@Collabodance 2013 #Collabo2013 at Stratford Circus
Once again I was like I’m not going to type up a review for the show but I end up doing it because it was just that amazing. I don’t know how they do it but every year it gets bigger and better. I remember the first time I went it was more street dance stuff. Now you see more white folks, oriental folks and I could have spotted an Indian or two in the there.
What its about – Up coming dance groups get together and collaborate to a piece of music. Usually mixed songs. And if they don’t collaborate, then it’s a sort of interpretation.
I’ll just get into the bits which really caught my attention.
- Shun and Jacque Price Collective: The guy was mad flexible while the girl was too (for her size).
- Slum Civilians and Emer Walsh: This was very refresing as you see the women in dresses and guys all dapper instead of the usually sneakers, caps and tees.
- Lukas MrFarlane: Apparently some winner of somethings got talent shows or something something. The dude was busting ballet moves in jeans and one sock!
- Turbo: I never thought I’d ever see krumping that moved me so emotionally. I mean apart from the aggressive emotions… this one was deep!
- Final: The last one was so huge I didn’t know what to think. Which brings me to the bad points.
- They tried something new with the lighting and it didn’t work out too well. Either you couldn’t see the moves properly or they weren’t in the light sometimes.
- Some of the performances had too much going on in different parts of the stage so when you see a ‘ooohhh’ move on one side you miss it on the other.
Just some note:
- I saw the guy that wowed me last time and he was just part of the audience but hey it was still great.
- Yellow/Fat Boy/Ricky Norwood/The Presenter: Always entertaining, always funny and he’s got some new jokes too.
Collabo 2011 – Stratford Circus
Just after I told Viv I’m gotta stop reviewing Collabo… they blow my mind. For those that don’t know. Collabo is an even where dance companies or schools get together and interpret a piece of music mixed by various … mixers in UK. I wont get too into it. Just the main bits. First of all major props to all the dance companies… they have upped their game big big bigggggg time! Opps… looks like I deleted my notes… anyway Ricky Norwood/Fat Boy from Eastenders always presents this and I gotta say… without him… Collabo wouldn’t be Collabo. He’s lively, funny and all the other good stuff. So I guess I have to do this out of memory…
I don’t remember the names but this Christain group did some crumping that was crazy! Some of the performances were so dope… I was emotionally moved! The female power group did their thing. That reminds me some hotties have appeared on the scene. Always a good thing. A lot of mixes had a lot of Kanye West’s new album. Hell they even showed a short movie which looked like a tribute to Kanye’s Runaway short. Props to their effort but there wasn’t really a story. There was some face crumping which I thought was original and … special. Lol. There was a dance battle with a solo dude and a BMX rider. There was an improv interpretation… now that was something refreshing and funny.
Now for this Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy dude. He was really good with his groups/company/school but when he did the solo I wanted to explode man. This guys face is so intense, his dance moves so amplified and … man all I can say is dude had PRESENCE! So once again Big up Viv for hooking up the tickets. I was getting kinda bored with the same old hip hop and dance things coz it’s like same stuff different names and places but this time they came out with some freshness… apart from biting too much from Kanye.
First of all Viv got tickets right up front which was great most of the time unless one of the performers was blocking our view, which happened only once. Second, the stage was one of them circular ones so there was a 360 degree audience. Third, they had screens overhead and I wish they were a little lower coz I missed on some cool video effects. I think the only time we all looked at it properly was when one of the performers was telling us his story in Portuguese and we needed translation.
Now for the main bit. Well simply put it’s a hip hop circus from Cali, Columbia. First there was this funny guy and his big can. Picture Ne-yo and Hulk have a baby. His microphone head set wasn’t working so that was kinda disappointing. Suddenly more and more performers come on stage doing acrobatics, a bouncy funambulism, german wheel, springboard jumping, etc. While a couple of guys would be beatboxing and rapping. Overall the main thing I was impressed with was the big ass hoop Ne-yo Hulk balanced on his head while acrobatic girl balanced on all parts of the hoop and hung and etc. It is worth watching but beware of blunders once in a while. Bit of street dance, bit of break dance, very few hints of capoeira.
Note: I never bother with the Metro but the first time I did and found an article on these guys so check out the things they do…
- Blondin: Named after Jean-Francois Gravelet’s stage name. Using ropes like springboards. And these guys were bouncing off the ropes with their butts and crotches. They had to wear special underwear for that.
- Banquina: Performers flip on and off each other from the wrists, creating human towers 5 people high. Landing on shoulders etc.
- Springboard: One light person on one end. Two big guys jump on the other end and they do flips in the air and all sort of stunts.
- Frontal Perch: This is the big hoop balanced on the head while hottie does her contortions and stuff.
- German Wheel: Basically a big metal hoop that performer spread into and basically spins with it, around it, or just sits while it circles him.
Bit of history – British unicyclist Felicity Simpson started out the whole thing when she got to Cali and saw the potential for the street kids. Though she does not like to use the word street kids as she does not want folks to come to the show in sympathy.
Mugged (at some school):
At Puj’s school about kids too scared to cross the park coz of the gangsters. Quite realistic… in this case they killed of the Indian dude. Then there was the Chinese Whispers lol and of course the Preacher man/boy I couldn’t stop convulsing from laughter… even though Meera POKED MY PALMS OUT! Of course it was with love. Had Thai after that and reminisced about my ‘experimentations’. Yo Hemil had cracked me up earlier ‘Paras does your cousin think I’m a Robert?’ LMAO! So I retold it and Puj thought I said rowboat.
Comedy Night for Leukemia – Trent Golf Park
When we first got there we felt kinda out of place as Oakwood is mostly Greek and what I recently found out… Greek from Cyprus. And then a bunch of black folks took the table right in front of the stage so that was gonna be something lol. The setting was amazing, we got finger food and sweet things. Ordering drinks at the bar was a mission though and after a few drinks most of the folks there I guess knew each other so it would turn into a social every now and then. My suggestion to stop that and focus on the act is something I learnt from Ray Charles’ movie where you turn down the audience lights completely since we got candlelight on the table anyway and that should do the trick.
As for the acts… we agreed the MC/presenter (Philberto) was the best. Excellent improv and natural delivery. The first act was a German dude (Henin Wen) and his stuff was painfully awkward and pretty Nazi. In my note’s I’ve put low jpm (jokes per minute). Second act was good. His one liners were good but talked too much… as in his jokes should have been oneliners but the words turned them into more than one.
MC comes back with one amazing line I gots to use somewhere… it goes something like I got a big dick but in your mouth it’d look small… coz some lady was talking too much. The 3rd act (Julian Deane) was not bad… I think by now the audience were comentating or just mingling so maybe it would have been better if they were quiet. His execution could have been better. MC gets a bit of crowd participation before bring on the 4th act. Joe Rowntree was electric… Picture Dane Cook’s energy and Ben Stiller’s looks. Great execution and rapport, material people could identify with in real life and lots of creativity… he’d get more props but the crowd were getting verbally rowdy.
We thought that was it but we had a surprise appearance by the dude that sold us the tickets. Chris Mousicos… he does stand up too! And he gave us a bit of history about how the Marathon has it’s roots with Greeks. See the Greeks were gonna fight Persia but they had to honour some rule of not fighting on a full moon and some dude was made to run around… and by the time the Greeks reached Marathon… well you can wiki it coz Chris kinda turned it into stand-up so I don’t know which bits were authentic.
After that they had a raffle thing with lots of footie signed prizes and auctioning items like a lifesize cutout of Tony Philippou in a superman costume… who is he you ask? He’s the dude that will be running the Marathon for Leukemia. At some point it started to drag so we left. But yeah big up Chris for hooking it up. The comedy night itself raised £3000! And Tony raised 7 grand.
Update: Just spoke to Chris and he says there’s an Indian MC too and he’s really good so gotta youtube Imran Yusuf.
One of the first things I learnt from my first breakdance video is there are 2 kinds of props/respect. One is from the crowd or you could also say newbies and the other is from your opponent or you could also say people who’ve been in the scene longer. So while newbies will give props to a b-boy/b-girl for the quantity of moves e.g. lots more spins, the experienced will give props to the quality of combos and different styles. This is where Viv, Kim and Debra agreed that it was more for newbies and lacked story… and I concur. Even when reviewing the whole thing I was like I can’t really call this breakdance… it was more street dance and watered down breakdance.
So it’s not that bad of a downer as the target market was a family audience anyway. The bits that impressed me was the tap dancing and belle they threw in. They played with fairytale music which was pretty entertaining. Lots of street dance, popping locking, glides and slides. So all that was impressive. What was really astounding was the backdrop of wall to wall and ceiling to floor drawers. And it was amplified with some brilliant lighting. Major props go to the lighting… making the drawers look 3D then lit up tiles like the Billie Jean vid. And it was a high wall! Bits of comedy here and there and a song and dance about vegetables. Some battles to ‘keep it real’ lol. And some beatboxing.
I took detailed notes about the performances but unfortunately it’s not earned it’s place in the review. In fact the outro was really long too and I aint trying to be clapping so much till you earn it!!! So yeah… it’s worth seeing the show for the lighting, but sadly that’s about it. Big up Viv for the ticks.