Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ninjaboi casts his own ideal ABDC Season 6 - what do you think?

Here' the rest of Ninjaboi's explanation on how he would cast America's Best Dance Crew Season 6. It's detailed but definitely worth the read! Click here to leave comments and to watch the trailer again. Thanks Ninjaboi!

As the West Coast has all  champions thus far, there is a movement to try and dethrone them.  However, there are a ton of crews still in the West Coast that have bite in them.  Also, I decided to include the international crew here since the most crews that look to be most favored to appear in ABDC come from West of the United States. 

Instant Noodles – “They’re here to serve you in under three minutes!”
Now, Instant Noodles is a relatively recent crew, who came into our radar at the Season 5 auditions.  They are a bboy group of mostly Taiwanese Americans in California, who have competed at Hip Hop Internationals (placing 4th in the US Adults category), and have done various shows such as San Diego’s best dance crew. 
The reason I picked them for the show is A)the connection between HHI and ABDC (Kaba, Poreo, and Blueprint all came to the show after performing at HHI), B)all but one season have had a bboying crew, and C)all seasons need an all male, mostly if not all Asian crew.  But seriously, their Bboying skills and foundation are pretty legitimate, and their 4th place win at HHI has brought them to the producer’s eye.
If they were to go onto the show, I would recommend working on learning choreo, so as not to repeat the mistake of Massive Monkees, as well as continuing to do their bboying foundation, while powering up their power moves.

Elektroyles – “They’ve got the energy to go all day long!”
    As opposed to Instant Noodles, Elektrolytes was one of the very first crews to audition for ABDC, all the way in Season 1.  Based in Arizona, they have won Arizona’s Best Dance Crew, and continued to dance and try out for the show.
    Like Royal Flush and Hype, I believe this crew should be rewarded for their perseverance in continuing to try to get on the show, as well as the fact that their dancing covers many different styles.  They strike a fine balance between team tricks and choreography, which the judges seem to desire.
    If they were to appear, they should maintain their style of dance, while trying to find some sort of signature style or character to make the audience connect with them, avoiding mistakes of crews that had decent dancing, but relatively bland personalities.

Sweet and Sour – “From the land of Kiwis…”
    Now, I figured that there will be another international crew after Blueprint’s success.  If you look at all dance crews worldwide, that is a lot to sort through.  One way to ease the search is to look for crews that have gain a significant reputation in recent years, through competitions like BOTY or HHI.  Obvious choices appear such as Request, PAS, and BOTY competitors such as Last 4 One, Gamblerz, Ichigeki, or Project Soul. One common trait among these crews is the fact that they are all WEST of the United States so I decided to pick a West Coast crew. 
    Since we already have a bboy crew, BOTY winners were out.  PAS was invited, I believe, but as Poreotix said, they’re starting to focus on other things in life.  Sh*t Kingz and Prepix are two Japanese non-Bboy crews, but the former has too few members (collabing with Choreo Cookie members won’t work since CC won’t ever audition), and the latter would just incite Jabba-fans calling them biters.
    So between Request and SAS, I went with SAS partially because they’ve been more well known longer, and partially because I had footage of them on the ABDC stage and of them doing the Haka which I had to include. 
    About their dancing, they are similar to Quest in that they do both crazy tricks and choreography, but they tend to do more choreography than tricks.  Also, like Hype they inject flavor into all their routines.
    The only issue they would have in coming to the show is the obvious away team reaction, i,e, what Blueprint faced not receiving enough votes to get out of the bottom two for a long time.  Other than that, they’re a perfect ABDC crew

To be honest, there are loads of crews in the West there that are amazing.  So many, that if I stopped to try and think about it, I’d change my minds so many times. So I just went with these three as they were some of the first I thought of, pausing only to debate which international crew would compete.

Being the home of top crews such as SoReal Cru, Jungle Boogie, Strikers All Stars, and Royal Flush, the South has had a fair shot recently at taking the title.  While most of the Hip Hop dancing seems to be centered in Atlanta and Texas, with high energy moves seeming to be their trademark, Florida and precision crews still exist.

Marvelous Motion – “Their Motion is Marvelous, how about yours?”
    Now, I admit this crew with two assumptions.  One is Moon Di Zhang being on the team.  The other is Philip “Pacman” Chbeeb being free of his SYTYCD contract and competing with their team (Interesting to note how SYTYCTD alum all show up in ABDC.
    Mostly, Marvelous Motion is known for their choreography with a sprinkling of tricks.  However, with Moon and Pacman in the lead, they definitely fill a niche as a “precision” crew. 
    Should they make it, they have to be careful not to center too much attention on Moon and Pacman.  Individuals “carrying” a crew tends to be frowned down upon by the judges.  However, taking their leaders’s precision to heart, they should do decently, if not go all the way. 

Xternal Technique – “No longer content with being outsiders, they’ve come to show off their skills”
Now some may not favor this crew due to certain – ah – beefs they have with certain other crews bringing them to attention more than their actual dancing.  And while I will say that certain aspects of their choreography needs to be cleaned up, their battle skills are well deserved, and their self-confidence is admirable, to say the least.
Stylistically, I find that they favor popping and breaking power moves with a touch of krumping in favor of choreography you would find say from Hype 5-0 or Kaba Modern.  However, that interesting combination of breaking and popping as well as their self-assuredness makes for an interesting sell by the producers.
Should they make it to ABDC, I would recommend working on cleaning up synchronization, as well as finding ways to better flow between their different styles, such as putting in some new style choreography.

Second 2 None – “They claim to be Number One.  Are they really Second to None?”
    First, don’t confuse this crew with the one from California.  They’re from Austin, TX.  Now, I had never seen or heard of this crew until their audition tape for ABDC 5 was leaked.  And I must say I was truly a believer that they would go through.  They have tricks and bboys, while still hitting the new style choreography hard and on point.  I still have hope that they will try again next season and make it.
    Technically, they need to develop their transitions between segments of the dance. Like with Elektrolytes, they must develop a character that the audience can identify with. They may be a rookie team, but I feel that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Now, for other crews from the South, Footsoulgerz crew was the other one I was contemplating including, but the abundance of jerking in their performances dismayed me. 

To date the biggest threat to the West Coast dominance, the East has had many crews step up to the plate, with many more lined up behind them.

Phunk Phenomenon – “It’s the Phenomenon of Funk that’s sweeping the nation”
    Recently placing high in Hip Hop International (always a plus), this crew has been around for a long time.  While not necessarily limiting themselves to hip hop only, they definitely have the precision of crews such as Kaba Modern, while the theatricality of Jabba, not to mention a few tricks of their own that can wow the crowd.
    In terms of choreography, with few exceptions, they are near the peak of the game with relatively little to work on.  The only suggestion would be to, as with other crews, make sure that their personality shines through and that it is to America’s liking.  They are simply such a huge talented crew that there is certain to be a winning combination in there somewhere.

Ridonkulous- “It’s crazy, it’s silly, it’s Ridonkulous!”
    Now, when looking for a “flavor crew” to fill the roster, few come as close as compelling as nerds.  Us socially awkward denizens who can do your homework but have no motor coordination?  Yeah, we can move on the dance floor too.  From MIT, Ridonkulous (or some variation thereof such as Geek Chic) are not only talented in choreography, they have trickers, storytellers, and humor as well. This talent plus their story is something that a producer dreams of.
    In terms of presentation, they are surprisingly like Static Noyze of Jabba or Quest – most of their performances have a story, albeit nerdy in nature (evil scientist, Revenge of the Nerd, Lord of the Rings).  They also have the ability to do cultural dances, given the ethnic makeup of MIT, as well as more traditional hip hop.  And their tutting is one of the best I’ve seen in a whole group.
    If I were to change something about them when they get on the show, it would be making sure that the audience could follow their story line, as 45 secs is a really hard time to tell an indepth story.  Getting too worked up in the theatrics of it can hurt what dancing is to be had in the set.  Other than that, they just need to use their brains and focus on their strengths.

Point Blank – “They’re taking aim at the crown!”
    Another repeat auditioner, this crew from Philly tends to mix some humorous song choices, ie Spongebob Squarepants, in with their sets.  (This is different from crews that take serious songs and dance silly to them).  While being a choreography crew, they tend to have a fair amount of individual tricks and popping going on within a set. 
They definitely have the talent to back up their claim of Philly’s Best Dance Crew.  While they have the usual stuff, they also do some crazy things.  Like perform to a drum solo instead of regular hip hop music.  Trying to audition when their music cuts partway through intentionally and they keep on dancing till it resumes.  Stuff like that
    As is the case with about half these crews, their main concern is to develop a persona to present to America, as well as continuing their choreography, as well as their creative ideas.

To be honest, this was the hardest region for me to decide upon.  Aside from Phunk Phenomenon, there were so many other crews.  I was thinking that my lineup was missing “flavor crews” that represent a certain demographic of the population or a unique story, but at the same time there were so many talented crews that finding which “flavor crews” without short changing anyone who deserved it was difficult.  Other candidates included E3, NIA, Bollywood Funk, and Illmatic.

So there it is, my ideal, hopefully realistic lineup for ABDC6.  This probably won’t hold (No all female crew again), but I’d love this season should it happen.  Agree? Disagree?  Go ahead and post yours, but please, remain respectful.   

Click here to leave comments and to watch the trailer again. Thanks again, Ninjaboi!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Videos: Performances from Dance This including Massive Monkees and Nappy Tabs

More from the July 10 Dance This Festival: Here's the performance by Napoleon and Tabitha D'umo (NappyTabs):

And here's the finale featuring all the dancers showing hiphip, tap, Bhangra, contemporary and more:

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Interviews with We Are Heroes and Poreotics at Kababayan Fest

NickiSun in Now You Know interviewed We are Heroes and Poreotics backstage at Kababayan Fest. In this videoWe Are Heroes they talk about their costume design, why they're so proud to be the only women to win ABDC, and teach Nikki some moves.

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