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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Is Miss Fortune bboy casting call for Royal Opera House a little bit racial?

Wanted: Six racially stereotyped men to dance in new opera at Royal Opera House. Must fit their racial profile - referencing last summer's riots.
- That's not the exact wording, but if you read between the lines

When we saw Miss Fortune at the Royal Opera House (click to read review) there was something just a little off about how it presented the b-boys essentially as lowlife scum.

If you read the review you'll understand that we felt that wasn't cool, seeming a little bit racially profiley - putting street dancers in a negative light despite hip hop having worked so hard to get into theatres only to have it mocked by the venues that put them on: "Awfully intelligent isn't it - it's about the riots!" and so on.
Here in full we've uncovered the casting call for Miss Fortune with complete breakdown of what the Royal Opera House sought for with it's inner city b-boys. We've drawn your attention to a few points in bold.

Miss Fortune (Royal Opera House) casting call

We are looking for 6 young male breakdancers, preferably of mixed colour, for a new opera called Miss Fortune.

Rehearsals begin Monday 13 February 2012
The General Dress Rehearsal is on Friday 9 March 2012 at 11.00
There are 5 performances at 19.30 on March 12, 16, 20, 23, 28.

The director and choroegrapher would prefer teams of guys who have worked together, if possible. The choreographer is Ran Arthur Braun.

  • male
  • young 18-30
  • mixed colour
  • highly-skilled
  • teams preferred
  • look like "gangs"
  • good body to show off
  • physically impressive
  • look of "violence"
  • acrobatic skills
  • on stage a lot
We will audition on Sunday 11 December at 14.00 in the Opera House.
It was dancers from Soul Mavericks that later got the job.

What do you think? Do Soul Mavericks fit this profile of looking like a gang, or have a violent appearance, or was it just how the elitists in the world of high arts would like to see street dancing portrayed?

You can leave a comment in the box below

Monday, 18 July 2011

It's DIVERSITY misrepresenting Streetdance XXL at Southbank Festival of Hip Hop

This is how you lie to a million people:
 A few days ago Diversity (or rather their management) posted up a notice on Facebook saying the following:
"IMPORTANT NOTICE: Diversity would like to let all our fans and the public know that they were never booked or part of the XXL street dance championship on Sunday 17th of July or the southbank hip hop festival. Diversity will always support any event that helps promote dance but are yet again being misrepresented and we owe it to our fans to let them know. Thanks"
Wait! Support? Misrepresented? Let's look into this closer:
Allegedly this goes back to a TV advert which used Diversity as one of the festival's attractions, but seeing as their marketing has been few and far between it's difficult to verify. If you HAVE seen the advertising then read this to clarify. 

Street Dance XXL, formerly G-Force Productions, was the competition that launched Diversity into the spotlight in the first place. While that might sound like marketing talk taken from their website, the fact that there were talent scouts looking for performers for Britain's Got Talent AND G-Force Productions were key to helping make the Streetdance movie, anyone can verify that by doing a little homework. 

As Street Dance XXL likely owns all footage and photography it's up to them how it's used. 

Channel 4 is a partner to Southbank's Hip Hop Festival and is covering aspects of urban dancing for it's Street Season this August. When given the video footage of groups that had performed at XXL in the past to cut up any adverts or trailers, producers instantly recognised Diversity and used the footage. Alas: It was somehow misconstrued that Diversity would perform there.

SUPPORTING street dance, as the person behind the Facebook updates would be saying "check out where we came up from before we were famous!" not, in so many words, "don't go to this event."

Fans of street dancing should be free to choose what events they choose to see, not be told in the particular way they were told to - three times! And anyone who enquired about purchasing a ticket would be set straight by ticket staff, right?

"Diversity will always support any event that helps promote dance" - Yes, if it benefits them. 

"yet again being misrepresented" seems exaggerated that footage has been used to insinuate their participation - its hardly like they were advertised as headlining. If XXL own the footage and photos, they can market using them as they like - the misrepresentation was likely on Channel 4's behalf. 

"we owe it to our fans to let them know" - Diversity owe their fans the free will to choose to go to shows they might not have otherwise gone to before to see other dance groups that work hard to make it.

Stop misrepresenting street dance and start representing it truthfully yourself!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Interview with DJ Yoda and Shlomo for Brixton Jamm, 8 July

DJ Yoda, the genius DJ known for his cut-and-paste style of remixing audio and video samples is due to collaborate with the beatbox alchemist that is Shlomo this Friday at Jamm, Brixton.

It's how a DJ will work with a beatboxer that makes the evening exciting as both work off each other with their weapons of choice, plus we can't wait to see their approach as audio, video, and looped beatboxing clash.

Following last month's pre-Glastonbury Lyrix Organix at the Queen's Head in Angel, we expect a night of improvised music and one-off collaborations - Shlomo returned from America last year after winning the Loop Station Championships in LA, and DJ Yoda has just dropped his Yoda and Friends EP. Both are likely nursing post-Glasto hangovers.

DJ Yoda, famed for his audio/video mixing (VJing) which he was involved in pioneering for, believes his approach is changing the way that DJs think about their sets - see below.

"The new DJ technology has helped me make my DJ sets more interesting," he said. "I think the music industry is in a state of change, and record companies still haven't quite worked out their new role in the digital age - give them a few years yet and they will, I think."

So what should people expect from the DJ Yoda and Shlomo night at Jamm?
"I always try and let people expect the unexpected!" said DJ Yoda "I think I'm lucky that people know me now for playing right across the board musically, so I can see what the crowd seems to want on the night. If people are up for reggae or drum and bass or old hip-hop or whatever, I'll just take it in that direction!"

And as for the beatboxing?
"Using a combination of my beatboxing and looping skills I'll create a massive mix of continuous sound, including a whole heap of songs you will know and love mashed up in a new style, alongside some of my own bangers which will get your ears ringing and your feet moving," said Shlomo.

DJ Yoda is embarking on a UK tour at the end of July.

Meanwhile, Shlomo has finished on the festival circuit (which also included collaborations with our friends Lyrix Organix) and will return his one man show, Mouthtronica, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

DJ Yoda and Shlomo quick Q&A interview

Describe how you first got started in music.
DJ Yoda: I started by just messing around with my parent's hi-fi player pretending to scratch, as the music I liked as a kid had scratching in. I broke it, and then saved up to buy turntables and start practicing. I've always been based in North London. And my first track? That was Quid Control featuring People Under The Stairs - check it out on YouTube, I'm still really proud of it!
Shlomo: I was 18 living up in Leeds when I met the front man from Foreign Beggars outside a drum'n'bass rave. I was outside the club in a circle of people beatboxing full blast and he came up and took my number. He called me a few days later and asked if I wanted to come on their world tour! I ended up on the road with them for almost 4 years.

Has the digital revolution helped you take off and what do you think of music industry right now?
DJ Yoda: Definitely. The new DJ technology has helped me make my DJ sets more interesting - it's allowed me to do the Audio Visual shows that I do, and it definitely makes life easier. I think the music industry is in a state of change, and record companies still haven't quite worked out their new role in the digital age - give them a few years yet and they will, I think.
Shlomo: For sure, YouTube has had a massive impact on the beatboxing world - it's a skill that you need to see and not just hear. As a result the artform has been able to spread across the world in such a short time. Check out this on YouTube:

Is there anything fun/wacky/ or that we don’t know about you?
DJ Yoda: I am a breakfast cereal fanatic and I collect American breakfast cereals. And I like cooking jerk chicken!
Shlomo: Before I got my break from Bjork, I was working in an office typing out Lonely Hearts adverts. I got a voicemail on my mobile from Bjork herself. Everyone in the office thought it must be fake!

Jamm presents...DJ Yoda and Shlomo - LIve & In The Mix and On The Mic on 
Friday July 8th 2011 at Brixton Jamm, 261 Brixton Road, Brixton,  SW9 6LH, between 9pm-6am. 
Shlomo On Stage: 12-1.30am DJ Yoda: 1.30-4am
Tickets: £10 Advanced tickets available here

Friday, 1 July 2011

Flawless Dance Star Mickey Mouse battle

What is going on? Flawless (Street Dance 3D/Chase the Dream) are battling a crew of Mickey Mouse in a strange dance off?

Turns out it's a promo for Mattel/Fisher Price but we can't seem to get the purpose:

Dance Star Mickey shows street dance group Flawless some moves in a hilarious dance-off.
For more information visit

Enjoy the dance off!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tinie Tempah's "passing out" parade at Brit Awards 2011

Tinie Tempah, I have to admit, is someone I have a lot of respect for, considering. Besides the deliberate misspelling of his name and a penchant for non-prescription thick frame glasses, he has, when not on wax, come across as a humble dude. Even in accepting his reward last night at the Brit Awards he was insistent that Labrinth, the producer for Pass Out, was present.

Hip hop, or current day hip hop (more widely known as 'urban' as the boundaries gradually blend together into a 'hip pop' genre), tends to demand all rappers do is brag about what they have. Like advances on recording contracts that they'll never earn back because they keep spending so ridiculously(!).

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with everything Tempah says in his records, but what I can respect, like when I interviewed Bashy for Markus the Sadist is that he has ambitions.

So being into advertising (why do you think I try to cover so many ads on AllStreetDance?) it was pretty cool to see that Mr Tempah was giving away those priceless spectacles to his fans in the shorts between the ad breaks.

Tinie Tempah won British Breakthrough act and Best British Single, which isn't bad considering his appearance at the Brits was heralded as what was probably the equivalent of The King's Speech at the BAFTA. Even Pass Out was the underpinning song to the Streetdance 3D soundtrack and probably the most recognisable intro bars of 2010.

So well done to Tinie Tempah. We salute you. And I'm sure your specs will be in good new fans as you and other Brit Award nominees give away their priceless possessions too.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Kashmir from Smash Broz uncovers the truth about UK street dance

It looks like Kashmir from Smash Bro'z has laid down the truth, and laid it down RAW for anyone that checks Wikipedia for their street dance history instead of going to a class or jam.

I urge anyone that thinks that what they see on TV, on a street dance DVD or through stereotypes in movies is a representation of street dance to watch this video!

Video: Kashmir Uncovers The Truth About UK Street Dance

Yes, he goes on for over six minutes, with a possible second part to follow.

See Kashmir's original blog here.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Could Theo Mini King of Pop win Got to Dance?

Could Theo: Mini King of Pop win Got to Dance? It seems likely when you can tug at the nation's heartstrings, doesn't it?

If you were watching Got to Dance on Sky One tonight you'll have seen him practically directing the show during his audition, meanwhile even his mother said "he's a bit of a diva sometimes."

Video: Theo: Mini King of Pop Got to Dance audition

But can a six year old Michael Jackson impersonator win the competition? A little bit of me says yes, while a little bit of me says no.

Last year's winner, Akai, was only ten when he won the first series of the show, while The Mini King of Pop (who needs a first name if you can have just a title?) is roughly half his age. The difference is, little Theo is a one-act kind of guy: impersonating Michael Jackson [exceptionally well]. His audition was a freestyle, so when it gets to the quarter finals, I wonder how his act will change. Still all improvisation, or maybe routined?

That said, he's killing it while performing Thriller complete with kareoke track playing... pass me a tissue?

Video: Theo Mini King of Pop practising Thriller

But, all is not dark and gloomy for Theo, and it'd be wrong to say so. Despite his man-diva and twice-his-height character, you did see that he's got his own business cards, right?

Like many of the contestants, Theo has performed at some high profile places, including the Royal Albert Hall and even for pugilist Frank Bruno!

Video: Mini King of Pop performing for Frank Bruno

I'm still waiting for Turbo's audition to air before I start placing money one anyone to win (note: no, I won't actually be gambling). But Twitter loves Theo, so we'll see what happens in future auditions.

See full Got to Dance Series 2 Episode 2 results here, or our dancer-by-dancer rundown of episode two here!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

George Sampson's mobile phone number is up - or at least the phone numbers of his fans are - on Twitter

You'll have to excuse me for the slightly misleading headline: This blog is about George Sampson's mobiles phone numbers, although whether you'll find it here depends on whether you're one of the 'lucky' fans he called up the other night. He'll have certainly collected a few numbers the other night.

For some of you reading this it will be a lesson in online safety. Please keep reading...

One blogger at The Ap of Crap (hardly national press, but read on because at least they took the time of day to flag this up) has expressed their disappointment at George Sampson and his fan's behaviour while he was broadcasting live interviews over Twitter with his fans.
I wasn't exactly looking for it, but when someone in your feed puts up their phone number and it has after it (@georgesampson live on I knew it could only end badly.
He said. At this point I was curious too, so I read on.
The only downside is that everyone on Twitter or watching that stream could see everyone else's number. Not the best idea when your loyal fan club is under 16...
Ouch! Check out the screen grab showing Sampson calling one of his friends on his mobile:
A few weeks ago I put up a blog comparing Flawless fans to Diversity fans as a bit of fun, but this one is straight worrying, both in part to the lack of intelligence some of George's fans possess by putting their mobile phone numbers ON TWITTER (check out the Metropolitan Police's advice on staying safe online here) and that he maybe went too far in calling them up - I just hope he did so off private number.

A George Sampson fan on Twitter is easy to identify: The use of the terms "Sampson" or "GS" in their username, mentions of George in their profile information and when he tweeted them and the abundance of obsessive tweets like "I've just woken up. @georgesampson would love to know that!!"

The trouble is many haven't yet grasped that they're exposing their personal details to the world each time they post details like their mobile phone number, email or whereabouts on Twitter - those people's mobile numbers can still be found on Twitter if you know how to look.

With any luck they'll have changed their Twitter settings to private and dumped their old SIM card.

George Sampson recently took part in an anti-bullying promotion for the BBC's Newsround just over a fortnight ago. If more people had seen this gaffe and could point out the irony between that and the recent webchat, maybe we'd all be a bit more like Ap of Crap.

It'd be interesting knowing what Sampson's management think about this. Will they address it? Or perhaps George will realise the error of his ways. If anyone wants to bring this to their attention, I invite you to comment on this blog.

Check out the original Ap of Crap George Sampson post here.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Michael Jackson Experience for Wii

Michael Jackson Experience trailer

Does this not look epic? If not a little scary by the perma-smiles on the faces of the people dancing in the advert, but I'm talking about the game!

The Michael Jackson Experience on Wii looks quite good. Since playing Just Dance 2 a few weeks back on the Wii I've been able to experience the joy and challenge of motion sensing games - but this time you can be Michael Jackson!

Much of the Michael Jackson Experience has been kept under wraps as the Jackson Estate has been working closely with the producers, but the teaser clips they've released more recently seem to show the moves will be a lot more technical than Just Dance - which I like (some dances on Just Dance are more like dance warm ups than routines - in other words, too easy for the advanced dancer!). This one's going to be a challenge!

While Just Dance had original ideas for each of its routines, every song in the MJ Experience is a homage to each video, my favourite teaser being the duet from the Moonwalker film, above.

Apparently the game is to be released on the PS3 Move, Nintendo DS and PSP (your guess is as good as mine how that'll work) as well as the X-Box Kinect, which if I could afford, would be even better. So far though no official footage has been released, only a couple of grainy YouTube videos from video game conventions.

Michael Jackson Experience is out on 26 November. Buy from Amazon.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Who is the beatboxer and vocalists in the T-Mobile advert Welcome Home?

The T-Mobile Welcome Home advert has beatboxers in it! A week after Faith SFX 'appeared' as Bing Crosby in the Argos advert, beatboxing has made it into another commercial! T-Mobile Welcome Home. Flashmobs are cool, but this is better!

Video: T-Mobile Welcome Home advert

No doubt once again it's time for some beatboxing trivia: Who are the beatboxers in the T-Mobile advert?

It's ok, I've done the homework.

With thanks to Hobbit (Beatbox Championships finalist 2010 and the soundscape provider of Ghost Boy) on the HumanBeatBox forum, I (although really, he) can reveal the beatboxers are Lianhart, Bellatrix, Andy Frost and Toby from Swingle Singers.

Swingle Singers

Turns out the Swingle Singers are familiar with covert flash mobs too, having plugged Lovebox on the London Underground.

Video: Swingle Singers: Expect the Unexpected


This video of Lianheart is sure to blow. Your. Mind. ONE video on his YouTube channel. 100,000 video views!
Video: Lianheart - Human Beatbox Sample


Here is Bellatrix (the one who scratched during Return of the Mack), who beatboxes with the amazing vocal group The Boxettes.
Video: Bellatrix interview

Unfortunately as of when this blog was posted you'd have missed Shlomo and the Vocal Orchestra at the Southbank Centre so I guess the only way to know the next beatboxing event is to Like TooMuchFlavour on Facebook and look out for updates!
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