for versatility and a blend of styles that calls for team battles, which brings her into contact with hype, of course popping, as well as locking, the new style, and house. As part of the group Paradox-sal, launched by Ousmane Sy, and the INsideOut dance company she founded, the Rennes-based dancer and choreographer adopts an open-ended and plural approach.
Taking a crossover of styles as her starting point, Linda Hayford finds a common thread between multiple emotional and physical states and focuses her aesthetic research on metamorphosis. Her inaugural solo Shapeshifting materializes the power represented by the passage from one form to another in an intimate fresco that deploys a succession of chimeras. In the process of this quest for transformation, the switch-point or the flipping point between forms and energies charts the course of action sustained by the desire to get closer to the animal side of the body.
In AlShe/Me (2019, pronounced as “alchimie” in French, meaning “chemistry”), Linda Hayford appears on stage alongside her older brother, Mike Hayford. Years after having given her a leg up in the world of popping, the dancer accompanies his sister in a duo that focuses on the ephemeral character of the genre. Created in 2022, Recovering invites 3 performers to reflect on the healing process following a trauma through the transmission and appropriation of different tools from Linda Hayford’s “Shifting Pop” vocabulary.
For Linda Hayford, alteration has become an object of reflection on the constantly changing nature of identity, where every stage embodies a facet of humanity, culminating in the complexity of displacement.