Monday, July 26, 2010

Letdown At The Final Showdown

Three street dance crews competed in the grand finals of Showdown 2010 aptly called the Final Showdown held on July 14 at KL Live in Kuala Lumpur. They were Wakaka Crew, Giller Battle Crew and Floor Fever. Comprising of seven members each, the three crews were the survivors from the original twelve finalists at the start of the competition which premiered over 8TV on March 31. The host of the Final Showdown which was telecast live was Hafiz Hatim while the panel of judges comprised of Maple Loo, Boudeng Edonce, B-Boy Choco and Joe Flizzow. The winner of the competition got to take home a prize money of RM50,000.

At the grand finals, each crew had to perform two routines each. After their performances, the audience and TV viewers at home were urged to sms their votes for their favourite teams. The team with the least votes would be eliminated and the remaining two teams would then battle it out to determine the winner, also through sms votes. All three crews were in their elements and gave their all. I quite liked Floor Fever's performance and interesting choreography. However sad to say, they received the least votes in the first round and were eliminated. In my opinion, Floor Fever should have made it to the battle with Wakaka Crew.

In what looked like an anti-climax, Wakaka Crew went on to slay Giller Battle Crew in the battle to emerge champions. The problem with these TV reality dance shows is that the viewers would often vote for their favourite dancers rather than for the best dancers. It happened during the Strictly Come Dancing Season 6 shows in the UK in 2008, so much so that the judges had to remind the TV viewers to vote for the best dancers and not for their favourite dancers. In Malaysia, the grand finals of So You Think You Can Dance Season 2 in 2008 caused a hue and cry when it appeared that the favourite and not the best dancer had won the competition.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shake It Like Shakira

When the world was introduced to Colombian singer Shakira, what struck everyone was her amazing hip gyrations. Who knew the human form could move like that? Her agility and breath breaking style got people talking and hoping that they too (or their wives), could shake their booty the way she does. So if you've always wanted to learn how to belly dance, but never got around to enrolling in a class, perhaps its time you got cracking. Or visit FemmeCity in Kuala Lumpur on July 31 and better, get acquainted with the dance.

Veteran belly dancer and tutor Nancy Bakhshy (pic) will be conducting a workshop entitled Belly Dancing for Great Physique at noon, to show what it's all about. "I will teach participants to use all the different muscles in their bodies", says Bakhshy who has been teaching the art form in Malaysia since 2002. Bakhshy has an academy in Kuala Lumpur with students from as young as 7 to as old as 75, so it doesn't matter how old you are. Born in Tehran to Turkish parents, Bakhshy grew up steeped in Turkish and Iranian traditions and cultures. She learnt to dance from her mother (also a dancer) and an Egyptian teacher. Her performance style is infused with folkloric and cultural elements which are woven into her choreography.

Bakhshy is a pioneer of belly dance here and she credits Shakira for getting people curious and interested about the art form. "In the beginning, not many people knew what belly dancing was about. Then Shakira showed them in her music videos. I remember when the ladies came to enrol, they would say I want to dance like Shakira." In fact, Bakhshy uses the sultry Colombian singer's songs for her classes including the catchy hit Hips Don't Lie. She believes that belly dancing can bring diverse benefits and is not really that difficult to learn. "Belly dancing is really an easy workout for ladies. As it uses mainly the abdominal muscles, women can tone their bodies. Some of them have even said it is easier than doing sit-ups."

At the FemmeCity workshop, Bakhshy will go all out to inspire women to feel good about themselves through the dance. She hopes that by the end of her session, they will enrol (for belly dance lessons) and come out dancing. For more on FemmeCity (www.clovetwo/femmecity), make your way to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from July 30 to August 1. Admission is free. This article by Olivia Lee appeared in the Starmag section of Sunday Star on July 11 and has been republished with the kind permission of Star Publications (M) Berhad.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Holograms And Home Entertainment

The 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa comes to an official close today after a month of soccer mania. Football fans all over the world were able to watch the games live at giant screens set up in their city parks or squares. In Kuala Lumpur, two jumbo screens were installed at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) and fans were able to catch the matches at 7.30 pm, 10.00 pm and 2.30 am local time. Those following the games at home could avail themselves to the latest 50 inch, light emitting diode, high definition, 3 dimension TV or what is known simply as a LED, HD, 3D TV. That's quite a mouthful, isn't it? But nothing beats the thrill of watching the matches live at the stadiums, notwithstanding the cacophony caused by the incessant blaring of the vuvuzelas!

Recently I read in a science journal article that scientists are working on a holographic projection system whereby people would be able to watch holograms of any events around the world live. Let's take for example the 2014 FIFA World Cup which will be held in Brazil. If all goes well with this system, scientists would be able to transmit holographic images of a football match being played in a stadium in Brazil live to another stadium elsewhere; let's say the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. Spectators in KL will be able to see holograms of the World Cup football players playing in the Bukit Jalil Stadium. The players will appear life-like in three dimension and the spectators in the Bukit Jalil Stadium will feel as though they are watching the games live in the stadium in Brazil.

This holographic projection system has got many people all excited. Imagine being able to watch the Olympic Games or All England badminton finals here in Malaysia. Or feel the excitement of the Blackpool Dance Festival. Other possibilities include watching concerts, operas and shows. It is in home entertainment that the holographic projection system offers the greatest potential. Scientists are also working on a home video entertainment system whereby you can watch holograms of your favourite entertainers right in your living room. Wouldn't it be great to be able to see Lady Gaga perform 'live' before your very eyes, watch Michael Malitowski & Joanna Leunis dance a cha cha cha or gape at Michael Jackson moonwalk across the floor? That, would be simply awesome!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dancesport To Debut In 2010 Asian Games Guangzhou

The 16th Asian Games 2010 will be held in Guangzhou, China from November 12 to 27. Some 10,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions in this part of the world (stretching from East to West Asia) will be competing in 476 events in 42 sports during the Games. Of the 42 sports, 28 are Olympic sports while the other 14 are sports which are popular in Asia. The 14 non-Olympic sports include dragon boat racing, kabaddi, sepak takraw and dancesport. This is the second time that China is hosting the Asian games, the first being the 11th Asiad in Beijing in 1990.

Dancesport is being introduced for the first time in this Games and hopefully will feature in future Games as well. Individual medals will be awarded for the 5 ballroom (Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot, Tango & Viennese Waltz) and 5 Latin American (Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Samba & Paso Doble) dances. China is expected to win the lion's share of the 30 medals at stake. Other strong medal contenders are Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The last three countries are Asian dancesport rising stars and are expected to spring some surprises.

Malaysia will most likely be taking part in the dancesport events at the 16th Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou. I understand the selection of dancers is in process and hope that the best will be chosen to represent Malaysia. The Games is only four months away and the dancesport events will be closely watched and followed by the dance fraternity in Asia as the best dancesport athletes from Asia will be competing at this Games. It would be great if Malaysia can win at least one bronze medal in the dancesport events. That's not asking too much, is it?

Related Posts

> Dancesport Results Of The 2009 Asian Indoor Games Vietnam

> Kazakhstan - A Rising Star In Dancesport