FULL OUT! proves to be a success from the outset. It has been 13 years since a street dance show took the Esplanade main stage, and what a phenomenal comeback. Screams and cheers perpetually fill the air, lights flashing, loud music and I can feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins as Japan’s Fabulous Sisters open the evening with their highly synchronized routine.
The all-girl team simply oozes femininity but do not mistake that for the lack of power and strength. High energy and hyped-up, their pieces showcase their unique brand of urban-jazz – waacking, hip hop, tutting and jazz. They pull out all the stops and give the audience a dazzling performance.
Following up, IP Lockers from Taiwan take the stage with a live rapper, the dancers have black masks, yet they are so expressive in the body. There is something about street dancing that calls for a celebration of dance and humanity – our primal love for moving to music manifested at the highest levels. On stage, I see dancers of all shapes, ages, races and genders rocking it out – proving that dance unites us and crosses all boundaries.
GRV from the USA definitely wow the audience with seamless transitions and versatility. Despite having the biggest crew of the night, GRV takes the audience from one scene to another without ever being jarring. Using a range of popular music which audiences are familiar with, GRV morphs from hard-hitting to groovy to sassy, all in one routine, hitting different layers of the music and displaying jaw-dropping isolations, GRV’s infectious pieces gets the audience tapping their feet in their seats.
But it is most definitely s**t kingz who steal the show and win the hearts of the audience. The group name derives from a similar-sounding Japanese word that means, “to pee in the pants accidentally”, encapsulates the spirit of the team. The four-man ensemble from Japan is cheeky, humorous, entertaining and highly creative. The generosity and authenticity are evident; it is never about proving themselves or showing off – just four good friends who share twelve years of camaraderie, wanting to share their joy of dancing and bringing us along for a wild and wonderful ride.
It is an enthralling journey through different emotions, stories, and music. The work begins with all four of them in a boy band like power pose as they try to make it to the end of the piece. However, each time, something would prevent that from happening – laughing fits, costume malfunction, crying, etc. They have an incredible ability to take a simple idea and turn it into profound statements. The level of theatricality, storytelling, and comedy is simply unparalleled because they never take the power of pauses for granted, cleaver. Some of their most powerful moments transpire in stillness and without music. Artistry, technique, showmanship, and comedy all rolled into one. s**t kingz proves that street dance can go beyond competition culture and rightfully take its place on the proscenium stage.
FULL OUT! is certainly a big leap forward for Singapore’s street dance scene. Three local crews of the Sixteen da:ns Challenge are given the fantastic opportunity to be mentored by French artist Nelson Ewande, GRV as well as IP Lockers. Our local crews hold their ground in the spotlight. The merger of local dance crews Stoney Brothers and #JungleBeatsHollaAtMe results in the formation of Stoney x Junglebeats who dazzle the audience with acrobatic feats, crisp movements and a slight touch of humor. The team leaders appear to enter into a Zombie apocalypse minefield where a dance party ensues. What a joy to see so many different dance crews come together to celebrate dance in the main stage.