Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Cleva crew at Helsinki Dance Delight vol.2

"We wear what we like and grind up all night, 
Cause we're Cleva reppin nordic soul for Eva.”

Helsinki Dance Delight was fun! We enjoyed the day with our Cleva girls. We were really happy to perform this showcase, because it has been quite a while since we've done showcase together. And actually this was our first showcase choreography with Sanna and Sandra, even they have been in Cleva for over a year now. The only problem was that in Dance Delight rules a crew could only have max six people. Jojo was with us with the "prototype" version of the showcase at SADE festival, but this time she had to study for her entrance exam and didn't have time to practice. So the rest six of us did the showcase, and Jojo was our mental and spiritual cheerleader.
M made the white polo tops for our SADE festival performance, but because we had improved and changed the showcase a lot, we felt we needed something fancier to wear than the our worn out flannel we had last time! So M came up with this idea to pimp out these 90's style blazer jackets with different pattern fabrics. She made a special jacket for everybody. K got her sleeves of a flowery Matryoshka scarf, Sandra's sleeves are of a fabric that she bought from Ghana, M got also some Africa flavor to her gorgeous yellow jacket. Jenni's jacket has some harmonic pastel colors in stripes and zig zags, Linda's jackets has some shells and sea creatures and Sanna's some abstract tropical flowers. Our new jackets are so fresh and beautiful, we just love them! Gonna post a close up of these jackets later.

"Got my hair done and my nails done too"...we were ready to hit the stage. The first round went ok, but we felt quite nervous and that we could've done it much better. So in the final round we just had a blast together and blowed the Peacock theater stage. We really felt the energy of each other. We did our best and gave all we had!

Waiting to hear the results was too exciting! We were nervous when they started to announce who came third and when they announced the second place, we heard our name. We found out that we had got the same points with the winners Will Funk For Food in the final round. If it happens that two crews have same points in the final round, they check who got better points in the first round. And in the first round we got one point less than WFFF, so they won with one point. It was so close! We all knew our first round wasn't that good for us, so we were really disappointed to lose because of that. K was so disappointed that when she accidentally stepped to a bee at the dressing room she felt like it was all just for one big, bad karma. But WFFF showcase was really good (as always), so we were happy for them. And after a night sleep the second place didn't feel that big thing anymore. Of course trip to Osaka would have been nice, we were really motivated because of that. But other time then!
posters by our true fans

The real twist was to come! The event was on Sunday and Tuesday morning Jouni (the organizer) announced that one of the judges had made a human mistake with his/hers points. So because of that the Will Funk For Food boys weren't the winners after all. The winner crew was a swedish crew of two people, Twisted Feet. We felt and still feel really sad for the WFFF guys! If we were a little disappointed of our lost, can't imagine how it feels to hear after two days celebration that you're not going to Osaka.

All in all it was a pleasure to get to dance together and see some nice performances! Here's some photos we took at Linnanmäki. Somehow we are more used to doing these ugly faces than smiling. Thank you Ninni for taking the photos! Check our her blog Broken Heels.

Thank you Cleva girl, all the dancers, our magnificent support team, judges, JJ, Ninni and everybody who came to support!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Miss Mix column 5/2013 // Archie Burnett

May issue was about Waacking! At times we've been quite confused and had many questions on our minds about this particular style. So we wanted to hear Archie Burnett points of view.  He is well known for his outstanding presence, willingness to share his knowledge about dance and the culture, and how he get's down at each and every jam, competition and after party! He really cleared some stuff for us through this interview, really inspiring and straight talk. Wanted to share this with you guys. I hope that it provokes your thoughts too! Thank you Mr. Archie!

What is waacking? Could you tell us a brief history of this dance style? How did it start and how did it evolve?

Waacking regardless how it is spelled is a dance created in the underground West Coast gay clubs in L.A. in the early 70's. Alternate lifestyle kids drew from the influences of movies and silent film. Inspired by that medium they transformed what they saw on film and translated that to movement onto the dance floor. As it was told to me by a few different sources of people who had a relationship with some of the architects of this dance, Andrew Frank, Viktor Manoel, Arthur Gulf, Billy Star Estrada and Tinker Toy and others not mentioned. I do not mean to offend anyone, but like any movement it takes many contributors to establish a "trend" or "fashionable statement etc". These are some if not the ones that stood out in the beginning. When television came into play Shabba-Doo, Ana Sanchez, Tyrone Proctor played visible roles in the popularity of the dance.

Photo credit: Andrew Eccles
The issue of music is a mute point. If "House"music was in the 70's they would dance to that. The music at the time mainly were songs Disco, Soul, Funk,and Fusions of the like. This does not restrict the dance in any way to only this type of music. If there's music, it can be danced to.

It's the music not the dance. Your one on one relationship with that music guides you to experience what the DJ has to offer. There are a lot of young dancers adding to the vocabulary in a physical manner but their emotional connection to what they do is absent. I attribute this to the side effect insecurities that the "Battle" mentality creates. What the dance has become now is quite different than what it was. Waacking was never a battle dance or an aerobics class. Period.

The all too familiar "I wanna dance but I'm not good enough to go in the circle. I don't wanna suck!" thereby I'm afraid to show who, what, and where I am in my life to the public, ergo imprisoning myself! First rule of thumb is the circle does not validate you! Get over it! When you dance from a real place, the door to freedom is opened and everything changes forever.

How did you get in to waacking? 
I grew up on the East Coast and was attracted to this dance on Soul Train a weekly variety show around 1974. I was amazed at the freedom and extravertedness of this dance. I was raised in a strict 7th Day Adventist home where dancing and any worldly thing was forbidden. Since the show aired on Saturdays which is the Sabbath for Adventists you could imagine the kind of "fire and brimstone" heat I was getting from my mom.

Yet, I danced, and this dance to me was my physical representation of total escapism and freedom. Bottom line, is we all need to be free! So my advice people is fight for your freedom. Remember only you have to live with you for the rest of your life. So, LIVE IT!
Photo credit: Andrew Eccles
What do you think about developing once own way of doing it? How far can one go, but still maintain the essence of waacking? 

Here is what I think about that, the root base should be the same. For instance, you see a movie like "Transylvania" that movie has so many moves and emotional situations that you can translate into this dance. I think popular culture is fine but how it translates in film is the way to go as opposed to print (which is VOGUE).

The basic elements of the dance do not change but the vocabulary can be added to as long as it's coming from a real place. Cartoons are great part of this dance. That source has a multitude of possibilities, so I am saying try to keep your root base sources in their lane because if you don't, then there is no clarity and it becomes something else.

So when you take a workshop gage your teachers age, how connected emotionally to what they do and do you believe what their body is telling you. This is an "all the way in" dance. Not a "surface" dance. Anyone can learn a skill but can they speak through that skill emotionally is the key.

About the arms. The arms are the physical expression of the story you are telling. This dances influences are silent film and movies. To communicate without words. It's not enough to just throw your arms in chaos and not say anything. People lived like this, lived through this and this was their lifestyle. A physical reflection of the things that affected them. If you Whack(Strike), then strike! There are different dynamics in the intensity of a strike thereby giving the dancer a greater vocabulary.

About the legs. This dance was never meant to stay in one place. It is a choice. What I see is a disconnection between feet and body. People nowadays are thinking too much and are not allowing the natural thing to take over. It's not rocket science. If you need to move left or right, front or back, just move. People forget to put themselves into the dance as opposed to a series of rehearsed moves. That may be good for choreographic purposes but is it the life's blood of the dance? No.

Check Your Body at the Door: Archie Burnett from Check Your Body at the Door on Vimeo.


Check Your Body At The Door

Archie was also part of the production team and one of the featured dancers on this document! If you haven't seen it order it here NOW!

On the official website www.checkyourbodyatthedoor.com you can read more about the document project, dancers and their history and watch some great footage:

"Check Your Body at the Door is a documentary about some remarkable underground-House dancers in NYC. Filmed during the golden decade of the 1990s, it follows a core group of master free-stylists to the clubs, to their jobs and their everyday lives. Archie Burnett, Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune, the late Willi Ninja, Brian “Footwork” Green, Barbara Tucker, Ejoe Wilson, Conrad “SP” Rochester and Asia Moon, among many others, talk about why they dance and what it means. Also filmed in the studio against a white background, in silhouette, or in light pools, their virtuosic moves and choreography are striking." (source http://www.checkyourbodyatthedoor.com/home)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Ati Atihan Festival 2013, Kalibo Philippines

Sick and home alone on a rainy day. Well, finally time to update about some colorful memories. M was in Philippines last January. She visited the Ati Atihan Festival at Kalibo. The festival is held in honor of the Santo Nino (infant Jesus). The name "Ati-Atihan" means "to be like Aetas" or "make believe Ati's." Aetas were the primary settlers in the Islands according to history books.

I was at Kaibo all alone by my self, but not for long. An sweet auntie and a nun started to talk to me. They thought that I was a movie star or something. LOL. And before I could say anything, they were taking me around the town to see all the sights, like the bambu bridge.
Nun and M going "Waka Waka"
Bambu bridge lead us all the way to the sea

These following photos are of a tribal and modern Balik-Ati and induvidual Ati Atihan Contest, where the tribe members dressed up in their vibrant and colorful costumes, their bodies and faces painted with soot as they dance to the unique Ati-Atihan beat of the drums. All photos have been taken by Miss M.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Miss Mix column 4/2013 // Footworkingz

April issue was about Footworking. We interviewed King Charles and Prince Jaron from the Footworkingz. They have toured with Madonna at her Sticky and Sweet tour, performed and done competitions, and most importantly spread out their knowledge about Chicago footworking. 

Jaron on the left, Charles on the right
What is footworking? Describe the styles main charters. Music etc.
KING CHARLES: This dance style is a high energy genre of movement in which the feet move to House, Ghetto House, and Juke music reaching tempos of 160bpm.

The history of the style, where and how did it start and how has it evolved if so?
KING CHARLES: The style started on the south and west side of Chicago back in the early 80's in warehouses and other type of venues. There was no specific style at first. People were just dancing freely. But the more popular the music became, so did the dance. People started creating trendy dances to do in public and at the parties like "the perculator", "the whip", "the pressure cooker" "jacking on each other" and some footwork here and there. Footwork was done for fun. But, by the early 90's the dj's were experimenting with the music again, playing it at a faster tempo and making the message more ghetto. Footworkers started to get more aggressive and technical with the style. Now-a-days, we footwork to Juke music and footwork battle traxx. A lot of footworkers of the new generation don't know about the old school dance moves. They only focus on the "werkz". We're the beginning of the 3rd Generation (out of 5 generations). And the last hope of keeping the OLD and the NEW connected. Things will always evolve, but we can't forget about the past.

How did you get in to footworking? And when?
PRINCE JARON: I got interested in foot working in 2002. I saw a few friends dancing against each other in a big circle in high school. The crowd was yelling and going crazy over the battle. Their movements was so fast, creative, and filled with so much energy. It was eye capturing to me and I wanted to learn right then. I proceeded to ask questions, and eventually I started getting taught by people who showed me foundation and style. I ended up practicing, making up combinations, and adding my own creativity concepts to what i learned. I fell in loved with it ever since...Footworking Is My Life
KING CHARLES: Going to my first "juke party" in 2000. I saw people juking and then i saw people footworking in the circles to the juke music. I was super inspired after that. I didn't know that it was already BIG in chicago. I had a lot of catching up to do. So i did. lol

What do you love about it?
KING CHARLES: The Mentality. You have to be ready, whenever and however to get down, and go hard. Its an uncontrolled pool of energy. You just gotta learn how to swim.
PRINCE JARON: I love everything about it. I love that it is a beautiful art form of dance, a positive outlet for self expression,to be free, to release, to show personality, creativity, passion, aggression, and so much more. Life is not easy, and can be very difficult at times. This art form of dance, has been my sanctuary. It has help me to be able release anger and happiness creatively on to the dance floor. Many may confuse it with it only being just fast steps, but it is a perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Dance is a second language, and I use footwork to communicate to my audience on how I feel. Thru footwork I can speak my mind freely, and express things that words cannot. The floor is my canvas and I am the artist! I also love the energy, moving at 160 beats per minute is a Great Workout that definitely keeps me in shape lol. Footwork has changed my life, it has me living my dreams, traveling seeing the world, and it has me in the position to help, motivate, teach, and inspire others to do so as well.

The footage FootworkingZ vs Footwork Godz was crazy, unfortunately wasn't able to embed it.

Raw material!

Friday, 7 June 2013

YleX Pop Tampere with Karri Koira

First day of June and time for YleX Pop at Tampere central square with Karri Koira & Ruudolf + co. It was so hot, the sun was shining straight to the stage. We were dancing in the songs Kaikki tai ei mitään, ne kutsuu mua Koiraks, Lähe mun kaa and Mammat Riivaa. YleX Pop news described us as the "hot" dance girls in their article. Read the article here. Check the performance here.
Ho-HOT on stage!
Koira and the crowd

Thursday, 6 June 2013

UMK-Krista Siegfrids

Krista Siegfrids made it to the final in Euro Vision song contest on May. She totally rocked the stage with her great team! Check her new video Amen. Lovely Anneli Ninja is working it 2:07!

Totally late with this one, but had to share my great UMK memories with you guys. And just couldn't let these awesome photos be unseen!
Last February: Whooop whoop we won the UMK!! Which is Finland's pre-selection for the Euro Vision song contest. Well actually Krsita Siegfrids won, and we (M, Sandra, Kiira, Haza, Katrin, Elina, Hanna, Mira, Minttu) were part of her Team Ding Dong dancing at the show. Emelie and Reetta were the back ground singers. Was really nice to take part on making Kristas longterm dream come true.

So M and Sandra got to be governess/nuns aka hold the key of the chastity belt LOOL. And whoa did we take all the fun out of it!! The atmosphere in the green room while waiting for the results was so excited! And when the winner was announced we got to perform again, and me and Sandra did some nun slow grinding at the stage. After the show is the after party, and I think I told every passer by at the street and at the clubs that we had won!! I even got a free taxi ride!
Akim and Jeffrey have more eye make-up than M and Sandra LOL
Krista, Kiira, Sandra and M
Stig and the governesses holding the keys for the chastity belt

Tuborg Festival Reporter

On March M did a commercial photoshoot with Sanna, Slyrre Äs and Adry. Kai Kuusisto was the photographer and the ad was for Tuborgs " apply to be a festival reporter" web campaign.
And here's some behind the scenes photos! M with her YokoOno look! Photos by Kai Kuusisto.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

"Lipsy" necklace

A special delivery for Miss Lipsy! M turned this old "Lipsy" plate in to a necklace with some gold paint and a thick chain. And a pair of candy necklace earrings to fit the summer look. Enjoy it girl!

House of Wallenberg - Real Woman

Some P*fect real women starring on this one! Love it!