When movement becomes art - a closer look at street dance
Chase reporter Chloë Ramaekers and photographer Sebastiaan Franco visited the Style Kings & Queens International Street Dance Festival in April, where they interviewed and photographed several attendees and dancers about their passion for street dance. Read their story about passion, expression and self-development down below.
Text by Chloë Ramaekers & Lowie Claperon, Pictures by Sebastiaan Franco.
“You gotta feel this thing. It’s not easy, you’re not gonna get it right away. But being new at something is pretty cool anyway. There’s beauty, even in the nervousness of trying. You want to get the execution right, because that’s when you’re understood the most. If you can kiss the person you love, you’re going to do it. You grab every chance you can to express your emotions. This is why you practice dance. This is when movement becomes art. Without it, it would just be a bad form of exercise.”
American Street Dancer Byron Cox phrased the nature of dance whilst judging at the Style Kings & Queens International Streetdance Festival in April. Host Kaipo Brewée, a Brussels street dancer, choreographer and dance teacher, invited dancers from all over the world for the two-day event, where dancers got to connect with each other through dance battles and workshops.
Among these dancers were Chris-Shaik Mathis (US), Iron Monkey (US), Rookie Roc (Belgium), Obelixx (Portugal) and Bboy Storm (Germany) to name a few. They all generally shared the same vision, which surpasses the paradigms of art, business and community.
Dance isn't about having or making a lot of money. Most of these dancers didn’t start on a big stage. American dancers like Shaik and Byron Cox danced in places like the iconic NYC underground club The Roxy during the early nineties, whereas the Belgian dancer Rookie Roc started out on the streets in Brussels. Rookie and his crew had to make due with small mp3-players instead of sound systems.
They started dancing out of passion. Making a living through dancing wasn’t even on their minds, Though indivertibly, business became a part of their lives.
Shaik, who went on to choreograph for artists like Guy and Bobby Brown, called the power of entertainment and mainstream media over an individual disturbing: “What’s happening in the industry has nothing to do with the dance or the culture. Dancers are being maltreated by the industry and their own lifestyle. People are selling each other out. The business, the money, it has nothing to do with the true agenda of dance.”
Events like International Streetdance Festival try to preserve the soul of dance. The contestants at the event don’t care about image or status. They are a family, in which age or background is of no importance for the process of growth. Sitting in on the workshops, we got captured by the positive, constructive vibes. The dancers did their own thing, expressing themselves and connecting with others.
Through these kinds of events they meet new people and exchange ideas and experiences. San Francisco b-boy Iron Monkey states: “Communication is the most important aspect of life, we forget that sometimes. We’re so absorbed by all this technology that we forget to communicate. People are nervous around other people now, haven’t you noticed?”
Every dancer we talked with emphasized the same idea: No dancer should come in with a battled mind. It’s all about exchange, not about coming in and taking the price. “Dancing is supposed to be a medicine. Who the fuck dances to be angry. A battle is good, but you can’t lose the sense of joy and sharing.”
During the event finale, the MC expressed the relevance of the genre with the following words: “This is how we did it back in the day. This is the essence of dance, have you ever seen so much love?"
Claudia Glo' Congiu
All new articles
Refugees for Refugees: “sharing music is the best solution for overcoming prejudices”Refugees for Refugees reunites ten musicians from different countries and backgrounds who share the same passion for music. Their second album "Amina" is a new chapter of their life and a result of a long travel of share and experience. On the 16 February, they will perform at AB concert for the release of their second album.
How blackwave. crashed the MIA’s & top 5 red carpet looksAs Belgium's only red carpet music event, the Music Industry Awards (MIA's) - presented by Flemish broadcaster VRT, was an opportunity for its nominees to shine. Fashion forward artists like blackwave., Coely, Tamino, Roméo Elvis, and Charlotte de Witte deserve recognition for dressing like true rockstars.
Schrijf je nog snel in voor de derde Red Bull Music Bekvechten Battle!Neem deel aan de Red Bull Music Bekvechten Freestyle Battle op vrijdag 29 maart 2019 in De Studio in Antwerpen! Drop je freestyle video van max. 60 seconden in een persoonlijk bericht op de Facebookpagina van Red Bull Music Bekvechten voor vrijdag 15 februari 2019.
Chase marches for the climate on February the 14th!The Chase staff and interns plan to join all the youngsters in Brussels with the Chase community, and would like to be present as numerous as possible. If we haven’t met yet, or you’re just following us on social media, it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and tag along!
MVNSI tells his story: “they’ve turned me into a controversial artist”
Fabrice Munsi (27), a.k.a. MVNSI, started to pursue his musical career only a year ago and was recently selected as a Studio Brussel "Nieuwe Lichting" finalist. But it didn't take him long to find out that there's also a less appealing side to chasing the so-called fame. Getting in the spotlight means your every move is watched more closely. Someday they might even dig up the dirt from your past. (Are you feeling the heat yet?)