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Friday, 30 April 2010

Breakin Convention Jane Sekonya-John

Jane Sekonya-John began her career training at the Johannesburg Dance Foundation in 1988 before gaining a scholarship at Ballet Rambert School of Dance in London during 1994. She will be performing her piece Spoti at Breakin' Convention 2010 on Sunday.

Interview with Jane Sekonya-John
By David Barros
Spotti: What is it about?
Spoti is a slang language for "fisherman's hat" in South Africa, so I took that and made it as a piece. The whole thing is about the story of a woman who was injured when she was young. Every time she puts on this hat it transforms her into her young self.
It not only transforms her into her young self, but it also brings back the memories of what she's been through, what she's done throughout her life until she had that injury, but she doesn't really want to remember or deal with it. Hence the reason why this spoti puts it over, she doesn't want to deal with it.

What is the message?
It can be anybody's story. As we know, people have different experiences when they have injuries in different ways, and whatever way they get through their pain or their healing or their story, its what makes a difference.

Where did the idea come from?
The idea was influenced by my injury, my personal injury. I was in The Lion King, I was one of the cast members and I was performing and I fell on stage - kapoop! - right onto my knee and I had to have major surgery on it.
Since then it took me a while to get through it and get back into performing, knowing, having to know my body and work around this knee. So that really encouraged me to do a piece about it.

Another thing I should say is the first time I performed it I actually swapped the legs! Meaning that the strong leg I used as the weak leg in the piece, and the weak leg I used as the strong one!
But as time goes on, and now it's what, 10 years down the line since I did the original performance? Now I feel that I had to swap it around and make it more real. 'This is the injured knee, so I am going to used the injured knee this time.'

What should people take away from it?
With this I'm hoping people will hear my story and experience what I experienced, and hopefully they will see it the way I portrayed it.

For more information on Breakin' Convention 2010, visit

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Breakin Convention video diary 4 - Chat with Leo (Via Grafik) and Suga Pop

Thursday's Breakin' Convention 2010 diary with Jonzi D features an quick chat with Leo from Via Grafik, who are responsible for transforming Sadler's Wells' back wall into an enormous canvas.

Jonzi also had a moment to catch up with Suga Pop and have a quick chat about the Greg Campbellok tribute, which takes place in Monday's show.

For more information on Breakin' Convention 2010, visit

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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Breakin Convention video diary 3 - Future Elements

I wasn't about for the third part of the Breakin' Convention 2010 video diary, but for this video Jonzi was prepping the dancers for Future Elements (Thursday night).

Future Elements is where the kids get to 'run tings' as community groups get to perform ahead of the main festival in the Lilian Baylis theatre.

For more information on Breakin' Convention 2010, visit

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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Breakin Convention Adiaspora Collective

The ADiaspora Collective is what you get when Vicki Igbokwe (Uchenna Dance) and Alesandra Seutin (Vocab Dance Company), collaborate creatively. Mixing Seutin's Afro-eclectic (African, contemporary, hip hop and Jazz dance, with spoken word and physical theatre) and Igbokwe's Urban Contemporary (House, Waacking, African, Contemporary and Vogueing) styles.

Frusted, their performance for Breakin' Convention 2010, was originally commissioned by East London Dance and Avant Garde, performed at Collabo as part of East London Dance's, season Dance Currents.

Interview with Vicki Igbokwe, choreographer for Uchenna Dance Company
By David Barros

Frusted: What's it about?
Frusted is about looking at the internal struggle that women face on a daily basis.

What's the message?
"Girl! I hear you and feel what your going though. Remember you are not alone." It is also a little bit of "I thought it was only me that went through that!"

Where did the idea come from?
The idea came from being in a studio full of women and realising we are all individual but go through similar emotions and scenario's in life. We (Alesandra Seutin and myself) wanted to create a piece that both us AND the dancers could own.

What you see is our life, our day to day struggles, our insecurities, us supporting each other, us feeling alone, us trying to hang on in there with life.

The dancers are powerful and take no prisoners.

What should people take away from it?
Life! Everyone has a different response to the work and we are interested in hearing these. There is not a particular 'thing' we expect you to take away. Above all we want you to enjoy the work and feel like you have been on some sort journey.

Whether you understand that journey or not, you feel it.

Breakin' Convention video diary 2 - Graffiti with Via Grafik

It's day two in the lead up to Breakin' Convention 2010. The graffiti writers have arrived, and they're preparing to transform Sadler's Wells into an enormous canvas.

André Nossek aka SLAVE (left) and Leo Volland aka BOE (right), collectively known as Via Grafik, joined Jonzi D by the back wall of Sadler's Wells which will be transformed into an enormous graffiti mural.

The mezzanine has been altered significantly to fit in the rigging in order for the back wall to get painted, and will span from the mezzanine to the second circle.

For more information on Breakin' Convention 2010, visit

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Breakin Convention 2010 Goodfoot dance

Goodfoot are a group of dancers that specialise in popping. They've been together for four years, and were recently finalists in Sadler's Wells' Global Dance Contest.

You can see Goodfoot at Breakin' Convention 2010 on Monday 3 May. 

Interview with Shakeel "Shak" Meetooa, dancer in Goodfoot
By David Barros

The Box: What's it about?
It's about every person's imagination running wild when they were kids, playing with an empty box. That's all you needed to have fun, a box. It could contain anything and everything. This one contains music, objects, scenes, laughter and dance.

What's the message?
Ultimately, we want people to be entertained. Hopefully everyone will have something they can take home with them. Whether it reminds them of when they were young, whether we made them laugh, or maybe they just enjoyed watching us dance. Maybe even if they leave thinking "what the heck was that??" We hope they'll remember it.

Where did the idea come from?
It came from us thinking how could we possibly do all the random things we wanna do on stage, haha. What could be the source of all our madness that would allow people to understand what we're trying to do without spelling it out for them? A box is uncomplicated. But what's inside is significant. We've added dance and music to an object with limitless potential... And we think we might be onto something.

What should people take away from it? 
Like I said earlier, even if you just laughed once, or saw a single move you liked, that's enough. We wouldn't want people to leave not remembering something when they hear the name "Goodfoot."

To find out about Goodfoot and where to take their classes visit

For more information on Breakin' Convention 2010, visit

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Breakin Convention video diary 1 - Breakin' Convention starts here!

It's the Monday, the week of Breakin' Convention 2010 and already, just by standing outside Sadler's Wells, I can feel the energy emanating from the place...

Monday 26 April 2010
All it takes is the glances of a few passers by looking at the Breakin' Convention 2010 poster and it makes you realise the impact it has had over the years, particularly since So You Think You Can Dance, and the retrospective envy I feel because TooMuchFlavour hadn't been about to keep a record of things since its inception...

In Jonzi D's Breakin Convention Diary today its all about setting the scene. Over the weekend some of the newspapers picked up on it, so its like this episode continues from what you saw on Sunday...

For more information on Breakin' Convention 2010, visit

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Monday, 26 April 2010

Breakin' Convention 2010 Unity and Unity Youth

You'll probably remember Unity from Move Like Michael Jackson, and their youth division, Unity Youth, from Got To Dance, but beside the TV appearances there's a deeper side to Unity that you'll see during their performance of Venus Vs. Mars Part 2 at Breakin' Convention 2010.

Interview with Tashan Muir, choreographer for Unity and Unity Youth
By David Barros

Venus vs Mars Part 2: What's it about?
It's a follow up to part one which we did last year, an in depth piece to make the audience realise how the first one came about. The first, performed at Serious About Streetdance was about domestic violence, this one showed how it happened. This is a prequel (although it's named part 2).
What I've done this time is incorporate the youth group. There are two young people in the youth group and it shows how they met at the start and how the violence started happening over the years.
The first one I had all the ideas, but it was rushed to get the routine out. We got a really good response to it. It's good that happened as we've been able to go in depth with it and explore it, hopefully it can grow into something bigger and better in the future.

What's the message?The message that we're tying to put across is domestic violence is something that happens. It's a thing where you hear about on the news. Loads of stuff happens in news every day, domestic violence is a thing that seems like it's not spoken about. A lot of women and men lose their lives for it, kids have to go into adoption and lose their welfare because of it. That's something we have to take. It's something I've gone through, and something others I didn't know others had too.
Finally, someone's speaking about it in a way that's positive because its a dance piece.
1) Women and men need to speak up
2) Let's tackle the problem.

Where did the idea come from?
My past. Going through it as a kid. It wasn't just about physical abuse, it was mental abuse. Just listening to people talk about it, that's where it comes from.

What should people take away from it?
The awareness. If you go through situations like that in your life and turn it to a positive, it's a good thing, also for the dance community. A lot of the dance community dance because they love it and coz they express themselves. If there are happy and sad issues, put it into your dance and see what can come out of it.
A lot of people say UK hip hop dance theatre isn't as good as the rest of the world. Breakin' Convention is the platform dance groups can use to express themselves. Hopefully we can push that along and others can express themselves and think about where you can take your dance: that's the message we want to put across.
Hopefully when people see it they will say "UK hip hop theatre can make it."

Friday, 23 April 2010

Bootsy Collins' Funk University is recruiting students of the funk!

Baby bubba! I just came across this tweet from the legendary funk guitarist Bootsy Collins announcing his online funk university, aptly titled FU, which goes live on 1 June 2010.

The site says:
"Because a groove is a terrible thing to waste, this sonic learning institution will be unlike anything before, as Professor Collins and the finest bassists in music will unleash an intense curriculum, on the web, for intermediate to advanced funk disciples within the program."
Check out the Funk University trailer:

Heeeeeeee got da fonk! They're enrolling now, although it says spaces are limited. How it will work I haven't asked, but it looks like there will be legions of funkateers ready to stage an assualt on our eardrums when the final semester is out.

To sign up for updates visit Yabba dabba doo!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Guru passes away - Writes letter to fans detailing his legacy

Guru 17 July 1966 - 19 April 2010
Guru, known throughout the hip hop community as the other half of acclaimed rap duo Gangstarr, passed away today last night (UK time).

The news was posted earlier today on DJ Premier's blog. The site is currently suspended, although you can view a cached version of the post here.
Update 12:43pm: The link now works.

Despite being posted on Premier's blog, Premier and Guru discontinued Gangstarr for personal reasons several years ago. Guru detailed below that he did not want to be affiliated in name or in passing with his former DJ.

The letter quotes:
"I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this."

Bitter politics aside, I was lucky enough to meet Guru briefly when he came to England to promote his latest mixtape at King Apparel. I also recall being a few pence short of buying a copy, but he said it was okay "paying with laundry money."
From the way he got the crowd amped, there was no way of telling he was ill, as he kept the news to only his closest friends and family.

As a fan of the oldschool and in recognition of one of the realest emcees, who both spat clever lyrics and influenced a generation of sample-fused hip hop, RIP Guru.

Statement from Solar, Guru's DJ:

The world has lost one of the best MCs and hip-hop icons of all time — my loyal best friend, partner, and brother, Guru! Guru has been battling cancer for well over a year and has lost his battle! This is a matter that Guru wanted private until he could beat it but tragically this did not happen. The cancer took him. Now the world has lost a great man and a true genius. For the fans that reached out with love and support, I can’t tell you how much that meant to Guru and myself. Guru prepared this letter while he was in the hospital for the fans. I hope now that Guru has moved on to a better place! Guru is a great black American hero and should always be remembered as such and he is much more that just a Hip-Hop icon — he has changed the world for the better. I salute my fallen brother Guru! He will be missed tremendously! 

Guru's letter to his fans:
“I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options. I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
“My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun (sic) KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.
“I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of hip-hop/jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the hip-hop/jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential hip-hop/jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now.
"The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do! As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world.
"The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life.”

Did you ever meet Guru, or see him perform live? Feel free to share by posting your comments below.

Monday, 19 April 2010

#NewMusicMonday - Nneka "Suffri" and Scala live show details

Nneka live show at Scala, King's Cross

Nneka's extremely successful second album No Longer At Ease was released in the UK last August. It was an album described as "the most invigorating, innovative and powerful release of the year" by the Independent, that gave birth to a bonafide hit single with Heartbeat reaching BBC Radio 1's A-List; and saw her awarded a 2009 MOBO Award for Best African Act. recently included Nneka in their 2010 Emerging Artists alongside Ellie Goulding, Delphic and The Drums.

Having toured almost non-stop she is now making waves in the USA. SPIN have named her one of the 10 artists to watch in 2010, Rolling Stone gave a four star review and a David Letterman 'Breakout Artist' performance saw her reach her biggest audience yet.

It's a testament to the strength of Nneka's talent that her success has grown by word of mouth, on the quality of her albums and the intensity of her live performance. She is not a big-label product, forced down people's throats by marketing dollars.

Her audience - and there are hundreds of thousands of them, across two continents - have sought her out, because there will always be a demand for music that does more than just entertain, but touches something universal. As she puts it herself: "I do it in a sweet way - but I sing to speak the truth."

Nneka plays London's Scala on Wednesday 28th April.

Venue: Scala, 275 Pentonville RD, Kings Cross, London, N1 9NL
Info: 020 7833 2022
Date: Wed 28 Apr 2010
Doors: 19:30
Tickets: £12.50 + booking fee in advance from 
Nneka on MySpace

Stylefest 2010 Battle Results

These are the round-by-round results for Stylefest, broken down into point wins.
  • 1-2 corresponds to the competitor named on the left scoring one vote from the three judges, and the name on the right scoring two votes. 0-3 would mean the person named on the right won, etc.
  • 2-X means two votes to one competitor, one split decision.
  • TB means tiebreak decision
  • Champions highlighted in bold.
Although I've posted them up for people to look at as a guide, they haven't been checked for spelling or errors. If you're going to use the results, please post a link back to us using the link below:

Stylefest 2010 battle results:
Quarter finals
Ssik Tingz v Shivengo 2-1
Lean v Chris X X 1
Faye Rai v Boogie 1-2
Jit Su v Breaks/Grego 3-0

Semi finals:
Ssik Tingz v Chris 2-X
Boogie v Jit Su 2-X

Ssik Tingz v Boogie

Quarter finals:
Turbo v Kashmir 3-0
Penguin v Lisa 3-0
Aaron v Alper X-2
Jaffy v Jordan 3-0

Semi finals:
Turbo v Penguin 2-1
Alper v Jaffy 3-0

Turbo v Jaffy

New style:
Quarter finals:
Rhimes and Manica v Luciano and Talent 3-0
Jilly and Static v Kashmir and Penguing TB 3-0
Chris and NG v Lisa and Fidosh 3-0
Turbo and Bruno v Mustafa and Luke 3-0

Semi finals:
Rhimes and Manica v Kashmir and Penguin 3-0
Chris and NG v Turbo and Bruno 0-3

Rhimes and Manica v Turbo and Bruno

Quarter finals:
Louis v Tobias 3-0
Theo v Jitterbug X-2
Turbo v Nemesis 2-X
Righteous v Richard 2-X

Semi finals:
Louis v Jitterbug 3-0
Nemesis v Righteous TB 0-1 (Nemesis defaulted as Turbo withdrew - he was already in the finals for house and new style)

Lewis v Righteous

Stylefest was part of East London Dance's Dance Currents 2010 season at Stratford Circus.
A review of the event will follow soon!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Who are Ruby Girls?

Ruby Girls: A cut above the rest.

What began as an evening class at Husky's dance studios as a side project for Birdgang has resulted in as a flock of chicks (sorry about the bird puns) that are so risqué when they perform that you're not sure whether to avert your eyes or stare in 'support.'

Several million men will be showing their so-called support with them being on Britain's Got Talent, and ITV having to tone down their performance to make it suitable for a prime time slot!

Ruby Girls showreel (see more on YouTube)

Do I want to go on about their looks? It's hard not to, considering their image!

The first time I saw Ruby Girls at Birdgang Presents: The Pioneers, which was early in their inception. Although the context of the show was mainly street dance, Ruby Girls stood out not just for their look, but their extreme and energetic style.

Ruby Girls, rather than becoming 'Birdgang Girls' the suffix other street dance groups add to their name to differentiate between companies, created a completely different image from the original Birdgang hooded-and-masked look and feel, instead taking what they had learned and were then studying in classical styles, with an emphasis on jazz - don't they look like they belong to the cast of Chicago?

Over the months, developing from training, and for some graduating too, is when Ruby Girls began to pick up. As most group members are models, the group started to get snapped up for commercial jobs.

Rai Quartley, founder and director, is also responsible for most of the choreography.

If you thought Beyoncé looked great in Single Ladies, then the flash mob that Ruby were part of will multiply your desire!

Note: the music has been changed due to YouTube's music policy... Just enjoy the moving pictures.

Ruby Girls are the stars, sorry, gems in Britain's Got Talent. However, enjoy them on TV while you can - read our earlier blog to find out why they won't win...

What are your thoughts on Ruby Girls? You can post your comments below.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Ruby Girls won't win Britain's Got Talent

Ruby Girls may be "a cut above the rest" but they won't win Britain's Got Talent
Reality TV should come with a health warning...

I can't help but feel the headline will annoy a few people. Luckily I can back up my statement. Keep reading.

Hooray for Ruby Girls, they're on Britain's Got Talent tomorrow night! The sister company to Birdgang (so to speak) and a collection of stunning women/models/dancers, all, if not mostly, classically trained. The Sun has described them as "a Britain's Got Talent gem."

Their success has been far-reaching in the industry since one of their earliest performances at Birdgang Presents: UK Pioneers several years ago. The Single Ladies flashmob they featured in has been watched over four million times on YouTube:

But, no matter how much you rate Ruby Girls when you see their performance tomorrow, they won't win the competition. I guess what you could call an editorial mistake it's already leaked Ruby Girls won't win - even though they made it past the qualifying round.

Digital Spy 'revealed' they were confident of making the semi finals, but contrary to misconstrued quotes and media spin, that will remain to be seen by how the show is eventually cut. 

In an interview with Rai Quartley, Ruby Girls' choreographer,  for a lad's sport magazine it was let slip that they won't be going through to the the later rounds of Britain's Got Talent - producers don't want another dance group winning the show.

Click below to view the full image:

In the interview, Quartley said:
"They said we were the best dance act they’d seen this season but they can’t put us through. We’re not allowed to ask them why. We’re not allowed to ask them any questions. One of the producers came up to us and explained that they don’t want a dance act to win this year so they couldn’t put us through. There’s no justice!"
This means, guys, that no amount of voting, for Ruby or anyone else of their caliber, will succeed in their progress, only make ITV and SyCo (the production company) a hefty wad of cash. It is after all the altered reality of so-called 'reality' TV, and all part of ITV's ratings machines.

Major respect to Ruby Girls for making the cut to the on air programmes, and any other dance groups who get on the show. The exposure (like 4 million YouTube views of the Single Ladies flashmob doesn't count!) from any reality TV show that pulls in millions of viewers will get the group wider recognition.

But dance groups should look elsewhere to showcase their talent - Birdgang/Ruby Girls' choreographer Simeon Qysea was one of the returning choreographers for So You Think You Can Dance and has turned around the clumsy dance talents of JLS to something more refined. These are pros on a show with amateurs.

Most of Ruby Girls are already professionals anyway. Ruby on Britain's Got Talent is like the way Flawless 'told' Diversity "This is how it's supposed to be done!"

You can find out more about Ruby Girls on their Facebook page - search "Ruby Girls"

Your comments are welcome. Use the box below to respond.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Chima Anya - Death music video

Chima Anya - Death

Recognise some of the biography below? Maybe because you read it on our Live Vibe April page where Chima will be a guest performer at Live Vibe this Saturday 17 April. Read about his guest performance here. >>

25 year old (Dr) Chima Anya has seen a lot. An avid hip-hop fan since birth he has watched how it has evolved and devolved over the years while simultaneously perfecting his own grasp of the art. This experience multiplied by the wealth of life stories witnessed by working as a junior doctor in fields ranging from geriatric to paediatric medicine has culminated in an artist of intrigue.

As a hip-hop MC his credentials are stellar - having already shared stages with hip hop legends KRS 1, Amp Fiddler, Flava Flav and recently opened up for Jay Electronica and Brother Ali. His music has also received support from Mary Anne Hobbes (Radio 1) "A Dope ass MC," Huw Stephen's (Radio 1) "I'm sure we will be playing more of this man" Ras Kwame (1Xtra) "Futuristic hip hop- we are looking for the doctor to come and save hip-hop," DJ 279 (Choice FM) "Hope yet for UK hiphop," Shortee Blitz (Kiss FM), Excalibah, Ace and Vis (1Xtra), The Temporary Residents and many more radio stations worldwide.

This, his debut album, "NEW DAY" reflects the change that is needed to effect some balance in the uk hiphop scene. Entirely produced by ASTROSNARE, the two hooked up having ascended to the top of the hiphop scene in Oxford making it a natural alliance. The first double AA side single saw CHIMA enlisting some fellow UK hiphop Luminaries SOWETO KINCH and JEHST in joining his campaign to bring some element of swagger, style and substance back in the scene.

CHIMA recently supported JAY ELECTRONICA when he hit the UK a performance that was only outshone by the man himself! CHIMA will also be supporting BROTHER ALI on his one off date @ London’s CARGO on the 17th March.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Throwdown - Retaliation Girls at Eastpak Loves Girls

B-girl about town: Nicky
It's a gorgeous sunny day in the city so grab an ice cream, head down to Carnaby Street and check out the Eastpak store where they're celebrating the ladies!
You can get you Eastpak attacked by graffiti artists, catch all-girl dance crews including B.Supreme Allstars and Retaliation Girls throwing down on the lino every hour.

Girls love Eastpak... And Eastpak loves girls!

Friday, 9 April 2010

#waacking The Waacktitioners at April's Throwdown: Throw It Down and Waack It Up!

By Waacktitioner Princess Scribbles 
At the end of the first day of the year that actually felt like spring, came April’s Throwdown. The change in season brought with it a little more skin from host/'teaboy' Charlie Blue, and a new addition to a line-up which in the past has featured battles and showcases from graffiti artists, beatboxers and all manner of dancers from breakers, poppers and even pole-dancers. This Thursday’s Throwdown welcomed The Waacktitioners.

As a member of The Waacktitioners, I am aware of and trying hard not to get swept up by the hype that has suddenly surrounded waacking. There’s no denying we stand out - as we arrived on Thursday night while it was still quiet and the b-boys were warming up, it was easy to pick each of us out in our shiny leggings and killer heels, as if the cast from Fame got lost in Brixton.

However, waacking is a funk dance, a club dance created in the 70s alongside locking and popping - it belongs on dance floors, and in circles in venues like Plan B (although not on the lino - they had to take that up lest we puncture it with our shoes!). It’s great to be a part of the waacking whirlwind, the word is very definitely spreading and an invite to Throwdown, where urban authenticity is maintained and celebrated (even the barman can do a flare) is a mark of the recognition it’s gathering.

Rumour has it that even Madonna wants a waack-attack: amongst those summoned to audition for her privately last week were The Waackers from LA and The Waacktitioners’ own Rhimes, aka Roxy 7.

Thursday night’s Throwdown line-up was characteristically entertaining with a warm up from percussionist Kwake of the Speakers’ Corner Quartet: a unique brand of live acoustic drums over a sample pad. More performances punctuated the night as he accumulated more members of the classically trained foursome including flutist ‘Biscuit’ and Emcee Huntley Brown creating a melodic, atmospheric twist on straightforward hip hop. Kwake calls it a tribute to producers, it’s like a DJ set but even more live and improvised.

You can catch them on 14th April at Charlie Wrights, 45 Pitfield Street, London N1.

The battles began with the beatboxers who were very well received, judging from the number of phones in the air, it’ll be all over Youtube.

The b-boy battle was massively oversubscribed with 26 b-boys and one b-girl showcasing to get on the grid, the crowd was five-deep and the dancers came hard. The final came down to Manny, Spin and ADF, after three rounds each, the judges still needed one more round to choose between Manny and Spin of La Familia Crew, finally awarding the bragging rights to Spin.

'Track from the hat' rounded off the show nicely with UK locking champion, 'Rowdy' making her debut on the wheels of steel and serving up funkstyle tracks that would otherwise never make it onto the lino; the musical lucky dip included Cotton Eye Joe, No Limit, Firestarter and I’m Too Sexy.

The Waacktitioners’ showcase, despite a couple of musical hitches, delivered our brand of bespangled disco groove. A friend of mine, when asked for her honest feedback wondered whether the Throwdown audience was ready for sequins and funk and perhaps that will remain to be seen.

Were you there? What do you think? You can comment below
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