Monday, May 30, 2011

Breakdancers Take Midnight Break

Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur has become a popular spot for breakdancing at nights, with young adults showing off their skills in front of the Tune Hotel. When The Malay Mail passed by the area last Thursday, we saw more than a dozen b-boys and b-girls (as breakdancers are called) being watched by a big crowd of appreciative onlookers. Among the breakdancers was 24-year-old Westkarnain Mohd Yassin from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. "Breakdancing is very challenging as one makes full use of the body," said Westkarnain, adding that he first took it up when he was 14.

"This American dance is also considered an extreme sport and it's good that it has also been recognised by our Youth and Sports Ministry." added Westkarnain. Also known as B-boying, breakdancing is a street dance created by African-Americans in New York City as part of hip hop culture and became a rage from the 1980s. "In Malaysia, breakdancing was also popularised by local groups such as KRU, Nico and 4U2C in the 1990s," said Westkarnain. Among Westkarnain's breakdancing buddies was 18-year-old Sazaly Hasgli who is also from Kota Kinabalu.

"I recently competed in a breakdancing contest in a local reality TV programme and want to improve my skills in order to compete at an international level and make my family proud," remarked Sazaly. On weekends, Westkarnain and Sazaly, who both reside in Ampang here, would perform breakdancing in Bintang Walk in Jalan Bukit Bintang. "Sazaly and I plan to open a breakdancing studio in Kota Kinabalu during the next five years," said Wetkarnain. Meanwhile they will continue to rule at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Bintang Walk by night. (Sourced from The Malay Mail)

Monday, May 23, 2011

South Korea Hosts Argentine Tango Festival

The sultry South American tango is winning a big following in South Korea, and Seoul's third festival celebrating the passionate dance drew an international cast of enthusiasts. Dancers from Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Canada and Argentina got into the swing with scores of Koreans for the Seoul Tango festival from May 5-9.

"I didn't know so many dancers would come from so many places.... it's surprising to see such a huge tango festival here in Korea", said businesswoman Lee Chae -Won, 27, who has just begun learning the dance. But she is already under the sway of the tango and understands the attraction. "I think there's some sort of emotional interaction with the partner, and it soothes my heart when I dance the tango," she said.

"It's the indescribable interaction with the partner," said another local dancer, Ma Sang-Heun, 31, a Seoul elementary school teacher. "It feels as if I am whispering secret words." Tango took off in South Korea only about a decade ago but has grown rapidly in popularity, expanding from Seoul to other cities including Daegu and Busan which have studios dedicated to the dance. - AFP

Monday, May 16, 2011

KLDA Holds 29th AGM

Some 40-odd members of the Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) attended its 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Wisma OCM on May 8. The outgoing president, C C Lai, in his address spoke of the many trials and tribulations the KLDA had gone through all these years. He thanked the executive committee for a job well done in working together to overcome the obstacles, and in the effective management of the KLDA.

Lai talked about the many fund raising events held during his tenure. Monies collected from these events were channeled to charity and also to the scholarship fund for youth members of the KLDA. The dance teachers at the KLDA, Dean Craig Kim and Eric Tan See Ming were also praised for their dedication and contribution. In winding up his speech, Lai mentioned the 'legacy' of the KLDA, which he summed up as:

1) Two elegant dance halls in the centre of Kuala Lumpur

2) Available cash fund of RM138,092

3) Good potential for growth

4) Free of encumbrances and liabilities

The following were elected to the executive committee for the 2011/2013 term:-

President - Calvin Ong

Vice President - Joseph Wong

Secretary - Kathy Leong

Vice Secretary - Schlaine Wong

Treasurer - Grace Chan

Vice Treasurer - Jane Ong

Committee Members -

1) Wong Beng Choo

2) Kay Leong

3) Villy Chai

4) Kelly Choo

5) Lee Yip Seng

6) Wilson Chew

7) Tan Wei Nam

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nick Demoura Conducts Workshop In Malaysia

The next time you hear parents advising their children that dancing is no way to make a decent living, tell them about performer and dance instructor Nick Demoura. From dancing in family functions to choreographing routines for celebrities and Hollywood projects, the energetic 23-year-old has come a long way to garner the experience for the high-profile jobs he has been taken on. The Boston-native is currently touring with pop sensation Justin Bieber on his world tour, where he coaches the singer and his back-up dancers.

Demoura was in Kuala Lumpur with the Justin Bieber concert crew on April 20. Although he was in town for just about 40 hours, he managed to conduct a workshop for finalists of 8TV's dance reality show Showdown 2011. The dance maestro was all serious when giving pointers to the participants who were busy chattering. "If you want to talk, be a politician" Demoura says sharply to the group. Immediately a hush fell over the dance studio, but the scenario was repeated a few times, necessitating a few more chidings from the strict instructor.

This says a few things about the artiste: he's focused, determined and disciplined. It also explains his success at his young age. Demoura was inspired by the legendary Michael Jackson as well as other industry giants of the golden era of Hollywood such as Gene Kelly and Bob Fosse. At 15, he started travelling to Atlanta and Los Angeles for dance workshops since there weren't many avenues in Boston where he lived. It was about this time when he decided to pursue dancing as a career. His mother was alright with the idea but his businessman father did not take it too well. (Sourced from The Star).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meet The 'Showdown 2011' Finalists

The auditions for Showdown 2011 were held in January in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and in Kuching, Sarawak. Hundreds of dance crews participated in the auditions, out of which 34 teams were selected to take part in the Battles event. After a series of elimination rounds, 12 teams were selected to enter the finals where they will fight it out to see who becomes the champion and take home the cash prize of RM50,000. Showdown 2011 is being aired over 8TV every Wednesday at 9.30 pm. The 12 finalists and their hometowns are:

Bounce Stepperz (BQS), Kuala Lumpur

Elecoldxhot (ECX), Kuala Lumpur

Force 136 (FRC), Kuala Lumpur

HMC Phlow (HMC), Kuala Lumpur

Panic (PNC), Kuala Lumpur

Rokusteps (RKS), Kuala Lumpur

Soulution (SOL), Kuala Lumpur

Blazin Squad (BSQ), Kuala Kangsar, Perak

E.G.S. Monster (EGS), Muar, Johor

Borneo Crew (BRC), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Dejavu Breakerz (DVB), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,

Stepholic (STP), Kuching, Sarawak