In October 2019, VIBE hit Nuit Blanche Scarborough to offer Journée – a month-long art-in-mentorship program culminating in a full night of art exhibitions and activations at Scarborough Civic Centre’s Health Clinic. One of the projects, featuring Matthew “Snoopy” Cuff took shape in a video animated by Geneviève Smith and Joshua Payne Smith.
We sat down with Snoopy to talk about the experience, hard work and collaboration it took to create the video and ultimately partake in Nuit Blanche 2019.
Who are you?
Matthew “Snoopy” Cuff. I got the name ‘Snoopy’ for being quiet but loving to dance. Three words that describe me are passionate, mysterious and humorous. I have technical dance training and am a graduate of The School of Dance Theatre. I am a Pisces and my favourite colours are blue and orange.
Tell us about the creative process of your project.
When I got offered to do a project for Nuit Blanche I was so excited to be doing my own installation. A lot of ideas ran through my head, and I knew that I wanted my piece to be epic. My initial goal was to have a giant hologram or projection of myself vogueing in the middle of the city – you know what they say, aim high! After some thought, I settled on a conceptual video that went along with the 2019 Nuit Blanche theme of ‘Royalty’. Thanks to the input and creative direction of Jason De Mata and Geneviève Smith, we decided to add animation to the video. Once we had determined the locations of the shoot, the magic began.
Discuss any issues that you faced. Did you overcome them?
Time was definitely against us, but I was able to find amazing videographers to work with on Instagram. On the day of the shoot, the weather wasn’t in our favour, but we made it work. Vogueing is extremely physically demanding, so shooting continuously for hours was challenging. I was grateful for my years of vogue experience – I think they allowed me to adapt and overcome several challenges.
What did you enjoy most about this project?
I enjoyed the love that people have for Vogue. Many spectators stopped to congratulate my performance during the shoot and were very intrigued by the dancing. It still amazes me how many people have never witnessed Vogue!
What are you looking forward to in the future?
I want to see the world and dance while I’m doing it. Booking a tour would be amazing! I’d love for dance to transition me into other things, like choreography or acting.
How can people reading this support you?
Follow me on Instagram at @itz_snoopy !!! I also teach weekly classes. Come dance with me! My teaching schedule is always posted on my Instagram.
Any last thoughts?
I am truly thankful for Gen, Joshua, everyone who helped me with this project and especially Gryphon Investment Counsel and the individual donor for their generous contributions. Thanks to them, we were able to bring the art of Vogue to a tremendous platform; Nuit Blanche.