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Breaking, locking & Popping
May 24, 2014 1:43 PM   Subscribe

From the VIBE hip hop dance competition (University of Southern California, Irvine / Segerstrom Hall - January 18, 2014): 2nd place, The Company

3rd Place, Akashi Breakers
1st place, Academy Of Villains
posted by growabrain (36 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
If we're not ready for Regionals, the club is gone forever!
posted by dhartung at 1:54 PM on May 24


Amazing. I love how dramatic the subtlest twist of a leg can be when you have 12 or 15 people doing it in perfect unison.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:11 PM on May 24 [5 favorites]


What is breaking, locking, and popping?

It sounds what I am doing after I passed the age of 40 and I try to dance now in my old age.
posted by Orion Blastar at 2:39 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


What is breaking, locking, and popping?

I did not know either: Apparently, they were the main dancing styles for early Hip hop. The whole wikipedia article was enlightening to me, and I thought of including it in the post, and eventually did not.
posted by growabrain at 2:59 PM on May 24


Oh yeah I totes dance like that....in my head.

I have always harbored a secret dream to be in a dance troupe like that.

Also, I felt like Michael Jackson choreographed that and that is not snark. As much as I didn't really like his music after Thriller, he was such an incredible dancer. It's so neat to be see that influence grow in such amazing ways.

I had to keep remembering that when they appeared slowed down or speeded up like the dancers in many music videos, it wasn't an effect...they were dancing that way. That is just so freaking amazing.

And if that was 2nd place I'm a little scared to watch 1st bc my head might explode from teh awesome.
posted by sio42 at 3:04 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


I had to keep remembering that when they appeared slowed down or speeded up like the dancers in many music videos, it wasn't an effect...they were dancing that way. That is just so freaking amazing.

Me too. I wondered for a min if the video recording had a timing glitch. But no, it was the dancers' controlling their own time. Great stuff.
posted by Kerasia at 3:10 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Uh yeah my head exploded.

I prefer the style of The Company, but good lord...Academy of Villains...that was just intense.
posted by sio42 at 3:12 PM on May 24


So now I'm just going thru YouTube watching the videos that show up as related.

If you enjoyed The Company, you should check out their.other stuff on YouTube. They did Turn Down For What and it's pretty awesome.
posted by sio42 at 3:18 PM on May 24


The 1st place performance...OMG!
posted by Quasimike at 3:19 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


Like figure skating, the crowd reacts to things sometimes that make no sense to me.
posted by clvrmnky at 3:19 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Well, that was all incredibly impressive. I too preferred the style of The Company, they were so sharp and clean, but Academy of Villains were amazingly theatrical and creative. The Akashi Breakers were a lot of fun too, and I wouldn't have thought their music choices would have worked before seeing them perform to them.

And wow, The Company's little violin version of Drake's Hold On We're Going Home was absolutely lovely. I loved that they worked live music in.
posted by yasaman at 3:23 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


Akashi Breakers wouldn't play on mobile so I just now watched that too. I'm not sure their legs have bones or joints in the same way mine do.

I really like that the 3 winners were each the best of their respective types of dance.

So cool.
posted by sio42 at 3:33 PM on May 24


That was amazing. Like a few others here I preferred The Company's style as well. They seemed to get more detailed movements and interactions in there.

But the Academy of Villains definitely brought showmanship. And some aggressive energy. Now I want to see the West Side Story opening scene but with the Academy of Villains instead of those guys hopping around snapping their fingers.


By the way, the video of The Company in the post here links to footage from the front row. Here's the video from the same angle as for the other videos.
posted by bjrn at 3:36 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Like figure skating, the crowd reacts to things sometimes that make no sense to me.

That's got to be a crowd full of dancers, so I'm assuming there are some things that look effortless to the lay viewer, but that dancers know are hard as hell to pull off.
posted by yasaman at 3:40 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


Man, I saw that the company video the other day. They were SO. PRECISE. I see why Academy of Villans won, given the creativity of the end of their routine, but the rest of it was.. meh.
posted by zug at 3:48 PM on May 24


By the way, the channel on which these videos are posted has playlists with videos from lots of other competitions as well.
posted by bjrn at 3:48 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


Great post, flagged because it`s the University of California- Irvine. University of Southern California is a private school about 40 miles away from Irvine. I work at USC, theyd never host a competition like this without fucking it up somehow (not the best history of racial relations at whitebread USC), UCI deserves credit!
posted by holyrood at 5:25 PM on May 24 [8 favorites]


I'm always so impressed when huge groups get so perfectly in sync like that - it's so, so hard.
posted by smoke at 5:34 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah I totes dance like that....in my head.

I have always harbored a secret dream to be in a dance troupe like that.


I will totally join your imaginary dance troupe, sio42.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:49 PM on May 24


Quasimike: "The 1st place performance...OMG!"

Yeah, that marionette thing broke my brain. And then the silhouette finale....!
posted by notsnot at 7:12 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


University of Southeren California, Irvine / Segerstrom Hall

Wait, USC in LA, or UC-Irvine?
posted by hal_c_on at 8:40 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


Great previous pop and lock post.
posted by fieldtrip at 8:45 PM on May 24


NOOICE!
posted by edheil at 11:18 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Great post, flagged because it`s the University of California- Irvine. University of Southern California is a private school about 40 miles away from Irvine. I work at USC, theyd never host a competition like this without fucking it up somehow (not the best history of racial relations at whitebread USC), UCI deserves credit!

Actually, it gets more confusing than that. There's no Segerstrom Hall at UCI; Segerstrom Hall is part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. So maybe this is a video of UCI's or USC's dance team performing at Segerstrom Hall?
posted by yoink at 6:40 AM on May 25 [2 favorites]


What is breaking, locking, and popping?

I did not know either: Apparently, they were the main dancing styles for early Hip hop.


Popping and locking predate hiphop (or, at least, the crystallization of hiphop into a cohesive cultural movement) by a few years--this stuff is almost 50 years old...that's some rock you folks have been under--and are really more properly associated with funk. They incorporate elements of traditional dance and mime. Breaking broke on the east coast alongside rapping and DJing. It's more like gymnastics.

Essentially:
- Locking is a series of quick, jerky transitions from one static position to another
- Popping (as an umbrella term for a dance style, rather than merely the same-named move thereof) is what you're doing when you're doing the robot
- If your head is making contact with the dance floor, you're probably Breaking in one way or another.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:51 AM on May 25 [5 favorites]


Well, thanks, MeFi. While I've liked watching breakdance, locking, popping, krumping, etc., before, one aspect of dance I've never gotten any enjoyment out of is the "20 people all doing the same moves" thing. I'm thinking Michael/Janet Jackson background dancers style stuff, Bollywood stuff, etc. It always bored me sooooo much, so I never found it entertaining. With these videos, that's another "I've never" I can cross off.
posted by Bugbread at 5:43 PM on May 25


I too liked The Company more - Academy of Villains wasn't as snappily synchronized. Entertaining, though - I loved the marionette segment.
posted by winna at 6:30 PM on May 25


I thought this was going to be a streetstar 2014 post but this is also very satisfying
posted by elizardbits at 9:03 PM on May 25


Another reminder, for me, of how insular New York can be -- it kinda blows my mind there's people who don't know what popping and locking are. It's a daily occurrence on the streets and subways here.

Here's what struck me: the racial makeup of The Company. Speaks volumes of how very far popping and locking have traveled from their roots, and how much Asian countries have taken the style up with aplomb. The voyage of Breakin' 2 to Japan (about which, here's the result of some lazy Googling, I know there's better history out there someplace) has had a profound impact on the history of dance and music, I think.
posted by gusandrews at 9:53 PM on May 25 [1 favorite]


That's got to be a crowd full of dancers, so I'm assuming there are some things that look effortless to the lay viewer, but that dancers know are hard as hell to pull off.

A few things stand out to me re: things the crowd is reacting positively to -

01) it is a lot harder to move slowly in unison than it is to move quickly. For a more real life applicable example imagine doing a push up very slowly compared to a normal one. I think the second place crew does this really well, and they would have been my choice for first.

02) some of the things the crowd was cheering were in general just really classic moves

03) when you have a large crew of dancers there is an unavoidable monotony with everyone doing the exact same thing at the same time. this is why the dancers are often broken up into 3-4 groups all doing their own distinct but similar thing. choreographing stuff like right side and left side groups mirroring outwards is impressive work. I think the first place crew was slightly weak on this aspect in that they had, to my eye, a little too much in unison choreo going on.

04) everybody loves the slow jams

05) everybody loves the trickin

disclaimer: i am not now nor have i ever been a street or crew dancer
posted by elizardbits at 10:15 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


The Company is from New Zealand! That rules! I loved the themes in theirs... But the first segment of Villains'... It justified the existence of dub step. It actually did.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:15 AM on May 26


Oh, and I took a breakdancing class once. Never was I so quickly convinced that I would never be any good at something.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:16 AM on May 26


That was so slick it looked like animation.

(I watched it with the sound off (sleeping baby), which probably helped the effect.)
posted by lollymccatburglar at 12:25 AM on May 26


Here's what struck me: the racial makeup of The Company. Speaks volumes of how very far popping and locking have traveled from their roots, and how much Asian countries have taken the style up with aplomb.

I think the racial makeup of "The Company" is not so much Asian as Polynesian; though I guess they get classified together in US census data.

So...to clarify the headline to this thread a little: a dance competition which has nothing to do with either UCI or USC was held at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, CA and the video features the 2nd place team which is from New Zealand.
posted by yoink at 7:24 AM on May 26


I think the racial makeup of "The Company" is not so much Asian as Polynesian; though I guess they get classified together in US census data.

The deal with New Zealand's Maori minority is that many of them long ago identified directly with African-American culture including hip-hop. (See 1994's Once Were Warriors for one evocative depiction.) The social problems have a lot of overlap, although there are also aspects that would probably for Americans map more to the American Indian experience -- at the same time much less culturally familiar even to white Americans. In any event, urban Maori culture is linked to African-American culture in ways that may not be immediately obvious from our point of view.
posted by dhartung at 11:46 AM on May 26


Although sadly, the Academy of Nice Guys finished last.
posted by Lucien Dark at 11:41 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


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