The Crowd streetdance series in Seoul is a 1vs1 all style mixed battle hosted by Tae of Trip Family, a Seoul dance studio and Flow Maker,a streetdance event management team. Crowd volume 7 was held on the 10th April in V-Hall at the famed Hongdae district in Seoul, the centre for streetdance, youth art and culture in Korea. It was my first time to come back to Seoul in a year and I could not think of a better event to catch during my short 10 day trip than a Flow Maker 'Crowd' jam.
Everyone was there. All my friends, dance acquaintances and people that I looked up to in the Seoul scene came to this jam. It was almost like everyone gave me a welcome back party, haha. People just love coming out to a Crowd Mixstyle 1vs1 simply because the event is just so damn funny~!
MCs were MC Go and Jazzy Ivy (photo below).
Between the two of them, they have hosted almost every single major streetdance event in Seoul over the last six or seven years, from R16 to Battle of the Year, to Street Jam. That's not to say they haven't forgotten their roots because they have also been most prevalent at all the little jams too, like Crowd, Who is the Best of Pop Lock and many more. Jazgeem is also a recording MC as well and has dropped several albums in the last few years, so he also makes appearances at music festivals as well as his own concerts.
When they are together on the stage, they have such a familiarity with each other, such a connection that when they speak, it's like it's just you and them in the whole auditorium. It's hard to explain, but it's such a privilege to watch them work on stage (even though my Korean listening ability isn't fluent enough to grasp all their jokes) because what you are watching is not just two event MCs, but two friends up there sharing their camaraderie with you in the audience in such a way that makes you feel like a friend as well.
I found a little bit of youtube footage of them online from R16 2009 in Incheon.
So it was brilliant to see them at work again, it made me feel like no time had passed at all at the event even though it had been a year. Ivy dubbed me 'Seoul Brother number two,' in reference to him being Seoul Brother number one. Lol, how about Ivy, I be Seoul Brother 'A' and you can be 'Seoul Brother number 1?' ^^
Jaz Geem's youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/jazzvilrecords
Jaz Geem's website: http://www.jazgeem.wordpress.com
Jaz Geem's facebook: www.facebook.com/jaz.geem
MC Go is an old generation Seoul hip hop dancer who always had the gift of confidence and intelligence on a mic. Prior to his auto accident in 2007, he was one of the best in Seoul for hip hop dance and if I recall properly, he was the champion for Crowd vol. 1 in 2006. Here is a video of a funny showcase he did with G-Haksu in 2006 at the first Who is the Best of Pop Lock in Blue Monkeys club in Sincheon.
Judges were a who's who of the dance scene in Seoul; G-Haksu, Bboy Tinoroc, Originality Woong, Pop Kun and House dancing Seen.
Entrants were also equally as crazy as the judges, Popping DS, aka Kin, Originality Moon, Crazy Kyo, Funky Lia, Bboy Mickey, Kyoung Mi aka Lock Me....
|Oriental Waacking Unit: Waacking Jina (orange) and Ari (red)|
DJ Mulder was the man behind the wheels of steel with co-Dj, DJ Back. Mulder had a brief break to recharge his batteries after bringing the house down at Juste Debout Singapore in January. It was good to hear him play at Crowd.
Crowd featured a lot of different dancers sharing their dance in a mix-style competition. Dancers play 'rock-scissors-papers' to decide what genre of music they DJ must play for the battle. So, if a popping dancer is battling a house dancer and chooses 'popping' music for the music for the battle if he wins the rock-scissors-paper game, then the battle is heavily in his favour. It's notoriously difficult to dance outside your genre of music against someone who is 'in' their music.
What I found interesting is that most of the time, the dancer who won the music choice didn't pick a music category that was their strength. A locking dancer would be up against a bboy and choose 'House' music. I don't know if this was sportsmanship or politeness, but it happened more often than not. The result is more often than not freaking hilarious and there is as much laughter as 'oohs' and 'aahs'
I think this type of mix-style battle where high-level dancers of many genres all come to compete in a sense of non-competition is really fresh. It shows a sense of maturity and unity in the scene when people can come together to a jam that features genres they don't usually get down to to maybe battle someone in a different genre to different music. A kind of 'rojak' feeling where the main aim is to have fun more so than 'be the best.'
|Bboy Mickey in the top 8.|