Monday, October 31, 2011

Project Dance Penang

Project Dance is a movement of dancers seeking to positively impact culture through artistic integrity. Its desire is to see every dancer nurtured to their fullest human potential for their own well being and their contribution to the world. It offers training, education and performance opportunities for dancers worldwide who desire to dance with integrity to inspire. Project dance was born 11 years ago out of a desire to serve the people of New York City directly after the events of September 11.

Each year, thousands of New Yorkers stop to watch the concert held on a temporary stage on the corner of 44th Street and Broadway. This event has also been replicated in other cities around the USA and internationally in Toronto, London, Hong Kong, Manila, Sydney and Brisbane. Project Dance is not a convention or competition but rather a life changing experience for dancers who desire to perform with integrity to inspire.

This year, Project Dance will be held in Malaysia for the first time. The event which will be hosted in Penang from December 9 to 11 is open to all dancers and dance enthusiasts. Master classes, workshops, motivational forums and a free all-day dance concert at Queensbay Mall are among the many exciting activities to be staged. Choreographers and dancers from the USA, South Korea, Nigeria, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia will be taking part in this event.

Dance genres that will be showcased in Project Dance Penang include Argentine tango, ballet, street dance, lyrical jazz, worship dance and Korean traditional dance. There will also be master classes on hip hop, popping, locking, bboy, krump, girlstyle, soul, lyrical jazz, contemporary, tap and theatre dance (Broadway style). For more information, call 012-4129272 or 012-4853272 or check out

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pole Dancing Finesse

Pole dancing to the music of a 20-piece live orchestra, including violins? Yes, says one Philippine pole dance troupe that seeks respect for its art and athleticism. Against the background of women around the world turning to pole dancing as a form of exercise, the Manila-based group Polecats proved at a recent week-end show that the performances are no longer only for strip clubs and sleazy bars - or just for women, either.

As the orchestra played classical-style arrangements of modern songs, dancers of both genders swung and climbed gracefully up 4m poles, combining flexibility, strength, and moves bordering on acrobatics, with sensuality. "You don't go to Cirque du Soleil to get turned on, although maybe you will, but I just want people to see that we're really good at what we do, and not just hot," said Christina Dy, the Polecat's director.

"Routines involving swings and twirls require balance, concentration and a high level of technical skills, and that is what audiences should appreciate," she added. "The group has gathered male performers, as well as male viewers, by focusing on the athletic aspects of performing," said Job Bautista, the first man to become a regular Polecats member. "Now here in the Philippines we're trying to promote the more acrobatic type of pole dancing, which we Polecats think is more suited to men," he said. (Reuters)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ballrooms And Boardrooms

Whenever I am free, I like to view websites that are related to dance. There are quite a few of such good websites out there in the internet. One of my favourites is where you can find news and reviews on dance happenings in the USA and all over the world. One article which I found very interesting and which was published on 6 August 2011 is titled "Ballrooms and Boardrooms" by Catherine Burzik, chief executive of Kinetic Concepts Inc, a wound care company in San Antonio. Catherine and her husband Frank, are both into competitive ballroom dancing. Below is an excerpt of the article.

"I've been married to Frank Burzik, my high school sweetheart, for 40 years. We met while roller-skating when I was about 13. We have always liked to dance socially; we used to go to the Rainbow Room in Manhattan. We now go ballroom dancing together. In fact, we just built a house with a ballroom in it. Ballroom dancing can teach you a lot about life and business. You can dance well only if you are connected, myself as the follower and my partner as leader. I have to intuit in fractions of seconds how to respond to a lead. So you learn to read a person's mind.

I talk to my people at work about ballroom dance, about how to be connected, and to be aware of musicality. In a business sense, this means learning a three-dimensional presentation of yourself that allows you to understand how to harmonize with others in the organization, as well as with customers and patients. It gives you the insight and intuition to anticipate and take initiative quickly, and then to follow through in an informed way. Once or twice a year, I invite my leadership committee members and their spouses over to my house and we dance. And they've turned out to like it. A few are even taking ballroom dance lessons now. I like to think it's my influence."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hip Hop Fun & Thrills

Local television station 8TV organised its second Showdown Street Fest 2011 recently in Petaling Jaya, Selangor at the I Utama Shopping Centre's open car park. Some 8,000 people attended the event which featured performances by the top dance crews of Showdown 2010 and Showdown 2011. Since its premiere, this street dance reality show has garnered a huge following that has taken the show to unexpected heights, breaking viewership records and bagging many awards. Thus, with the aim of giving back to the fans, 8TV held this free street fest so that hip hop enthusiasts get the chance to indulge themselves in street dance culture, meet and greet the Showdown crews and learn a thing or two from the genii of the craft.

The Showdown Street Fest 2011 featured an array of activities including career talks, shopping bazaars as well as performances by local artistes. Street dance gurus Sheena Cruz (of Philippines All Stars); Bboy Zen and Jackson 'Boogie J', along with expert on the mic, MC Vandal; turntable connoisseur DJ Krates; beat dropping maven Shazet and skilled graffiti artist Bone of Phobia Klik edified the tricks of their trade at their specified workshops. Meanwhile Marcus Tucker of the United States shared his thoughts in a career talk titled Hip Hop 4 Life. Referring to the Showdown Street Fest, Tucker said: "This is very educational. All the elements of hip hop are represented here."

Point Blanc, a representative of Malaysia's prominent hip hop group Poetic Ammo also added his input at the festival. Giving an insight into what hip hop was all about from a career perspective, he said: "A lot of the kids wanted to know how I got started and that's one of the things I shared with them." Hip hop enthusiasts were also entertained to the likes of a hip hop fashion show, two-on-two bboy battles, all styles one-on-one battles as well as a star-studded lineup of performances from Sona One, Hunny Madu, Shawn Lee, Nadhira, Shazet, SSK, Arabyd, Nigel Sparks featuring Point Blanc, Showdown 2011 dance troupes and others. (The Sun)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bill Clinton Loves To Tango

Think Chaz Bono is a polarising Dancing With The Stars contestant? It could have been a lot worse. Former US president Bill Clinton appeared on the Rachel Ray Show on September 20 and admitted he had been asked to compete on the hit dancing competition - but the grueling training regimen would have been too much for him.

Asked if he'd ever consider appearing on the show, Clinton said, "This is interesting. Actually, they contacted me once about this. And I told them I didn't have the time to train for it. You know, you actually have to go out there and train - you really work at it - so I had to pass. But I think it's a hoot."

But if he did have the time to put himself through the paces, Clinton is certain which dance he'd most like to take on. "I would like to master the tango," Clinton offered. "Just last night, Hillary said to me. You know, when I'm not Secretary of State anymore, we should take dance lessons." (Reuters)

There is something about tango which men find fascinating. Maybe it's the passionate character of the dance, the close hold or the music. Many think the tango is a difficult dance to master and shy away from learning it. Actually, of all the ballroom dances, the tango is the easiest to learn. So, for those who have always wanted to learn how to tango but were afraid to try - go for it!