Two dancers from Kerala launch an online dance battle during COVID-19 lockdown

Dance battles have gone online during COVID-19 lockdown. File photo of a dance battle

Dance battles have gone online during COVID-19 lockdown. File photo of a dance battle   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

‘Quarantime Online Battle’ is in progress for those who pursue different dance styles

Arjun Govind and Vineeth AV have been relentlessly practising their dance moves for the dance battle. What if the competition is being held online? They want to put their best foot forward as they have been selected to the next round.

“I do krumping and an online competition is a first for me. For the next round, the track will be sent to my WhatsApp number at 4 pm and I will have to upload my dance video within two hours,” says Thrissur-based Arjun, doing his final year of engineering. Vineeth AV, who is into ‘breaking’, too admits that an online competition is a “fresh” experience. “I miss out on my daily sessions with my team. But this competition has motivated me to step it up,” says Vineeth, who is into designing and video editing in Thiruvananthapuram.

Anand NC

Anand NC   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 has made artistes think out of the box and the dancers aren’t taking it easy. Dancers Anand NC and Sumesh Sundar launched ‘Quarantine Online Battle’ in which contests are held in three categories – breaking, all-style and krump. While the preliminary round was from April 6 to 9, the finals is on April 14.

“I had my doubts about the success of an online battle because we haven’t done this before. But when Sumesh ettan also suggested the same idea to make the best use of the lockdown period, I was game for it,” says 23-year-old Anand, a Bboy and native of Thiruvananthapuram, better known as Zylent in dance circles.

Tremendous response

However, the duo admit that they were not prepared for the overwhelming response. Registration was free and they had 88 dancers in all-style section, 44 in krump and 22 in breaking. “We thought there would be participants from across Kerala and cities such as Chennai and Bengaluru. But we were pleasantly surprised to get entries from Maharashtra, Delhi, Assam and even the US. It was tough for the judges because there were some extremely talented dancers,” says 28-year-old Sumesh, who runs Myself And My Moves, a dance studio in Thrissur.

Know the style
  • Krump, a street dance popularised in the United States, has intense, sharp and energetic movements and some of the main moves are arm swings, chest pop and stomps.
  • Breaking, breakdancing or b-boying evolved as part of hip-hop culture and involves several acrobatic moves such as spinning headstands, power moves and freezes.
  • Waacking or Whacking is characterised by rotational movements of the arms to the music, especially over and behind the shoulder.

The judges are Bboy Crazy bright (breaking), Funky Back (krump) and Isai (all-style), all of them based in Chennai. “Since there were more contestants in the category for breaking, the best 18 were chosen from that style, whereas the other two has 16 contestants each,” says Anand.

In the coming rounds, a track is sent to the contestants’ WhatsApp numbers at 4 pm every day. By 6 pm, participants have to upload their dance video on their Instagram pages and tag Anand, Sumesh and the judges. Results will be published on the Instagram pages of Soul TV (Anand’s YouTube channel) and Myself And My Moves at 10 am the next day. The content should be at least 40 seconds long and can go up to one minute. “In the finals they will be given only one hour to prepare and upload the video,” he adds.

Sumesh Sundar

Sumesh Sundar   | Photo Credit: Krishnaj P Kishore

Some of the contestants have taken part in another online battle, ‘Chance’, organised by To The Culture, a dance community based in Mumbai, which held competitions in 10 styles. “Although I couldn’t go far in that battle, I got the taste of being part of an online battle. It was better than sitting idle at home. Since I keep practising, it helps me to improve myself,” says Pavithra M, a commerce graduate from the capital city, who will take on two other ‘waackers’ in the next round.

Selected videos will be uploaded on the Instagram pages from the top-eight level onwards. Winners in each category will get ₹ 1,000. “We have pooled in the money ourselves because financial support will be difficult to come by from any other quarters at this time,” says Sumesh.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 6:58:33 PM |

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