Tag - dance

Cool Stories Humans Are Awesome

Watch: Dance Crew Performs Michael Jackson’s Dance Evolution

Ricardo Walker is a dancer and a Michael Jackson impersonator with almost 300,000 subscribers on YouTube. The dancer routinely performs to the King of Pop’s music, and now he’s created a fabulous video of himself dancing to the late singer’s most famous songs. Ricardo made this video himself and his three talented backup dancers performing a medley of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits. All of your favorites are here, and it’s impossible not to boogy in your seat a little once they get rolling!

Michael Jackson was an artist who inspired all the dancers in the world, from a ballet dancer to a hip-hop dancer. Everyone was once impressed by the famous ” moonwalk ” and was touched in some way by his unique talent for dancing. This video is about it, about the incredible legacy he left us in regards to dancing. We are thankful to Michael for the constant inspiration and we just know that everyone will enjoy this video.

Whether you’re a fan of Michael Jackson’s music or not, there’s no denying that he left his own footprint in the history of music and popular culture during his career. In the video, Ricardo and his crew represent the same kind of clothing Michael wore when each hit song hit the charts, including that famous white sparkly glove, those white socks worn with short black pants, and a fedora.

They start with the singer’s early hits, including “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Starting Something,” and everybody’s favorite, “Thriller.” They then move on to later hits like “Billie Jean,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Bad,” “Smooth Criminal,” and others.

In just a few minutes, this talented group covers an entire catalog of Jackson’s music, and they look amazing while doing it! They make those hip thrusts and moonwalks look easy, which is no mean feat considering what an accomplished performer Michael Jackson was during his lifetime. They successfully imitate Jackson’s legendary dance moves that revolutionized the music industry.

He had this incredible technique which he perfectly accomplished the gravity-defying move by leaning his body forward to a perfect 45-degree angle, while keeping it completely straight. We will be forever fascinated by his dance moves and he will be forever the King of Pop.

Each iconic and irreplaceable move will never be topped. How could they be? They were revolutionary. A special kind of rhythm fueled his choreographies in music videos and live performances. He had, after all, been an international superstar since the age of 6, right up until the day of his untimely death in 2009. Standout songs like “Thriller,” “Beat It,” and “Bad” are required listening for anyone who claims to know anything about music.

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Ricardo Walker is a dancer and a Michael Jackson impersonator with almost 300,000 subscribers on YouTube. The dancer routinely performs to the King of Pop’s music, and now he’s created a fabulous video of himself dancing to the late singer’s most famous...

Entertainment

Hip Hop Battles – How Do They Work?

If you have watched Step Up, Stomp the Yard, Streetdance, Honey or any other movie about the hip hop dancers, their work and struggles, you might be a bit confused about what it’s all about.  All of us have heard about hip-hop dance battles, but how do they really work? Who dances and what determines who has won the battle? Can people only dance alone against one person, or is it possible for more people to battle together as a team? And, if America’s Best Dance Crew crossed your mind, you should know that, even though the show is based on a competition between many different hip hop crews, it has nothing to do with battles. The dance crews in that show compete against each other like in every other competition – a lot of them perform, and then the judges decide which were the best ones. Battles work a bit differently, and if you want to find out how – keep reading.

Who battles?

Basically anyone can participate in a hip-hop battle, but, of course, it is expected that the person is a good dancer. If we’re talking about spontaneous battles that happen right in the middle of the street, all you need to do is be in the right place in the right time. But, if the battle is organized ahead, you should probably apply yourself or your crew for the battle just by putting your name on the list, for the purposes of the easier organization. Of course, another way for you to participate in a battle is to get called-out by another dancer or a crew, which usually means the one who called you out is testing your dance skills and think they can beat you. You can battle either alone or with your crew, depending on the type of the battle. The number of people on each side is always determined, because it would be unfair for one person to battle against, for example, three people. When talking about battles, people often mention the number of people battling, so there are battles “1 on 1“, “3 on 3“, “5 on 5“ and so on.

Who dances first?

The order of the dancers quite differs in different battles and depends on the organizers of the battle. Sometimes, if the battle is 1 on 1, the dances will be randomly divided into pairs, and only one person from every pair can win, and therefore proceed to the next round, where they are battling another randomly assigned opponent who got to the next round the same way they did, and so on, depending on the number of dancers battling. In the final battle, there are only two dancers left in the round and whoever wins the round has won the whole battle. The order of dancers is usually determined by spinning the bottle on the floor, between the dancers who are participating in the round. When the bottle stops spinning, the direction where it’s pointed determines which dancer (or a crew) dances first. But, this is not always the rule. Sometimes the order is fixed and randomly assigned while forming pairs of dancers.

Who wins?

Of course, the person (or a crew) with the best dance moves, who managed to demonstrate the music through their movement is supposed to win the round or the battle. Some battles have judges, usually 3 to 5 respected dancers of different styles, who have to give their vote to one of the sides at the end of the round, or they can vote a tie. Since every judge votes for themselves, a dancer who got more votes in the round wins. In a battle with no judges, the audience decides who wins the round by the loudness of their cheering, or sometimes holding up a card of a certain color for each side.

So, now that you’re a bit more familiar with the way things work in the world of hip hop battles, grab some popcorns and start a Step Up marathon. Or maybe organize a battle to show off your moves? It’s up to you.

If you have watched Step Up, Stomp the Yard, Streetdance, Honey or any other movie about the hip hop dancers, their work and struggles, you might be a bit confused about what it’s all about.  All of us have heard about hip-hop dance battles, but how do...

Entertainment

Have You Heard of Krumping Yet?

You are either already familiar with krump and have watched at least a few videos of people krumping, or you have never heard of this type of dance and came here to solve the mystery of what it really is. Yes, as already mentioned, it’s a type of dance – street dance, to be more precise. But hold on, before we continue to introducing you to krump, a brief reminder about the elements of hip-hop is surely necessary. Hip hop has 4 main elements – DJing, MCing, b-boying and graffiti. We all know what DJing and graffiti are, so there’s no need to explain those further. You may or may not have heard about the term MCing, but even if you haven’t, you actually do know what it is, only “rapping“ and “rhyming“ are much more popular terms today. When it comes to b-boying, it mainly refers to the type of street dance often called breaking or breakdance, but it can refer to any type of movement and dance which came from the hip-hop culture, including popping, locking, waving, turfing, boogaloo and many others, while among them – krump.

Clowning vs. Krumping

Clowning is, in a way, a forerunner of krump. In the early 1990s, Thomas Johnson, better known as Tommy the Clown used to dance at children’s birthday parties and other entertaining events with his crew. They would paint their faces and dress like clowns since their main role on the events was to entertain the crowd with their dancing. Although it’s the beginning of krumping and very similar to it, clowning includes less aggressive and movements which are not that exaggerated in comparison to krump. Understandably, the competition between the dancers was not that noticeable as it is among the krumpers, since there were not many battles between the dancers, as they were usually working together to amuse others.

It is impossible to talk about krumping without mentioning Tight Eyez (Ceasare Willis) and Big Mijo (Jo’Artis Ratti), who are today considered to be the creators of krump. Both of them developed this style of street dance and brought it such energy, expression, strength and creativity that it still seems impossible to compete with them. If you haven’t heard of them, make sure to watch some of the videos of their sick kill-offs (the term will be explained in the next paragraph). Watching them dance feels like sound has transformed into human body – they are perfectly describing all the sounds present in the music through their movement.

Krump vocabulary

  • Battle – The competition in which two or more dances are freestyling against one another. The winner is chosen by the audience (hypers) or the judges.
  • Biter – A biter is someone who watches other dancers so they could copy their moves.
  • Chypher – A chypher is a non-competitive kind of freestyling. A crew (or crews) usually stands in a circle formation, while one person is dancing in the middle, and others are hyping.
  • Hyping – The hypers are all the present people who surround the one dancing, supporting them, reacting to their movements and, well, literally hyping them to keep coming up with even better moves.
  • Kill-off – In a battle, a dance is killed-off when the other dancer’s moves were so amazing that the hypers got thrilled to the point where they surround the dancer and the battle is over.

If you got interested in krump and want to find out more about its origins, make sure to watch the documentary movie Rize released in 2005 and directed by David LaCapelle, starring Tommy the Clown, Tight Eyez, Lil’ C, Miss Prissy and many other great krumpers. On the beginning of the movie, it’s noted that the footage has not been sped up in any way, which is a good indicator of how fast and energetic krump is. No spoilers, you are going to have to watch the movie!

You are either already familiar with krump and have watched at least a few videos of people krumping, or you have never heard of this type of dance and came here to solve the mystery of what it really is. Yes, as already mentioned, it’s a type of dance –...

Humans Are Awesome

Trisha Brown Legacy

As the painters leave behind a visual legacy and the music of composers is played by many generations, the work of modern dance choreographers, who tend to create movements without names, often silence, can easily fade and be forgotten. If they don’t perform shows frequently, their techniques and intellectual value can unfortunately disappear. Trying to fight that kind of destiny, the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s board decided to implement some new steps into their dance, hoping that it would be even expanded onto other dance troups.

Ms. Brown is one of pioneering choreographers who helped defining the American postmodern dance in the 1960s. She officially stepped down from the position in her company in 2013, after being diagnosed with vascular dementia. At that time, two of her former dancers decided to move up as artistic directors. Jeanne Linnes, a new board president, took the job to activate a four-point plan, partially developed in collaboration with Ms. Brown. The aim is to sustain this choreographer’s work and influence.

The most important part of the plan is company’s shifting to tour with site-specific shows, called “Trisha Brown: In Pain Site,” explained Ms. Linnes, who’s the part of company’s board since 2001. Moving the dance performance to museum galleries, gardens and other locations will acquit some flexibility in repertory and venue selection, which would be a bit different compared to Ms. Brown’s large-scale style, made for traditional stages. These pieces are the focus of the recent period retrospective, “Proscenium Works 1979-2011.”

This 3-year tour, which lasted from 2013 to 2016, was bookended with shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Academy’s executive producer Joseph Melillo said that Brown had a long time performing history there, where her efforts to the dance status-quo created a loyal following: “This woman created a unique vocabulary that was not only respected by journalists and scholars but by New York audiences.” There are also some new plans to ensure that this single-choreographer company continues to live in times where many companies almost vanished after the death of their founders. For example, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company closed after similar event, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre evolved into international success.

The campaign of $5 million fundraising is almost done, with the help of $600,000 by Dorothy Lichtenstein, the new board chair president of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. One part of that amount will go for the preparation of Trisha Brown’s archives, with extensive videotapes that may be put on sale eventually. “Putting these videos into better condition is a huge undertaking,” said Ms. Linnes. The plan contains two additional ways of sharing her legacy with new generation. The company will continue with the efforts on the educational level, at places like Duke University and Bard College, allowing more companies to experience Ms. Brown’s work.

Ms. Lichtenstein said: “Her dance had movement that followed the body’s missteps. A lot of her early work was without music—or with sounds that we weren’t used to calling music.” Her supporters claim that nothing about it is simple and that it needs careful preservation in intention to survive for a long time.

As the painters leave behind a visual legacy and the music of composers is played by many generations, the work of modern dance choreographers, who tend to create movements without names, often silence, can easily fade and be forgotten. If they don’t...

Entertainment

Fresh dance spirit in Philly

The stories about struggling artists are mostly true in the world of dance. Successful ones are usually dancers in a large company, truly famous choreographers, or those who work commercially. Anyway, money is always an issue, but finding rehearsal and performance space as well. Having a second jobs is often a necessity.

Former Martha Graham dancer Jeanne Ruddy is planning to make a dance center at her Performance Garage, a theater and studio in the Spring Garden, near the city of Philadelphia. Renovations already began this week on the Garage, with a help of $500,000 from the City of Philadelphia Cultural and Commercial Corridors bond fund, concentrated on ameliorating the area around North Broad Street.

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The group BalletX rehearses in the Garage, and there is also a program that includes free classes for children from the neighborhood. It has a discounted studio space to dancers, and already 6,000 audience members have seen dance shows there. The aim of these renovations is to rearrange the space, making it more comfortable for artists and audiences.

“We took ownership of the building when it was an auto-body garage,” Ruddy said about the place that opened in the 19th century and served as horse stables. Together with her husband, Victor Keen, she bought it in 2000, and in 12 years, it hosted her former company, Jeanne Ruddy Dance. “The heating system is the same that was being used for the mechanics. The lighting and the heating are at least 50 years old. We started with the most pressing things. We needed air-conditioning. It was repeatedly written down to us on all our surveys in big letters.” – said Ruddy.

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Her plan is also to host a series of dance performances featuring local artists, most of those who don’t have the regular performance space to work. According to her, it could start next year. “This would really benefit the dance community in Philadelphia,” said Randy Swartz, the well known person from the Philadelphia dance scene, being there for four decades, now working as the artistic director of Dance Affiliates. They presently display NextMove at the Prince Theater, which represents a series of shows including influent national and international troupes. He said that since the 1960s, there have been many efforts to find a proper space for local dance in Philadelphia, but only the large companies have succeeded.

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Garage should also finish the works on air-conditioning in couple of months when the Fringe Festival will start. The interior will have a lobby for audiences, one extra row of seating and state-of-the-art dance floors for two studios. “But we won’t have to sacrifice any of the tremendously large dance floor in the main space,” – said Ruddy. She also hopes that her apply for a $1 million grant from the State of Pennsylvania will go well. If it passes, she plans to develop two additional floors, which could be later rented out to Pilates studios, wellness centers and others.

This Performance Garage makes studio space much more affordable for dancers, according to Swartz, who added that there was always space for dance, but the cost was enormous. As even some top troupes couldn’t afford it, they simply moved to New York, and now he hopes that they would maybe like to come back.

The stories about struggling artists are mostly true in the world of dance. Successful ones are usually dancers in a large company, truly famous choreographers, or those who work commercially. Anyway, money is always an issue, but finding rehearsal and...