The Beautiful Street

#niki #hiphop

DanceKatie JanovecComment

As I'm slowly getting the hang of this blogging thing I one, really enjoy it and two, find that I need more time to prepare my stories/interviews.  So while I have future posts in the works, today I will do a bit of a throw back to that one time I took a hip hop class from Niki Awandee. Do you know her?  If you are a dancer, possibly.  If not, not so likely.

This lady is a hip hop dancer from Sweden with a light-hearted, but vibrant energy.  She is a member of Soul Sweat Crew and is well known for winning (with her partner, Martha)  Juste Debout Hip Hop World Championship in 2011. But since then has continued growing, battling, and teaching internationally.  She was part of a dance camp in Uruguay and local dancers in the Buenos Aires Beat Crew were able to get her over here to Argentina to teach a class (Uruguay and Argentina are a quick boat ride away, btw).

(Now what am I doing in this photo?;)

The class was full and somehow I landed a spot in the back (dangit!).  Still, I enjoyed every minute of it. The majority of the class was spent on drills and variations of specific steps.  I appreciate that Niki steered clear of choreography but instead demonstrated multiple movement options with each step.  I feel that this puts the dance in the student's hands for future exploration.

It's as if she is saying, what can you do with your freestyle and with these steps? Go do it.  How many ways can you move forward, right, backwards, and left? Countless.

Niki had us drill movements leading with our shoulders, utilizing undulations or sharper angular motion, for example.  Meanwhile she doled out encouraging words with a smile, all the while highlighting the importance of embodying all aspects of the music.

Overall, I left feeling uplifted and properly worked.

Also happening is this documentary of Niki and Martha.  The trailer was released 3 years ago BUT, I just saw that the documentary was shown at a film festival a few months ago.  I believe it is still yet to be released to the general public.  Tora Martens, the director, has followed these two for the past 5 years and clearly shows their connection to each other and to the dance.  I love this trailer.

Have a good weekend babes!

Photos by Adelphos