**En français ici
I Love This Dance.
This statement, in addition to illustrating the state of mind that inspires me every day, is also the name of the Hip Hop event which took place Sunday 10/20 in Paris: the I LOVE THIS DANCE All Star Game.
The event, which debuted on stage at the Jamel Comedy Club in 2009, made his first steps at the Traversière theatre in 2010 and has grown since at « La Cigale » (all are Parisian venues), was created by Vicelow, « le Noir à lunettes », « l’ Homme de l’Est », in short, the deep voice of the Saïan Supa Crew (by the way, the best French rap group in my opinion and I’m not saying this to virtually lick boots, in case the Vicelow in question or other members of the group would read this article, huhuhu … I reserve the spiel about the ‘why and how’ of my musical tastes for another article, perhaps).
Its concept, simple but original, is similar to a battle, in the sense that the dancers compete in one vs one, but differs by the absence of competition. More specifically, each dancer has to improvise on a music chosen by his opponent and then perform to a music of his own choice. The winner will be determined by the public, the only judge, in a post-event online vote :
And of course: YOUTUBE
After a slow return to reality, here’s what I can say :
They are good, they take risks, they go out of the boxes in which they could be placed. For example, Pepito, an outstanding popper, has unveiled his hidden talents for jig dance, on a medieval-ish music. I don’t know if it was by choice or just for fun, but it illustrates the « out of the bitten tracks » aspect quite well.
The dancers open a window into their world so that we can see its flavor and texture.
Their musical choices are sometimes surprising, a bit crazy, but can be appreciated without moderation. Moreover, many of them did better when dancing on an unknown sound that on their own tunes; when the artist cannot control all the parameters, when the most important are feeling and spontaneity, the result is delightful.
Those who have mastered their own sound better are also amazing : taming a disjointed beat, catching the hidden little note and performing an out of nowhere step, merging with a sweet melody …
4 showcases in total.
❖ Little kids, I don’t remember the name but they opend the show, set the tone and temperature.
❖ Venus&Mars, 3 men, 3 women for a well-crafted choreography.
The group, French-English, was created by Nikel of Yudat crew if I’m not mistaken.
❖ Zine; the fusion of waacking, flamenco and belly dance for my eyes pleasure.
Cozy atmosphere, red light. She dances in solo, under the spotlight, in the middle of the scene and it’s mesmerizing. I think the guys who were at the front row will agree for sure. Yes, I spotted you. Here’s what you looked like:
(And, no, I’m not indirectly implying that you are perverts, I would not have chosen Tex Avery as an example otherwise …).
Paradox-Salty? Paradox-Sugary?? Paradox-Spicy???!!?? They are irresistible…
I saw them for the first time on a video of english selections for the 2013 Juste Debout, I think (RIP, memory) … The choreography was to fall in love with.
Today, the charm still operates: how they occupy space, their technique, their energy, their femininity, their own personalities (when they dance, especially during solos or duets, you can distinguish their personnal universe).
Last but not least, their style: Afro-House. It’s really nice to see a group that evolve in a discipline other than hip hop, at such a great level.
A public that encourages, that worships, that gets on fire, I just love it …
… but this was clearly insufficient to Vicelow, the master of ceremonies, the chief ‘ambianceur’.
Vicelow with his thundering voice, pushes us, forces us to release any air particles deeply stuck in our lungs. He doesn’t care about shouts, he wants screams! And if possible, convulsions, drops of sweat flying in slow motion…
And Vicelow, his dynamism, his humor; also his jumps all around the stage and his « Uh-uuh » to express his joy …
Top of the grapefruit, the little dance demo he made on CJMs beatboxing (one of the All Stars)
In my everyday life, at work, I am a true Jukebox. My specialty? The old 80’s-90’s tunes, the kind of songs that are placed in the « No Man’s Land – Biohazard » folder of your MP3 player and you don’t want to reveal to anyone because you’re not always comfortable about it …
So when I heard the New Kids On The Block « Step By Step » – music I annoyed all my colleagues with – , I feel DJ Prophet gave me a secret shout out… But he does not know …
The show is supposed to start at 5 PM. I arrive at 2 minutes to 5 and idiotically, i start queueing up in the line of those who are trying their last chance to buy a ticket; fortunately, a nice girl warns me I don’t need to be in the line if I already have a ticket (my case).
In a dash, I pass the security check, I go inside the venue, open the door of the theatre and then… I can feel the base changing the rythm of my heartbeat; the crowd that I can barely see in the darkness but I can sense its presence by the raising clamor; the heat taking my body over… All this is overwhelming.
I let a short and quick « wah » come out of my mouth as my breath is taken. (When I was a little kid, my cousin punched me in the belly; first, the oxygen flies away, then you make a « ggfffooouu »… The next thing you know is that your body is lying desperatly on the floor). Different causes, same effect.
My two heart crushes, apart from what has already been mentioned so far are the interludes « clap yo ‘hands » and « new jack swing » (if you were actually there and you do not remember those parts, no panic: I just have baptized them). The common point of these moments is the communion that existed between all stakeholders, namely the pubic, the All Stars, the DJ and MC (volunteers, security staff, photographers, sorry but once again, you are the fifth wheel of the carriage)
❖ « Clap yo’ hands »: Vicelow hits a rhythm with his hands and everyone follows. The tempo gradually increases. Well, that’s all. Except that when a bunch of people does it simultaneously, it’s a very astonishing effect …
❖ « New Jack Swing »: at the very end, as to say « let’s part with some dance steps ». New Jack Swing is a style of the late 80’s – early 90’s, which tends to fade from the collective memory and thus truly deserves to regain visibility.
Therefore, for this e’verybody dance’ moment at the end, a big thank you…
Unfortunately, the I LOVE THIS DANCE ALL STAR GAME 5 was the last one.
A little above, i was saying that i almost chocked when i entered the theatre. A few minutes after I had this feeling, Vicelow made this sad announcement. My first reaction was telling to myself « damn, this is the last time you have a sensation like this ».
But, let’s think positive: Jay Z declared in 2003 that he was retiring from his rap career…
With that said, I leave you with my « eyes stinging quality » picturama (irony). =>click to enlarge<=