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Ill-Abilities demos trail-blazing tricks

Ill-Abilities, the b-boy crew, brings its power moves to the International Children's Festival of the Performing Arts
Ill-Abilities b-boy Sergio "Checho" Carvajal from Chile will perform at International Children's Festival show titled No Excuses, No Limiits from June 1 to 3. SUPPLIED

B-boy crews mesmerize the crowds when flipping through the air in controlled ways that push limits. But there’s something completely astounding about watching a crew of high-level, physically disabled breakers perform tricks that able-bodied individuals hesitate to try. 

These incredible b-boys are the all-star Ill-Abilities Crew, an international group of men who have redrawn the map on what it means to have physical disabilities. Their motto is “No Excuses, No Limits.” The breakers simply describe themselves as differently-abled with no limitations. 

Graceful, precise and hardcore, the Ill-Abilities crew uses its disabilities to connect with people and inspire them to reach new heights. Once again, they return to the International Children’s Festival of the Arts from June 1 to 3. 

The 45-minute showcase features three Olympic-level breakdancers along with DJ Indigo, a recording musician who composed a special hip-hop soundscape for the performance. The three athletic dancers are Redouan “Redo” Ait Chitt (Netherlands), Luca “Perninha” Machado (Brazil) and Sergio “Checho” Carvajal (Chile). 

“Each dancer is differently disabled,” said Luca “LazyLegz” Patuelli, who first performed for the festival in 2021. The Montreal-based breakdancer has arthrogryposis, a neuromuscular disorder that affects his bones and joints limiting leg movement. 

“Redo is extremely musical. He was born with malformations on his body and has a shorter right arm, a shorter right leg and walks with the assistance of a prosthetic. He’s very well connected to the floor in his creativity and has a unique dance style. He's very strong and makes a dance look easy,” said Patuelli. 

On the other hand, Perninha’s style is based on “old-school foundations.” 

“He has one short leg, and the other leg is longer. His style is fast and explosive when he’s short, and dynamic when he’s tall. As for Checho, his movements are strength based. He’s half on his legs and half on his arms. They’re like tree trunks. He does lots of hand balances, splits, glides and he looks like his body is floating.” 

In addition to soaking the atmosphere with hip-hop grooves, DJ Indigo will also pepper the afternoon with his charismatic yet dynamic b-boy moves.  

The foursome fuses contemporary and modern dance with b-boying's intricate acrobatics. As a group, they are resilient, strong and connected. Best of all, once on the floor, their physical disabilities disappear superseded by graceful seemingly impossible tricks. 

Patuelli said he founded the group in 2007 with four breakdancers. Today the crew supports eight. He notes that Ill-Abilities has gained traction in both North America, Europe and Asia. 

“When someone goes to perform, it’s based on availability and budget, but we try to get as many members out as possible. When we see major performance venues extending invitations, it’s very impressive for us and the audience. The more time we get on stage, the more audiences we can inspire. I’m very proud of what we’ve done." 

The festival's mixed program is loosely improvised as each b-boy showcases his big moves and personality. They tell a story by performing free-style solo tricks. In addition, the acrobatic dancers also play games with the audience while DJ Indigo functions as host and narrator.  

Patuelli, who overcame massive hurdles to earn his spot as a world-class breakdancer offers one piece of advice. 

“Anyone struggling to discover who they are — take time to find your passion and something you believe in. Don’t give up. Just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s wrong. If you find something you love, you will discover endless possibilities.” 

This all-ages show is at the St. Albert Curling Rink. Tickets are $16 plus fees. Visit or call 780-459-1542.

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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