Japan Dance Delight Vol 21 (2014)

So thanks to the good people at F&N and Omy.sg, I was one of the six bloggers writing for Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5 blog challenge. It was quite an experience for me as it was my first blogging assignment. Also, Singapore Dance Delight is one of those events I’ve been following since it started back in 2010. I was frankly, quite surprised to receive a call that I’ve won the blogging challenge and will be flying with Flair Origins to Osaka for Japan Dance Delight Vol 21.

At that point of time, I was also kind of worried because I had just booked my block leave of two weeks to do my version of Eat Pray (But No) Love in Bali. Which meant that in the month of July/August, I would be in Bali for two weeks, back in office for two weeks then away to Japan for a week. Thankful for supportive team mates and bosses, I managed to get all my leave approved.

*Dances a celebration jig*

If you’re still in the unknown about Japan Dance Delight – in short, it is a Japan franchised dance competition that brings the world’s best to one of the globe’s dance central, Osaka, to compete. In Singapore, we’re at its fifth edition of Singapore Dance Delight (SDD)

So the champs of SDD scored themselves a seeded place + sponsored trip to Japan Dance Delight 21.

Photo credit: Override Photography

So our trip began on 31 July 2014. We flew by SQ if you’re wondering!

Touch down at Osaka International Airport.

Japan Dance Delight was held at this awesome place – almost stadium like where the audience sits in curved seating.

Continue reading “Japan Dance Delight Vol 21 (2014)”

Singapore Dance Delight: Vol 5 – Wise words from previous champs

When… I was really young, I was taught by the previous champ of Singapore Dance Delight Vol. 4 for a while. I remember Mag as a passionate and patient teacher who drilled us in the basics of jazz. Fast forward… many years, Amin was teaching for a while and his classes were tough but I had so much to take away each time.

Mag + Amin = Megamint

They competed in SDD Vol 4 and repped Singapore in Japan Dance Delight. I bumped into them before the competition started and here are their top 5 tips for Flair Origins.

1. Rep your style hard

The judging criteria at each competition are different so check out the criteria before setting your piece. Go in-depth into your style instead of showcasing many styles. Amin had an interesting breakdown: 100% your style + 20% exploration because you need more than 100% for JDD.

2. Finding your crew’s identity

With so many crews at JDD, it is important to identify your crew’s Unique Selling Point and create your own identity. Mag shared something very important:

“Everyone’s dancing is so good, what makes you stand out from the rest?”

One of Megamint’s critique for JDD from the judges was that their item did not have a cohesive storyline. Having a flow helps your item stand out from the rest and keep the judges in the zone!

3. Plan your stage marking time well

Megamint’s item for JDD was five minutes long but they were only given two minutes to run the stage. Plan smart, if you have a stunt, run it full out. Chances are there wouldn’t be any time at all to run the item. Memorise the stage space.. within two minutes.

4. Disconnect with the audience

Well not really but competing away from home ground means.. you barely know anyone in the audience which may mean.. a deathly silence during your item. If feeding off energy from the audience is your thing, then it’s time to find another source to psych yourself. Mag mentioned that the audience seating is curved it, so the effect is almost 3D.

5. Soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the moment

Pretty duh right. Amin said that there were masseuse and physiotherapists on ground. Cameras are everywhere so look your best!

*Pictures used from Dance Delight Facebook

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5: Finals (Part 1)

So… The Singapore Dance Delight Finals just concluded last Saturday at Kallang Theatre. I think this is probably my 5th time attending SDD but it feels so different this round – because I am an official blogger with a media pass!

If you don’t know what SDD is all about – shame on you! No, just kidding, cycle back to my infographic that I had specially created for SDD to get the lowdown.

I always like the different photo opportunities and photo booths F&N creates.

I always maintain that only dancers will patiently queue so long

3D photo booth

This is my personal favourite – a fluorescent photobooth

With other official bloggers

Before we get started into the crews specific since it is SDD Vol 5, my top five thought tracks around SDD as a whole:

  • It looks like the judges are bringing back “DANCE” in Singapore Dance Delight. The judge’s comments and critique for both finals and prelims seem to centre around the importance of good dancing. The flashy and entertaining bits – nah, they could do without them.
  • The most overused song is Snoop Dog’s Smoke The Weed Everyday. It was used in three different crews including the champs.

  • Sheikh Haikel is hands down one of the best emcees you can get for dance events – he even threw in a little dancing this year! Fun fact: Do you know that he usually wears shades while hosting? The stage lights are superbly blinding that’s why!
  • It’s interesting to see how crews radically change their item from prelims to finals. For example, Roosevelt and A.O.C (both of my interviewees!) took the judges’ critique and changed their items for the better. This change is also… reflected in their rankings I believe.
  • It is indeed… different attending SDD as a blogger and a regular ole’ dancer.

Check out the crews in action!

The Freak Chicks

Whatever Werkz

LegitX

Pinoy Hip Hop

Colour of Life

MarWins

Project 1.0

Roosevelt

Sevengers

FMD Extreme

F.I.X

Limited Edition

Female Gangsta

All Out Crew (AOC)

4:13

Elders

Bustasoulz

The Dude

Flair Origins

Amberria

Feel Good

Freekzy Bots

The Gentlemen Collective

*Crew pictures are used with permission from Thomas Tan Photography. Kindly do not use his images without his explicit permission.

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5: Finals (Part 2)

Part 2 of SDD Finals

Judge’s line-up

Here’s a quick introduction to the judges and their comments on SDD Finals.

Pic cred: dancedelight.sg

Ryan Tan

 

One of the most respected pioneers of the local dance scene! Creative Director of Oschool and the man behind so many varsity and Oschool productions.

  • Don’t put on a concept around your item and forget about dancing altogether
  • While concepts/ideas are entertaining, the judges want to see the crew’s dancing

Shaun Evaristo

One of the most well-known choreographers in the entertainment scene. Some of his choreography includes: Taeyang’s Wedding Dress and Justin Bieber’s Believe World Tour. He’s also the founder of Movement Lifestyle – a choreographer management company/studio.

Henry Link

One of the pioneers/granddaddy in the Hip Hop scene. He was the founder of Elite Force Crew (of New York)  – which was one of the first crews to start dancing on tv/shows, hence, spreading the movement and culture globally.

  • Good concepts and dance crews
  • Great to see how the dance community has grown over the years
  • Don’t dance to be famous, dance because you love the craft

Acky

Lauded as one of the world’s best popper. His crews have won three instalments of Japan Dance Delight in 1998 (Vol.5), 2002 (Vol.9) and 2013 (Vol.20).

  • The SG dance scene has levelled up since his last visit in SDD Vol 1.
  • Important to have good dance skills and techniques because it is a dance contest

Dominique

Member of Wrecking Crew Orchestra – if I can say – one of the dopest Japanese crews around. They’re the crew which came up with the LED dance performance: YouTube

  • Good effort all around
  • His most importance judging criteria is: the dancing has to be good.

 

I think the general consensus this year is: “Save the flashy bits and get down to dancing”.

And so, the winners are…

Congratulations to Flair Origins! They’ve been around the scene for the longest time (7 years maybe?) and I really admire their crew for sticking around so long. Individually, they are all fantastic and strong dancers (especially in freestyle) and are frequent faces in the battles. They’re true advocates of the local dance scene too, in fact, I heard they’re going on on tour to 8 countries to give workshops.

I’m sure they will do Lion City proud.

They win:

  1. 4D3N sponsored trip to Japan Dance Delight Vol. 21, Osaka Japan by F&N Sparkling Drinks
  2. X-Mini UNO Speaker
  3. Cathay Cineleisure Movie Tickets
  4. Lenovo Yoga Tablet
  5. O School $1000 CASH

In second place: 4:13 (Four Thirteen) from Indonesia. The crew will be seeded in JDD. The prizes include:

  1. X-Mini UNO Speaker
  2. Cathay Cineleisure Movie Tickets
  3.  O School $800 CASH

 

Freekzy Bots rounded up third place with:

  1. X-Mini UNO Speaker
  2. Cathay Cineleisure Movie Tickets
  3. O School $500 CASH

 


 

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners at Singapore Dance Delight. Big thanks to F&N for presenting and Oschool for organising SDD each year. With every SDD, the standard of the local dance scene keeps getting pushed up!

For everything F&N visit: http://www.facebook.com/FnNFuN. They do lots to support the local dance scene so like their Facebook for updates!
*Stage pictures are used with permission from Thomas Tan Photography. Kindly do not use his images without his explicit permission.*

 

Conversations with Roosevelt

Last of the SDD interview posts!

This round, featuring the MANLY girls of Roosevelt! You must be thinking… how are these girls manly?

Like A.O.C., the girls are from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s hip hop dance club – New Revolving Age (NRA). Although they’re the sister crew to the boys, their style is so different. I think how NRA operates is quite different from NUS Dance Blast! – I know that NRA members attend classes that are taught by their seniors. In Blast, we only have one class a week taught by a single instructor (Pat).

The girls were put together by their seniors/instructors last year. Each of them started out with very different dance styles such as contemporary, Chinese dance and street jazz. It’s only with constant hard work and commitment, a crew starts to dance together as one.

Roosevelt started training intensively in February, usually about twice a week then it became 3…4… and soon, they were seeing everyone everyday.

Roosevelt first competed in SDD Vol.4 last year. I think this year, the girls showed a better standing and came out stronger.

Last year, the girls hit hard with an androgynous look. This year, they used a more feminine version of their “manly” look. In their words, last year they were “men”, this yearly, they are “manly”. Their look is quite distinctive too. The costumes were specially tailored and DIY-ed further to get the look they were looking for. The three buns are aerodynamic – it helps them dance faster!

I always don’t get how some people can dance with hair flying around. Hair-reography is tough. I always need my hair tied up.

Some of the choreography were done by themselves and some parts were by their seniors. The girls shared that they’re a very loving crew and seldom come across issues between themselves. They learn how to settle their differences very quickly and move on. I would have thought female dynamics are harder to work with! It always seems like the male crews last longer than female crews.

You can see throughout their interview, they’re constantly giggling and laughing!

 

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Conversations with Elders

I was actually a student of Temasek Polytechnic (TP) … for a grand total of maybe 3 days. When I was 16, I thought that perhaps, the diploma route was for me despite already being in another JC so I secretly applied for TP in the early part of the year. And got accepted way later.

My point is.. I could have been dancing with The Elders!

They’re all members of TP’s hip hop dance club, Temasek Polytechnic Dance Ensemble and have graduated into the alumni club – with the same initials but known as The Passionate Dancing Elders. How apt indeed.

The crew has a mixed range of ages, the eldest Elder has just finished National Service (Singapore’s conscripted army) and the youngest has yet to enlist which makes them between 20 to 23.

The Elders shared that Ben (the youngest Elder, left most) is the one who brought the crew together. He was itching to join SDD since Vol. 3 but never got around to it. This year, he decided it was THE YEAR. The Elders got together in Dec 2013 and started intensive training in Jan 2014.

The choreography is done by all five of them, it was really cute to see them using coins to personalise their blocking (more in the YouTube video). Doing the choreography together makes them feel like they own the steps and everyone of them feel for the steps.

The usual choreographic process is to come up with the steps, do the blocking then visuals. The Elders took it another round, they do the flow, blocking visuals then fill in the steps – this is sage advice from An An (one of the judges for SDD prelims).

The Elders are also a critical bunch of dancers – they mentioned that they are very OCD and perfectionist. I think it’s representative in their item and music choice too. Because they had such demanding criteria in their music choice, it took them quite a while before they could settle on song choice.

The Elders has been one of my top crews so far and I’m rooting for them this Volume.

Fun fact: The crew ordered their costumes online – leather pants and this floral jacket but they ALL tore their leather pants 2 days before the Prelims. I like their look – it’s fresh and vibrant.

The Elders will be tweaking their item for the Finals. Here’s my video interview with The Elders

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Conversations with A.O.C boys!

It’s been a while since I trekked to the west, it was almost reminiscent of my university days… but I had a date with some pre-NS boys!

I’ve met these boys before but never actually spoke to them. These are the A.O.C (All Out Crew) boys who are competing in Singapore Dance Delight Vol. 5. The boys are all recent grads of Ngee Ann Polytechnic and are part of the hip hop dance club, New Revolving Age aka NRA! And with all recent poly grads – it means these boys are enlisting in National Service (Singapore’s conscripted army service) soon.

Hanging out these boys makes me feel real old.

I’ve actually done a concert with their seniors before back when I was dancing with NUS Dance Blast! full time.

This year, the boys choreographed the entire Prelims item on their own. No small feat because imagine having seven brains put together trying to agree with each other. It also helps that they’ve been dancing together for a year.

I though this year, their look was more edgy and cooler. Also, they really do live up to their entertaining selves, they gave me the best fodder to play with for my YouTube video interview. Please win SDD finals!! If I win, I get to travel with these (super) young and entertaining boys. I’ll even think about a few more videos…

Since it is Vol. 5 of SDD, the boys gave me five words to describe their style of dancing:
1. Lines
2. Control
3. Speed
4. Strength
5. Facial Expressions

The boys also shared that they’ll be partially changing their finals choreo. TOP SECRET: They’ll be changing the concept of their item too.

For my interviews, I decided to add a little more fun, check out the short interview with A.O.C. I apologise for the bad video quality because I didn’t realise the camcorder that I was using was pretty low quality. In my mind, camcorder = for taking videos = good quality.

NOT TRUE.

It’s also my first time editing a video, please be gentle on me!

 

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Singapore Dance Delight Vol. 5 Prelims Part 2

So if I could sum up my thoughts on the finalists based on SDD prelims this year:

 

  • Single gender crews seem to be the norm this year, we’re seeing a lot of all-guys or all-girls crew in the finals. I feel that it makes sense to me as well, how a guy move is very different from a girl.
  • Crews are putting in more effort into costumes! It’s more common to see a crew dressed in the same clothing from top to bottom (including shoes). And no – I didn’t peek at anything inside but I could ask…

 

  • Themed/conceptualised items are the in thing now – Amberria brought across this “royal” image, Sevengers were some sort of broadway. How can I forget Rivals to Brothers?
  • The girl power seems weaker as compared to last year. Of course last year we had hot favourites G’De Rellas and Bla.Que.Neez. In Vol. 5, the men are killing it.
  • It’s all about hip hop and swag. Did anyone even remember Vol 4 champions, Megamint were a jazz/hip hop fusion duo?

To recap, these are the 15 finalists that you’ll see on 10 May!

They are (from left to right)

Top row: Limited Edition, MarWins, Elders,
Second row: Freekzy Bots, A.O.C, BustaSoulz,
Third row: The Gentlemen Collective, WhateverWerkz, Pinoy Hip Hop
Fourth row: Sevengers LegitX, Amberria,
Fifth row: Roosevelt, FIX, Flair Origins

The judge’s line-up

An An

Part of Da Street Soulz (champ of SDD Vol. 3) and represented SG in JDD in 2012. An An was also selected by famous Japanese producers – Wrecking Crew Orchestra – to be part of a dance ensemble for FAKEST 2011 in Tokyo and Osaka. Also, Ocrew and Oschool instructor.

  • It is important to make the right choice of music. You can’t just flip through your playlist and select the music you like. The music has to direct your competition piece.
  • Don’t cramp too many styles within your piece. It’s like putting through the judges through mood swings.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the two weeks to make changes to your routine.

Ryo

Of Beat Buddy Boi fame – one of the most famous Japanese Hip Hop crews around! Beat Buddy Boi won the actual JDD Vol. 18 in 2011.

  • Good performance and energy from all dancers overall, however, the dancing and technique need to be polished further.
  • Needs more originality and groove.

Ryan

One of the most respected pioneers of the local dance scene! I’ve taken his classes before, he is an amazing instructor too. Creative Director of Oschool and the man behind so many varsity and Oschool productions.

  • There is a big difference between a competition and concert item. You cannot be entertaining but without dance skills. Ryan mentioned that with certain crews humorous actions, it looked like only the crew’s fans/friends were cheering. The idea is to make the audience who don’t know you laugh.
  • Costumes need to make sense. He used a particular analogy – it doesn’t make sense for a crew to wear kimonos if only one song is Japanese.
  • Again back to music, the songs chose need to fit the crew’s styles and direction.
  • Ryan stressed the importance of dance skills. If a concept/theme is used, the concept/theme is meant to enhance the item. The crew ultimately still got to dance well. I feel that sometimes, it’s so easy to get carried away and indulge in the concept. After all, it is Singapore DANCE delight.
  • Lastly, Ryan brought up a very good point about emotions. It’s so easy to portray emotions using faces but he threw a challenge to the competitors – try emoting via your actions and movements.

Indeed, actions speak louder than words. A friend of mine also said if a dancer can’t even get the dancing right, how do you then perform?

With the rest of the official bloggers!

This year, F&N created the F&N Groove Nation 2014 App on F&N’s Facebook Page. They enlisted DJ pSyk (aka Ben) to create the Singapore Dance Anthem. Tosh Zhang (of Ah Boys to Men – he used to be part of Radical Forze (a bboy crew btw), Fredy Kosman (Ocrew and Oschool instructor) and Terence Then (of Joyce & The Boys – SDD Vol 1 & 2 champ and Wah! Banana) choreographed the steps.

You can send in your video and your video will be screened at SDD finals.

Tickets for the finals are on sale now online: At this link.

Date: 10 May 2014
Time: 7 – 10pm
Venue: Kallang Theatre
Tickets price: $20/$15 (Free seating)

Last year, the organisers gave out colour-coded wristbands which are your batch’s entry. Not too sure if this will be the system again but it means GO EARLY!

I’ll be tweeting and instagram-ing SDD updates via Dance Lah so follow for real-time updates!

Twitter: instagram.com/dancelah
Instagram: instagram.com/dancelah

For the latest information on SDD, follow F&N too!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FnNFuN
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FnNFuN

 

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.

Singapore Dance Delight Vol. 5 Prelims Part 1

I’ve been following Singapore Dance Delight (SDD) since the very first edition when Joyce And The Boys won the very first SDD five years ago.

Back then, you can see how different the dance scene was five years ago and how we have progressed on! P.S. Check out the dance costumes and stage size.

Pictures courtesy of F&N Facebook Page.

 Fast forward 4 years later, I have the good fortune to be invited by F&N and Omy.sg to cover SDD as a blogger! I don’t hide that I’m a PR girl by day (you can Google/LinkedIn me quite easily) so it was a refreshing experience to be hosted as media instead of hosting people. All I can say is: It is REALLY different from the other side.

Here’s an infographic I created with the help of Easel.ly for the back story on SDD.

 

 

*Images used from dancedelight.sg 

Things changed a little since last year. From SDD Vol 4, regional dance delights were hosted. The top 3 crews at Regionals (Indonesia, Philippines, & Thailand) were funnelled to SDD finals along with SDD prelims finalists. Essentially SDD is the “hub” for ASEAN. For SDD Vol. 5, the same concept is happening with the exception of no Vietnam regionals.

SDD Prelims were held at Vivocity Amphitheatre this year. Only 800 audience were allowed entrance so I heard queues started way early in the morning. Somehow, I think dancers are probably the only people who don’t complain about queuing to watch dance competitions.

Every year when I watch SDD, I think it’s always amazing to see local talent. Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are in Singapore to have so many competitions, it’s through these platforms the dance standard gets pushed higher. Thank you F&N for presenting & Oschool for organising SDD!

Tickets for the finals are on sale now online: At this link.

Date: 10 May 2014
Time: 7 – 10pm
Venue: Kallang Theatre
Tickets price: $20/$15 (Free seating)

Last year, the organisers gave out colour-coded wristbands which are your batch’s entry. Not too sure if this will be the system again but it means GO EARLY!

I’ll be Tweeting and Instagram-ing SDD updates via Dance Lah so follow for real-time updates!

Twitter: instagram.com/dancelah
Instagram: instagram.com/dancelah

For the latest information on SDD, follow F&N too!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FnNFuN
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FnNFuN

 

Photographs are used with permission from Overide Photography. Please check out the Facebook Page for more pictures!

I was not paid to blog about Singapore Dance Delight Vol 5. This series is an invitation by Omy.sg to blog about this dance competition as a blog challenge. Two bloggers will win a sponsored trip to Japan which includes: flight, 3 nights accommodation and entry to Japan Dance Delight.